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VSA and ESX host maintenance

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Tedh256
Frequent Advisor

VSA and ESX host maintenance

This is my first VSA install (2-node) - and I'm not sure what procedure to use when I want to do maintenance to the ESX hosts. Do I simply power-off the VSA on one node, and then put that host in maint mode?

 

Is there something I need to do in the CMC?

 

TIA!

 

 

5 REPLIES
5y53ng
Regular Advisor

Re: VSA and ESX host maintenance

Hi Ted,

 

Yes, this is how we manage our nodes. Since you have two nodes I'm assuming you are using a virtual manager or FOM, so as long as you only power-off one at a time you'll be OK. Once you power-on the node again you will see your volumes resync in the CMC.

 

I have found that rebooting the ESX host when it is not in maintenance mode is more convenient, because you can configure the VSA to power-on automatically. On a couple of occasions I have lost an entire six node cluster due to power outages (not in production), only to come in and find out my servers booted and the VSAs powered up automatically. By the time I arrived all of the volumes were syncronized and back to normal.

Tedh256
Frequent Advisor

Re: VSA and ESX host maintenance

Thank you

 

Yes, we have a FOM - though only one and it is on one of the hosts (not on the "shared" storage, though)

 

So - really, there is nothing in the CMC that you have to do to put the VSA node into "maintenance mode"  before you just power the VSA vm down?

 

And - how do you power the VSA vm down? Just using the red power button on the VM? Is that a graceful shutdown?

 

As for using maint mode on the hosts - since in these situations I would mostly be using update manager to apply patches, the host goes into main mode, it's patched, then rebooted. When it restarts it comes into main mode. I don't think there is a way to do patches using update manager that does not involve the host being in maint mode - is there?

5y53ng
Regular Advisor
Solution

Re: VSA and ESX host maintenance

Correct, you'll need to be in maintenance mode using the update manager. I thought you might be working from the VMA or shell and needed to reboot a host, in which case what I mentioned will apply.

 

In the CMC you could power-off the VSA, but I usually just use "shutdown guest" from the vsphere client. That shuts the VSA down gracefully. Pressing the red button in the vsphere client is the equivalent of holding down the power button on a server or laptop. (not nice)

 

 

5y53ng
Regular Advisor

Re: VSA and ESX host maintenance

Oh I forgot to mention, you might want to move your FOM over to shared storage. If you shut down the host with the FOM you won't have enough managers for quorum. At that point you will lose access to all of your volumes. I don't have a lot of experience with specialized managers like the FOM and virtual manager, so maybe someone else will chime in with best practices in regards to the FOM.

Tedh256
Frequent Advisor

Re: VSA and ESX host maintenance

Well see this is one of the things I've been wondering.

 

The documentation clearly stresses that the FOM should NOT be on the shared storage - that it should be outside of the storage cluster all together.

 

But - this customer does not have another place to run it other than one of the hosts - so I put it on local storage.

 

What have other folks done in a two-node VSA like this? Just enabled the virtual manager, perhaps and not use a FOM at all? Or, remove the FOM before mainenance and then enable the virtual manager just temporarily?

 

Perhaps this is another thread - I'll re-post as a seperate item.