Properly Shutting Down Stubborn VMs

Sometimes a VM refuses to shutdown, no matter how polite the vSphere Admin is. Don’t panic and kill the VM’s pid; instead, follow VMware’s best practices.

Every now and then, “it” happens. “It” refers to the dreaded VM-that-refuses-to-shut-down situation…even when you ask politely.

Now, I know a lot of you vSphere and VI3 Admins out there also moonlight as UNIX\Linux Admins. So, you may be all too happy to attack with a ps -ef | grep vmx and kill -9 pid combo. Even if this tactic has worked for you in the past, read on to find out why that might not be a good idea.

The VM may be hung for a number of valid reasons including a Datastore that has automagically disappeared. Proceeding to brute force your way to killing the VM may have a number of unintended consequences ranging from the VM continuing to ignore you to complete ESX\ESXi Server instability.

So, the next time you encounter a VM that refuses to shut down, first investigate what might be the actual cause of the problem. Then, if your only recourse is to continue with forcing a shutdown, consider following VMware’s recommendations in their KBs for ESXi and ESX Servers

Thanks for stopping by and Happy VM’ing
…and please kill -9 responsibly…..

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