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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Why can't I shut down my vSAN cluster?

 I ran into a bit of an odd issue today.

After having a load of trouble with a bad boot media on vSAN cluster, I had actually managed to stabilize it and had been running it for a few months.

Today I wanted to shut it down and do some maintenance, dusting , wireing , expansion, that type of stuff.

I followed my usual process of placing the hosts into Maintenance mode with "No Data Migration"

This follows along with the steps I had done many times before in my homelab, but today was different.

In this case I had joined the hosts to a vCenter hosted on another cluster. Previously I would have had the vCenter on the vSAN cluster. I would have shutdown the vCenter, then powered off the hosts.

I was able to place Host 1 and 2 into maintenance, but Host 3 would NOT go into maintenance. The tasks showed that it was waiting for the VMs to be powered off or migrated.

I had already disabled DRS, I had disabled HA. The VMs were powered off. So I figured I would just remove them from inventory... they weren't important to me.

Yet the issue persisted.

So I clicked on Host 3 and checked the VMs

Lo and behold there were 2 vCLS machines still sitting on the host.

So now I am trying to shutdown the vCLS systems , but they are throwing Access Denied errors.

I little bit of digging into the previous article uncovers this note..

"For vSphere 7.0 U1 and later, enable vCLS retreat mode. For more information, see the VMware knowledge base article at"

In order to cleanly shutdown my vSAN cluster, I would need to enable a vCLS retreat mode.

The expectation is that with the addition of an "Advanced Setting" I will be able to enable or disable the Cluster Services in the future. The article makes it pretty clear that it is not meant to be run "disabled" so they also offer advice for scripting the change to make it easier to build into a "shutdown" or "startup" workflow.

Hope this article helps, I will update with pictures later as I go through the process.


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