Friday, March 14, 2008

VMWare Server 2 Beta and NAS Server

Well, I know, that's a beta version, but anyway, such behaviour are really disapointed.
I'll explain.

I use VMWare Server 2 beta since December 2007 for a lot of virtual machines on my lab.
Until few days ago, I worked mainly on my local hard drive (500Gb), and all worked fine.
I had the need of more space, then I created virtual machines on USB drive. Well, that was slow, but it is working., except the need to start the USB drive before the host.

Now, need much more space, I bought a NAS Server, QNAP TS-409 Pro, with 4 disks of 1Tb, configured on a RAID 5 array.

I moved (copy) a virtual machine there, after configuring the datastore as well on CIFS mount. It was working fine until I rebooted my host. What was my surprise to see my virtual machine was in state unknown (inaccessible)... Even the datastore is not reachable anymore.

I tried many things, including the reboot of the VM services, Tomcat services and so on, but nothing help.

Well, I'm still able to drop the virtual machine and datastore, recreate them on the existing folder, and retrieve my virtual machine as well. But I don't expect to do that each time I bounce my host !

Any clue ?

Anyway, it's a beta version, but after testing on the previous version 1.0.4, it worked fine on that last one, so, I'll downgrade my config.

That's a pity, I liked a lot this version 2, however, this problem stop here my experience on this one.
Other main problems on that beta (which I could live with) :
1. A lot of full screen issues.
2. Memory occupation size by Tomcat server.

Enjoy on the comeback of VMWare 1.0.4,


Brian Lowe in Winnipeg, Canada said...


I'm six months late, but I have a work-aorund for you.

For security reasons, I installed my VMs on a TrueCrypt volume, and ran into the same problem. My analysis indicates one of VMware's services tries to get information about the VMs in its inventory as Windows is starting up, as opposed to when the user tries to connect using Web Access.

My work-around is to mount the TrueCrypt volume on an as-needed basis, then issue the following two commands as an Administrator:

net stop "VMware Host Agent"
net start "VMware Host Agent"

This causes the Host Agent to re-scan the inventory, and this time it's successful because the TrueCrypt volume is mounted.

To make it easier, I put them into a batch file on my desktop named "Restart Host Agent.bat". To get my VM started, I click on three icons in succession:
- The TrueCrypt volume, so I can mount it
- Right-click on "Restart Host Agent" and "Run as Administrator"
- Finally, click on a Firefox shortcut that goes to "https://BRIAN-PC:8333"
Now the VMs are visible in the VMware Infrastructure Web Access page, and I can start them

John Lee said...

Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there any way you'll be able to remove me from that service? Thanks!
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