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Old 12-04-2015, 07:54 PM
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Not sure if it matters, but ESXi 6.0 kills the Realtek NIC driver. Luckily I had three other Intel NICs in my server and worked around the Realtek not working. There is a way to get them installed, but I haven't bothered.

FYI, last night I just updated from 6.0 to 6.0 Update 1 with no issues.

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Old 12-05-2015, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncarty97 View Post
Well, it seems that the trigger for my problem is WHS2011 doing a backup. I don't think WHS2011 backing up IS the problem itself, but triggering it. Pretty much any time my PlexVM runs the backup service during the night, I wake up to a non-responsive server.

Part of me thinks, F it, just back up the VMs and upgrade to the lastest ESXi and see if that resolves the issue. I already have a backup of the ESXi host anyway (since its just a flash drive), so going back should be easy enough.

If I just had a couple days I could do this undisturbed....
Any chance you're running into disk contention issues during the backup?

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Old 12-05-2015, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post
Not sure if it matters, but ESXi 6.0 kills the Realtek NIC driver. Luckily I had three other Intel NICs in my server and worked around the Realtek not working. There is a way to get them installed, but I haven't bothered.

FYI, last night I just updated from 6.0 to 6.0 Update 1 with no issues.
I've disabled the realtek NIC in the bios at this point, so should not be an issue. Thanks!

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Any chance you're running into disk contention issues during the backup?
I don't think so. If I understand what you're asking, its that more than one VM is trying to access the same disk at the same time? I don't have any of the virtual disks accessed directly by more than one machine, just regular windows sharing.

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Old 12-05-2015, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ncarty97 View Post
I've disabled the realtek NIC in the bios at this point, so should not be an issue. Thanks!



I don't think so. If I understand what you're asking, its that more than one VM is trying to access the same disk at the same time? I don't have any of the virtual disks accessed directly by more than one machine, just regular windows sharing.
It would happen on the physical storage not the virtual disks. I don't know what your storage backend is for your ESX setup, but backups can typically be fairly disk intensive.

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Old 12-08-2015, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robnix View Post
It would happen on the physical storage not the virtual disks. I don't know what your storage backend is for your ESX setup, but backups can typically be fairly disk intensive.
Thanks. I'll have to check. I can't remember if any of the virtual disks are on the same physcial disk.

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Old 12-08-2015, 12:17 PM
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Since you guys are talking about NICs, I put one of these in my server to give me a total of 6 Intel based NICs. This works FANTASTIC in my server. No issues at all. If you need more NICs, this is a great way to get four at once without using more than one slot. I'm running ESXi 5.5.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...rch_detailpage

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Old 12-08-2015, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by bryansj View Post
Not sure if it matters, but ESXi 6.0 kills the Realtek NIC driver. Luckily I had three other Intel NICs in my server and worked around the Realtek not working. There is a way to get them installed, but I haven't bothered.

FYI, last night I just updated from 6.0 to 6.0 Update 1 with no issues.
Let me ask you, I've never done an upgrade before. Very shortly, how is an upgrade done? Do you just create a new boot with the new version and load the virtual machines, or is there an upgrade process?
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:44 PM
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Let me ask you, I've never done an upgrade before. Very shortly, how is an upgrade done? Do you just create a new boot with the new version and load the virtual machines, or is there an upgrade process?
I always just google it since I forget between the last time I did it.

http://www.vladan.fr/patch-esxi-5-5-to-esxi-6-0/

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Old 12-08-2015, 12:46 PM
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That's perfect, thank you. During the day I can routinely be supporting 3-5 of my employees (InfoSec field) at once through IM or phone calls, so sometimes I forget the simple things such as Google to find out how to upgrade.
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post
That's perfect, thank you. During the day I can routinely be supporting 3-5 of my employees (InfoSec field) at once through IM or phone calls, so sometimes I forget the simple things such as Google to find out how to upgrade.
I think going from 5.x to 6 requires a more direct process where you'll be touching your server. Going up from point releases you can do via SSH and automated downloading and installation. From 6.0 to 6.0.1 update 1 or whatever it was only needed two SSH command line entries and a reboot.

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Old 12-08-2015, 01:01 PM
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Oh well, I'll have to drag a monitor and keyboard in there. My Intel S1200V3RPL has remote management, but I never set it up.

I'm booting off a USB thumb drive, is it possible to image that drive just in case something goes wrong?

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Old 12-08-2015, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post
Oh well, I'll have to drag a monitor and keyboard in there. My Intel S1200V3RPL has remote management, but I never set it up.

I'm booting off a USB thumb drive, is it possible to image that drive just in case something goes wrong?
Yes it is and that's what I did. Google how to copy ESXi image or something.

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Old 12-08-2015, 01:48 PM
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Thanks, I did not think to use a clone tool (it's been one of those days!!!!) I did notice I could not read the thumb drive from Windows, but this should work. I'm going to try Clonezilla. It'll give me the chance to move the server image to a USB drive that is on the HCL too. Thanks again, I know I'm asking some newbie questions here, but my brain is fried and I don't want to make any mistakes.
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Old 12-08-2015, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post
Thanks, I did not think to use a clone tool (it's been one of those days!!!!) I did notice I could not read the thumb drive from Windows, but this should work. I'm going to try Clonezilla. It'll give me the chance to move the server image to a USB drive that is on the HCL too. Thanks again, I know I'm asking some newbie questions here, but my brain is fried and I don't want to make any mistakes.
I remember a guide linked to a specific tool. Clonezilla might work, but I don't know. I had my server on a USB drive that was failing and moved it to a new one. That would be the same as backing it up.

