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VMware ESXi 5 - Behavior when VM OS gets corrupted

Posted on 2013-01-21
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Last Modified: 2013-02-08
Hi,

I have a question on how the VMware will behave on this scenario:

I have one VM that can run in two diferent hosts. - HA running

Lets say the OS of the VM gets corrupted and the VM crahses, so it will failover to the other host, but since the OS is corrupted, it will fail to start on the other host as well right?

How would VMware behave? Is there anything to be done to prevent this?

Tks,
Joao
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Question by:joaotelles
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 38802032
If the VM OS gets corrupted it's corrupted.

VMware will start the VM, but if the VM OS is corrupted, the OS will not BOOT or function.

No, there is nothing that can be done to prevent this, VMware does not prevent VM (Operating Systems from getting corrupted).

Ensure you have Good Backups for restore.

We've been working with VMware technologies for many years, and we've not seen many VMs get corrupted, unless your datastore (RAID array breaks!)
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 38802037
No, if the guest VM OS fails, it fails; period. It will not fail over assuming that the reason for the failure was NOT the host having difficulty.

There are several things you can do to help avoid this scenario though.  There is a Fault Tolerant option that is available, though there are some caveats with using it. If this is a critical VM, you could create a clone of it and just have it sitting there. The "best" option is to have a good backup of each VM in your environment. Look at something like VEEAM as a viable backup.
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 38802043
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LVL 123
ID: 38802044
If you are using VMware FT which mirrors the OS, the secondary copy will also be FAULTY!

because all changes committed in the Primary VM, are SYNC LOCKED and MIRROED to the secondary VM.

VMware FT is not going to help with a Corrupted OS.

e.g. you patch VM1 which is in FT with VM2, the patch causes VM1 to Blue Screen, VM2 will also Blue Screen!

To Avoid or Risk Against Corruption

1. Use a UPS
2. Use a good Storage Controller
3. Use RAID 10,6 or 5.
4. Take regularly Backups.
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 38802092
Sorry...you're right about FT :)
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Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 38824994
If you have a Vm that runs a mission critical app, and you need a way to recover the VM/OS, you could create a powershell script to take a snapshot everyday then create  another script to remove the previous days snapshot. This will allow you to recover the VM very fast if need by and still be able to use HA to protect again host hardware failure.
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Author Closing Comment

by:joaotelles
ID: 38867771
tks
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