VMWare Shutdown



  • Hi,

    What is the proper shutdown of VMWare host to prevent damage on the running guest servers? how long does it take to completely shutdown everything?

    i have 2 VM host with around 12 guest running on each host.



  • @maximus The answer is, it depends.

    If everything is running correctly and the guests are all UNIX/Linux based, a minute or two. If they're all Windows, well, you could be waiting for quite a while.

    Many times at least one service will not shut down cleanly and force things to time out. Pay attention to those, it's a sign that problems are starting to show up! Just one of many reasons why systems should be rebooted regularly.



  • To manually accomplish this, you'll need to shut down each VM guest on the host. Once they're all safely shut down, put the host in Maintenance Mode and then proceed to shutdown. If you're just rebooting it, it won't take but a minute or two. Then when it boots back up, bring the host out of Maintenance Mode and power all your VM's back up.

    Now you tagged vCenter Server but you mentioned hosts. Just beware that if/when you shut down your vCenter VM (appliance or Windows based VM) you'll obviously lose access to the web console to proceed further. You'll need to login to the web client for the individual hosts or use the old Windows based vSphere client (if you're running ESXi 6.0 or older).



  • In many cases, ESXi will be configured to suspend each guest. This takes time mostly depending on the performance of your disks, the number of hosts to suspend, and the amount of RAM that needs to be written to disk. Can take a few seconds, or a really long time.



  • We have 21 guests on 2 ESXi servers. I login to the app for each server, hit each VM console, login & shutdown. Takes the better part of 10-15 minutes for each server.

    Restart the server. Wait 5-10 minutes. Login to the management app.

    I do this every 3-4 months. It seems to keep things even.



  • what is your practice/procedure if you need to shutdown the VM host due to power outages? The power failed to transition to generator and almost drained my Server UPS. When i reach the data center i have 3 minutes to shutdown the VM host. My backup UPS died already so I need to move the KVM to primary UPS. Luckily the Generator kicks in before the 1 minute mark.



  • All my guest are Windows and i'm hoping to automate this as connecting to all of those will takes sooo long.



  • @maximus said in VMWare Shutdown:

    what is your practice/procedure if you need to shutdown the VM host due to power outages? The power failed to transition to generator and almost drained my Server UPS. When i reach the data center i have 3 minutes to shutdown the VM host. My backup UPS died already so I need to move the KVM to primary UPS. Luckily the Generator kicks in before the 1 minute mark.

    Wow. Depends on your brand of UPS, level of EXSi, agent availability for UPS interactivity. I really don't have any advise except to say that you need to determine what you have to know what you can do. Our office uses HP's and they're quite old <ducks head> /serious embarrassment never ends. I have the Windows agent installed in each VM set to power down with 15 minutes of power left. We have APC's.



  • Great.
    Windshield time.
    Automated installation automatically took a dump.
    Friggin printers.



  • @maximus said in VMWare Shutdown:

    All my guest are Windows and i'm hoping to automate this as connecting to all of those will takes sooo long.

    Do you want them to power down individually? Or do you want to suspend them (freeze them) so that they come back in the same state as before?



  • Is it alright to suspend DC and Oracle DB servers? we only do power down prior Irma last year.



  • @maximus said in VMWare Shutdown:

    Is it alright to suspend DC and Oracle DB servers? we only do power down prior Irma last year.

    DCs and DBs are fine to suspend. DB and DC clusters are not. So it depends if you have just one of each, or you have them in clusters. If in clusters, you need to shut them down.



  • @maximus

    Just let the mother nature deal with everything man, and come in the next day and power things up. IT is already full of stress so no need to carry extra worries man

    b86b00a2f6e32e2e564f2f8eaf57fde3.jpg



  • @maximus said in VMWare Shutdown:

    Hi,

    What is the proper shutdown of VMWare host to prevent damage on the running guest servers? how long does it take to completely shutdown everything?

    i have 2 VM host with around 12 guest running on each host.

    Like others have said, it depends on what type of servers you are running.

    My environment consists of -

    Three ESXi hosts with vCenter 6.5 U2 with 35 VM's, mix of Linux and Windows and Two APC UPS (Hosts have dual power supplies with one cord to each UPS) and running an APC VM with powershute software. We do not have a generator but the UPS will run for 35 minutes on battery.

    If my users (many remote users) get out in decent time, this process takes about 8-14 minutes and everything is powered down safely. I shutdown small lightly used servers first while waiting on users. Also I use the Shutdown Guest inside vCenter so I don't have to spend time logging into each host and running a shutdown command (I will if I have time).

    Powering on is a different beast. Do not let all VM's come up at the same time or your will have a boot storm.



  • Did they discontinue vSphere Mobile Watchlist app for Android? I can't find it on the play store anymore. I use this app to gracefully shutdown or reboot vms.



  • @wrx7m said in VMWare Shutdown:

    vSphere Mobile Watchlist

    I didn't use it but it looks like it has not been on their since mid-October. That is what I found on their community boards.



  • I shut the VMs down gracefully rather than suspend them. Fortunately, I have not run into issues with pending Windows Updates being installed during this shutdown, although I have heard of such cases and it's something I still have to consider.



  • @Darek-Hamann said in VMWare Shutdown:

    I shut the VMs down gracefully rather than suspend them. Fortunately, I have not run into issues with pending Windows Updates being installed during this shutdown, although I have heard of such cases and it's something I still have to consider.

    Yes, that can happen a LOT. The more often you reboot, the lower the chances, but it is a pretty huge risk.


  • Vendor

    Couple things for a total cluster shutdown)

    1. If patching, stage patches to host, and out of bands (if pushing firmware).
    2. Gracefully shutdown all virtual machines (from in guest, or using VMtools).
    3. If using vSAN change Maintenance Mode behavior to "Do Nothing"
    4. Put Hosts in Maintenance Mode.
      3b. If patching issue update commands.
    5. Power off hosts once in Maintenance Mode.
    6. Power back on.
    7. If patching verifies patches if vSAN change cluster policy back.