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Old 12-08-2015, 01:52 PM
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Three guides I looked at mentioned Clonezilla. Seems easy enough.
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Old 12-08-2015, 02:01 PM
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I used Clonezilla to copy the installation onto a new USB drive. No issues.
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:12 PM
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Thanks. I'll have to check. I can't remember if any of the virtual disks are on the same physcial disk.
Well, I got to thinking about it, and I'm running FlexRAID, which updates around 1AM and the WHS backups kick off at 2:30AM. I know I've had the FlexRAID update fail because a backup is in progress, so I'm wondering if that's what's going on here too. So, I changed my FlexRAID update to 5:30AM.

More importantly though, Christmas came early! Wife and kids are going to the in-laws for an extended weekend! Looks like I'll actually get some time to work on this!

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Old 12-09-2015, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ncarty97 View Post
Well, I got to thinking about it, and I'm running FlexRAID, which updates around 1AM and the WHS backups kick off at 2:30AM. I know I've had the FlexRAID update fail because a backup is in progress, so I'm wondering if that's what's going on here too. So, I changed my FlexRAID update to 5:30AM.

More importantly though, Christmas came early! Wife and kids are going to the in-laws for an extended weekend! Looks like I'll actually get some time to work on this!
Flexraid by it's natures is not good at I/O intensive tasks. I think you're headed in the right direction here.

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Old 12-09-2015, 08:04 PM
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Well I nearly ditched it before. I tried SnapRAID, but I couldn't get it to work to a level I was comfortable with.

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Old 12-10-2015, 08:00 AM
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Well I nearly ditched it before. I tried SnapRAID, but I couldn't get it to work to a level I was comfortable with.
The I/O deficiencies were one of the reasons I finally ditched it.

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Old 12-12-2015, 08:27 AM
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I know people like to build machines, I do too. but can I suggest that you might want to check Amazon for a second hand server. I recently go a dell R710 with 2 intel X5650 and 64GB of ram for 800$, plus the machine is totally compatible with ESXI, you can get a free custom iso from dell. There are some models with similar specs to what you are looking at for around the same money you are going to spend.
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Old 12-12-2015, 10:05 AM
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Well small update. Moving the flex raid update time seems to have helped stability quite a bit. No more over night lock ups despite 4 pcs backing up to WHS.

However, I did have one lockup a couple of days ago in the evening. I was using one VM to convert some video files (on the WHS VM) to a DVD iso I could burn for the kids on their car ride this weekend. Using dvd styler. I know that's a fairly intensive disk use program. It locked up about 25% of the way through.

After rebooting, I did the exact same function on my desktop, again using video in the WHS VM, and had no issues.

So that seems to go along with the problem of having disk I/O issues. Could it be flex raid running in the background (even when it's not updating, I only use snapshot raid and use drive pool for pooling), still causing the problem? Or maybe not flex raid at all but a problem with VMs accessing pooled drive? Thanks for the help guys

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Old 12-12-2015, 11:26 AM
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Is the entire host locking up? Is there a PSOD? Maybe try running memtest if you have a chance too
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Old 12-14-2015, 04:59 PM
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No PSOD. If I turn on a monitor, it should a the standard screen when the host is running normally, I just can't connect at all via the network. I can't tell if the internal network is still running. I haven't had an issue since I moved the flex raid update time. We'll see

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Old 12-18-2015, 06:28 AM
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Well, I am tentatively concluding that FlexRAID is the issue. I stopped the service a few days ago and left all 6 of my machines on every night so they would all back up. No problems. Now, I have had this during the day/evening before, so either a machine was backing up at the time after a missed back up, or some other disk intensive operation was going on. I guess even without drive pooling or real time RAID, flexRAID still running in the background can cause problems. Going to try one other thing I did that crashed it a few weeks ago (using DVDStyler on one of my VMs with video files on the WHS VM) and see if it still causes the issue. If not, I guess that will conclude it and I better figure out snapRAID real quick!

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Old 12-18-2015, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncarty97 View Post
Well, I am tentatively concluding that FlexRAID is the issue. I stopped the service a few days ago and left all 6 of my machines on every night so they would all back up. No problems. Now, I have had this during the day/evening before, so either a machine was backing up at the time after a missed back up, or some other disk intensive operation was going on. I guess even without drive pooling or real time RAID, flexRAID still running in the background can cause problems. Going to try one other thing I did that crashed it a few weeks ago (using DVDStyler on one of my VMs with video files on the WHS VM) and see if it still causes the issue. If not, I guess that will conclude it and I better figure out snapRAID real quick!
Good to hear.

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Old 12-18-2015, 01:15 PM
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I forget I'm running SnapRAID since I don't get all those "failed to update/validate/verify" messages. I'll think about it once a month or so and run a status with Elucidate and it shows everything is just fine.

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Old 12-19-2015, 07:09 PM
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Well, not so fast my friends!

Was adding some torrents last night and it did the lock up thing. The drive the torrents are on is not part of the pooled drive or part of the flexraid array. They aren't even on the same controller (the pooled drives are on a LSI logic board that is PCI passed through, the torrent drive is a virtual drive on disk plugged into the motherboard). Still points to I/O issues I think, but I can't solely blame it on FlexRAID.

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