VMware HA warnings on VMs with 3D Graphics and VMware Tools upgrades

Recently I’ve been busy with the upgrade of my vSphere 6.0U2 environment to 6.5U1. During and after the upgrade some of the VMs started getting rebooted by VMware HA. VMs were unresponsive at that stage and vSphere logged “OS crash” due to VMware Tools heartbeat loss. VMware HA VM monitoring naturally tried to reset the machines, however randomly for some it succeeded, for some it didn’t. All of the crashed VMs have one configuration in common: 3D Graphics enabled. At first I considered the reason was VMware Tools, but then I thought: “Is it possible to lose backward compatibility this much between vSphere versions?” Actually the running Tools versions were not updated since vSphere 5.5 and somehow it didn’t complain until this upgrade.

There were two different logs (screenshots below) on the VMs that HA failed to reset, first one recurring very frequently, almost every 20 seconds:

vSphere HA attempted to reset the virtual machine because of a heartbeat failure from VMware Tools or a guest application, depending on how vSphere HA was configured. However, the reset operation failed. The most likely reason for the reset failure is that the virtual machine was running another task at the time the reset was initiated. Action: Check to see whether the virtual machine requires attention and reset it manually if necessary.

&

This event is logged when vSphere HA did not reset a VM affected by an inaccessible datastore. It will attempt to reset the VM after storage failure is cleared. The VM is affected by an inaccessible datastore due to storage connectivity loss. Resetting such a VM might cause the VM to be powered off and not restarted by vSphere HA.

HA Error Type 2HA Error Type 1

I couldn’t see any ongoing activity or an inaccessible datastore. These logs seemed misdirecting so I started updating VMware Tools and virtual HW as recommended. As suspected, it solved the problem: VMs stopped crashing and found some peace.

When you don’t have the luxury to restart the systems, you may choose to “postpone” the VMware Tools and virtual HW upgrade thinking that it is not compulsory and has an extended support. Here is a good old VMware blog entry about the subject: https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2013/02/is-a-vmware-tools-upgrade-required-when-upgrading-vsphere.html. Although the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix shows Tools from 5.5 still works on ESXi 6.5U1, my case proved that there may be exceptions on rare configurations. The system needs to be kept as up-to-date as possible, as a whole.

Let’s finish with VMware’s statement:

Although upgrading VMware Tools is optional, it is still highly recommended.   The extended support is meant to facilitate upgrades and should not be seen as an excuse to avoid upgrading VMware Tools.

right and wrong

Jessica : You were right. And I think you were right that I wanted you to be wrong. And I’m sorry.
Dr. Mendelez : You were right, too. I kept telling myself that I’m fine, but… it’s been hard. Got me second-guessing myself, maybe affecting my judgment. I don’t know.
Jessica : If we’re hurting so bad, maybe we made a mistake.
Dr. Mendelez : No. It just means that what we had mattered. Doesn’t mean that it was right. I’ve also been thinking that… arrogance does make me a better surgeon. But it’s not gonna make me a better husband.

about “Shape of My Heart”

Sting talks…

“I wanted to write about a card player, a gambler who gambles not to win but to try and figure out something, to figure out some kind of mystical logic in luck, or chance, some kind of scientific, almost religious law. So this guy’s a philosopher, he’s not playing for respect and he’s not playing for money, he’s just trying to figure out the law – there has to be some logic to it. He’s a poker player so it’s not easy for him to express his emotions, in fact he doesn’t express anything, he has a mask, and it’s just one mask and it never changes. That’s good for a poker player but it’s terrible for a lover. If you are having a relationship with a guy like that the poor woman is lost, so I tried to create a little story that the guy was searching with his gambling and at the same time losing his relationship. The derivation of playing cards are actually tarot cards, and they are thousands of years old, And the suits of the cards – diamonds mean money, clubs are weapons, spades are swords and the hearts are love – and I got more involved in this thing. The shape of the heart is not the shape of the human heart so there’s a kind of conflict there between reality and fantasy.”

‘Ten Summoner’s Tales’ Promotional Interview Disc, ’93

“I think that reticence about being able to express love is probably part of me, but also the idea of the interest of life beyond winning. I’m not sure I need to win anymore. I enjoy to play the game for other reasons.”

Los Angeles Times, 5/93

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Synology NAS noise and vibration reduction

Ever since I’ve got my Synology NAS device I kept it on my desk. I wasn’t bothered at first but after some time the buzzing sound that it created got my attention. First I checked the device and the removable parts. Interestingly there is no rubber to help fighting with vibration in Synology design. The hard plastic drive sleds are directly sitting on metal cage, creating the perfect room for it. I had to do something, prevent the vibration causing this annoying noise and eating up my drives’ lifetime.

After a short investigation in Google, I saw that I wasn’t the only one complaining. User Chipware in reddit forum, explained that he solved his problem with only some velcro. I bought some self-adhesive velcro (approx. 5 cm per drive is sufficient) and applied it to the sleds where they touch the cage, like he did. (click on the photo to enlarge)

Result: A significant decrease in the noise. After I put some anti-static foam under the feet, I could not feel any vibration from the desk anymore. I can only hear the disk head movements and a relatively quiet fan now. I am glad that I took care of this before it created any bad sectors. Strongly suggested.

Fair warning: Although this is perfectly safe, I am not responsible for any damage that you may cause to your device.

Synology NAS noise reduction with some velcro

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