Moving from stand-alone ESXi to two ESXi servers managed by VCenter

xcj

New Member
Feb 9, 2021
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Hi everyone,

Please forgive my lack of knowledge and basic concepts, but i'm here to learn.

I have been using ESXi 6.7U3 for about two years on a HP Microserver Gen 8 and now i decided to move to two Lenovo Thinkcenter M900 Tiny runing the latest build of ESXi 7 (somehow inspired by STH Tiny Micro Server project).

Although i am aware that i'm supposed to manage just about everything on Vcenter there are still a lot of things that i don't know how to do on VCenter yet so i still do them on the ESXi hosts directly.

First i want to focus on fixing 3 problems.

Problem 1 - One VM (PFsense) becomes unregistered if i have to reboot the ESXi host (i have some annoying hardware problems that i won't describe here not to loose focus, and long story short, sometimes i have to reboot the host to get it back working) , to get the VM back working, i connect to the ESXi host, browse the datastore and re-register the VM when i find the VMX file on the datastore.

Problem 2 - The VM's autostarts configured on the ESXi host become desconfigured on one of the hosts but not in the other (one host retains VM autostart configs, the other doesn't)

Problem 3 - I have SNMP configured sending traps to my PRTG Server (via SSH and following VMWare's KB), and each time i reboot a host the configuration is not retained and i have to reconfigure it again.

I have other things that i want to fix and i bet all are related to my lack of basic knowledge, but these 3 reboot related problems are my first priority.

Many thanks in advance to anyone who can point me in the right direction!
 

xcj

New Member
Feb 9, 2021
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Forgot to say that i have set the ESXi hosts as a cluster on VCenter! And that this is a homelab.
 

markarr

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Oct 31, 2013
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I think all of your issues are related to you managing the host directly rather than from vcenter. vCenter has a config for each host internally and can overwrite any changes you make on the host itself to set it back to what it thinks it should be.
 

xcj

New Member
Feb 9, 2021
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I believe you are right about problem 2+3, the problem is that i don't know where those settings are in VCenter? Any chance for some pointers?

Regarding problem 1 - The PFSense VM is registered on VCenter, but if reboot ESXi host it becomes unregistered on the Host and Orphaned on VCenter. If i register it again on the ESXi host it ceases to be an orphan on VCenter.
 

markarr

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Oct 31, 2013
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#1 is a new one that i havent seen before. Are you registering it from vcenter? I would remove it from vcenter make sure its not on the host, reboot and then reregister it from vcenter.

As long as your cluster doesnt have HA confgired you go to the host/configure/vm startup/shutdown.

Not sure about the snmp is there a reason your doing it via snmp vs adding the vcenter server and have it using soap(iirc)?
 
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xcj

New Member
Feb 9, 2021
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Hi, thanks again for the help!

#1 VM unregistered , will try your suggestion and report back.

#3 (SNMP) it was out of habit, i had my old server being monitored on PRTG trough SNMP and i figured i would do the same for the new ones, after reading your reply i noticed that PRTG can talk too ESXI hosts and Vcenter directly (so i guess it uses SOAP API for that), and i'm running new auto-discoverys after feeding the credentials to PRTG, but this is a workaround (a better one) , i will report back with the results.

#2 Autostarts, you kind of answered it, i have HA configured, but not properly, something i would like to try the HA after fixing this 3 problems, i will leave this one in standby , after the problem #1 and #2.

Again, thanks!
 

xcj

New Member
Feb 9, 2021
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Hi there, i have updates.

#1 That VM after unregistering it, rebooting the host and registering it back trough VCenter, on a another reboot of the host it became unregistered again, i'm thinking of exporting it to an OVF , removing from inventory on VCenter, deleting the machine on the Host and then importing the OVF back on VCenter - Do you think this is a good strategy or you would recommend something else, that host has another two problems on reboot , it always tries to register two "ghost" VM's, one that i moved to the other host on VCenter (a Windows Server VM) and another is a VCLs VM that i deleted (maybe i shouldn't have) , i thought you only needed a VCLS VM per host.

#3 SNMP continues to looose configuration on reboot, i ran PRTG auto-discovery and i got new metrics, but they are diferent set of metrics, SNMP gives you CPU usage, RAM usage, System UpTime, Data Flow (TCP/UDP), SOAP metrics give you the Storages usage and VM's Status.

#3 Maybe i should focus on getting HA working right and forget about the autostarts on the ESXi host?
 

markarr

Active Member
Oct 31, 2013
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I at this point I would remove the host from vcenter and reinstall/reset config on the host.

There is a Vmware Host Performance sensor that gives you metrics on the host if thats what your looking for.

HA or autostarts its one or the other cant have both.
 
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markarr

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Oct 31, 2013
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Only if you reinstall esx onto the same disk that your vms are on. If they are separate you will just be able to import the vms when it comes back up.
 
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