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VM disconnects from the network - still responsive at the console

Posted on 2011-03-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a VM that was creating via the vsphere client.  I selected Windows 2003 Server Enterprise 32 bit as the template.  I ended up using a R2 release version, however, not sure if that matters for when selecting the Os type I didn't see an option for R2.  I tried creating a VM from an existing template I created and one from scratch and I get the same symptoms...  After running for about 5 days it drops off the network.  The VM is responsive at the console, however, it can't see the network.  It's a DC and a certificate server.  I tried re-creating the VM three different times and got the same results.  If I enable/disable the NIC it doesn't fix it.  I also tried different NIC cards.  I have to reboot to get it to work after dropping off of the network..  Any suggestions?
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Question by:gopher_49
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27 Comments
 
LVL 120
ID: 35128565
is this the only VM which has this issue?
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 35128618
yes...  Keep in mind that I've recreated it twice using an existing template and once from scratch and always get the same symptoms.  I'm moving it to a different host right now, however, not sure if that's going to matter.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:danm66
ID: 35129920
have you used the same IP and hostname for it each time?  Can you change one or the other and see if the behavior goes away?  Also, if/when it does happen again, check the physical switch's arp table to see if it's listed there.  It sounds like something is causing the arp entry to be poisoned.  If I'm right, this behavior shouldn't change if it's moved to another host and they have identical network setups.
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 35129960
I tried changing the host name and that didn't help.  I have not tried changing the IP address for it's a domain controller and not sure to the impact of that.  I'll read up on changing the IP address of a DC.  I have two other DC's so I guess it should be okay.  

I have a feeling moving to the different host won't help either.  I had ARP poisoning issues at one time.  It was due to a pair of AP 5131 radios talking back to my wireless controller.  I'll check the wireless controller's syslog too.  
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 35130055
I see some ARP cache poisioning entries listed in my wireless controller.  Since it's a VM the old MAC address was different.  When it happens again I'll look on my wireless and ethernet switch.  It might be 5+ days though.
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 35172016
I did a show arp table command on the switch and I only see a few IP addresses...  One is my ASA firewall, one is my network monitor server, internel router for our site to site T1's, and the desktop that's logged into the switch.

My other switches only show these same IP's...
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 35172107
I changed the IP address.  Maybe we should wait and see what happens now?  
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:danm66
ID: 35174035
If it's a MAC issue, it will come back no matter what the IP is, so let's see if it comes back.
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 35174157
Sounds good.  I'll update the ticket in 5 days or so...  It usually drops by then.
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 35215092
I changed the IP address on the 19th and it hasn't dropped yet, however, in the past it's stayed up this long so we'll see.  
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:danm66
ID: 35217769
Leave the question open as long as you need to.
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 35226666
The VM dropped off the network again.  This is even with the new IP address.  Any other suggestions?
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LVL 120
ID: 35226852
any events logged in the VM event log?
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LVL 120
ID: 35226856
have you allocated a static ip address?
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 35226953
It's using a static IP address via the windows NIC tcip/ip properties.  Is there somewhere else in the VMware environment I need to allocate an IP?

In the past I did not see any esxi event logs.  I'll check again.
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LVL 120
ID: 35229608
No, there's nothing else you should do inside the VM.

Windows Event Logs not ESXi event logs.

How many VMs do you have on the ESXi server?

Can you send a picture of the Networking in ESXi?

Have you exceeded the portgroups on the vSwitch?

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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:fireline1082
ID: 35229772
Not sure if this is related to your problem

but we have a problem in our company on one VM where intially it was setup for Windows 2003 SP x86 and then later we format the VM and changed it to Win 2003 R2 X64

we had the network adapter issue, and to fix this'- we just removed the exiting adapter which was setup to Flexible and changed it to E1000 - then it works


check the network adapter settings - to confirm the proper type you can check any exisitng running R2 server in your environement and change the network adapter accordingly


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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 35232149
fireline1082,

My template is for Windows 2003 Enterprise Server 32 bit, however, it did not mention R2.  I'm using R2...  I'm not sure if that's the problem but maybe so?!  I do not see a template for R2.  I've been VERY suspicious to the template...  But.. I just don't see a R2 template.

I've removed the nic and replaced it with both the E1000 and even tried other nic's.

I only have physical servers running Enterprise Edition R2.  I do not have any VM's running R2 Enterprise.

hanccoka,

I see nothing in the event logs...  Once it drops of course it can't see the other DC's and I get errors in regards to not seeing them, but, prior to it dropping I see nothing.

I have 5 x VM's on the ESXi server and only 4 are running.  I even moved it to a different ESXi server and that didn't help.

I seriously doubt I've exceeded the portgroups in the vSwitch for I have a very basic config.  It's attached.




ESXi-network-config.jpg
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LVL 120

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 250 total points
ID: 35232301
yes, looking at the vSwitch, you've not exceeded portgroups.

when networking is lost, have you tried, disconnecting and connecting networking from within the VM using VM Tools Applet?

what error if any do you get if you ping inside the machine, is there any traffic flowing, you'd have to look at the status of the NIC, in the VM,
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 35232677
I have not tried disconnecting via the network config of the VM in the vsphere client.  I have tried disabling and reenabling via windows.  That didn't help.  I have tried pinging to other hosts on the LAN but the VM only has one IP.  Next time should I try pinging the VM's IP's and then try pinging other IP's in the host?
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LVL 120
ID: 35232738
yes, try to isolate the fault, is it in the VM or host.

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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 35233128
ok..  It usually take about 5 days to drop...
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 35286052
hanccocka,

The VM can see any VM in the vswitches on either host, however, it cannot see ANY other host outside of the vswitches...  
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 35286064
correction.

It can only see IP address/hosts on it's physical switch. It can't see outside of that particular switch.  
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Assisted Solution

by:gopher_49
gopher_49 earned 0 total points
ID: 37341532
I found out the problem.  

hanccocka,

Your suggestion of isolating it to where it's the VM or host helped.  I moved to a different host and same symptoms, however, I also noted that it could see other VM's within the same vswitch.  So, it's something to do with traffic in the vswitch.  I ended turning off my GFI Network Server and sure enough the VM quit dropping off of the network.  For some reason GFI Network Server monitor causes my domain controller VM to drop off of the physical switching network.  Not sure to why.. But...   It's ran for weeks and no problems.  In the past every 6-7 days it would drop.  It's now been 2.5 weeks and no problems at all.
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Author Closing Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 37360228
I ended up figuring out the culpurate with the help of hanccocka.  The VM can talk to any other VM within it's on vswitch, however, it can't talk to VM's or physical servers outside of it's vswitch and/or across the physical switches.  I turned off GFI Network Server monitor and the VM (domain controller) now stays on the network.
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LVL 120
ID: 37341564
Glad, my suggestions help isolate the issue.
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