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VMware isolation

Posted on 2014-03-24
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Last Modified: 2014-06-08
I have read a little about isolation response and I was hoping to get some suggestions on a few things.

First, I have a cluster with two hosts in it With HA turned on.  Second, one of the hosts will stop responding and the only thing I can do is to physically reboot the host to get it back.  It will not respond to a ping or anything else once this has happened.

I have read about putting in a secondary isolation ip address for the cluster and also increasing the failure detection time.  Are these two things pretty safe to implement without any bad side effects?

Also, could there be a false positive that is causing an isolation of one of my VMware hosts?

I have had this happen in the past and it seemed to be related to our shared storage devices.  Please help!!  I have been struggling with this same problem for a while now and nothing seems to fix.  Thanks experts!!!
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Question by:IKtech
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 39951634
I am sorry - HA just stops when hosts are isolated, VMs continue running on them.
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Author Comment

by:IKtech
ID: 39951695
can I adjust any settings to keep the host isolation from happening?
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 39951714
Are you isolating VM network and vmkernel network on different nics as per best practices?
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Author Comment

by:IKtech
ID: 39951738
yes, I believe so.
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 39952524
Can I see how vswitches picture look in your ESXi (with whatever reminds of your organisation like net numbers or names blurred)?

Also what is your network switches' make and model
(some need configuring cache time and forward delay to make vmotion and HA happy - i.e if you have 3 switches between your ESXis it could just happen that gratuitous arp message is lost and one of them lives with belief that VM is still at other ESXi)
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by:IKtech
ID: 39953717
both hosts are setup identical as far as the vswitches go.  Just some different IP addresses.  I can upload the second host config if you like.
vmware-host-not-responding.PNG
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 39953763
vmotion and storage are heavy.. which vmkernel ports storage uses? does host get offline when you copy huge file?
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Author Comment

by:IKtech
ID: 39954076
it does seem to happen when shared storage is working hard.  The last few times I have had trouble with this, I had a bad hard drive on one of my storage devices.  I am using QNap devices with 4 drives each with RAID 10.  I am doing block scans and smart tests on the drives to see if I can find an issue with a drive.  Also I am looking into getting new drives that are 6gb/s and 10k rpm vs. what I have now, 3gb/s and 7200rpm.
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 39954125
3Gb/s could very well saturate 1Gb/s FT logging interface.
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Author Comment

by:IKtech
ID: 39954388
I am currently not using any FT as a trouble shooting step and it still happens.
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 39954482
Try altering between fixed media speed and auto-select...

Do you have two isolation hosts and they are all the time up?
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Author Comment

by:IKtech
ID: 39967011
are you talking about the switch ports the vm host is connected to for the fixed media speead and the auto select?

I just have two hosts and yes they are up all the time.  Are there some settings I can verify to check with one or if both are isolation hosts?

Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 39967195
You need to check all interfaces on storage switch. If one of them goes doen at least one host is isolated.
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IKtech earned 0 total points
ID: 40109534
i have switched to faster drives in one storage device and I also had a drive failure in one storage device.  After the change to faster drives and rebuild the raid array on the other storage device I have not had any issues.  I may just change to faster drives on the second storage device at some point, but so far so good.  Looks like a bad hard drive causing me issues again.  Thanks for the help
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Author Closing Comment

by:IKtech
ID: 40120216
replacing a bad drive seems to have fixed it for now.
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