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Cannot create a quiesced snapshot because the snapshot operation exceeded the time limit for holding off I/O in the frozen virtual machine (1018194)

Symptoms

  • Creating a quiesced snapshot fails.
  • While taking a snapshot, you see the error:

    Cannot create a quiesced snapshot because the snapshot operation exceeded the time limit for holding off I/O in the frozen virtual machine

  • You may also experience this issue when you are doing a hot clone of a virtual machine. You see the error:

    An error occurred while quiescing the virtual machine. See the virtual machine's event log for details 'VssSyncStart' operation failed: IDispatch error #8449 (0x80042301)

  • The vpxa.log file contains entries similar to:

    Note: In VMware Infrastructure 3.x and vSphere 4.x, the log is located at /var/log/vmware/vpx/vpxa. In vSphere 5.0, the log is located at /var/log.

    2010-10-10T22:53:31.077Z [45EEEB90 info 'Default' opID=D1D8F924-00002337-83] [VpxLRO] -- ERROR task-768 -- -- vpxapi.VpxaService.createSnapshot: vim.fault.ApplicationQuiesceFault:
    --> Result:
    (vim.fault.ApplicationQuiesceFault) {
       dynamicType = <unset>,
       faultCause = (vmodl.MethodFault) null,
       faultMessage = (vmodl.LocalizableMessage) [
          (vmodl.LocalizableMessage) {
             dynamicType = <unset>,
             key = "msg.snapshot.quiesce.vmerr",
             arg = (vmodl.KeyAnyValue) [
                (vmodl.KeyAnyValue) {
                   dynamicType = <unset>,
                   key = "1",
                   value = "5",
                },
                (vmodl.KeyAnyValue) {
                   dynamicType = <unset>,
                   key = "2",
                   value = "'VssSyncStart' operation failed: IDispatch error #8449 (0x80042301)",
                }
             ],
             message = "The Guest OS has reported an error during quiescing.
    --> The error code was: 5
    --> The error message was: 'VssSyncStart' operation failed: IDispatch error #8449 (0x80042301)
    --> ",
          }
       ],
       msg = "An error occurred while quiescing the virtual machine. See the virtual machine's event log for details."
    }
    --> Args:
    --> Arg vmid:6
    --> Arg name:"clone-temp-1286776661914351"
    --> Arg description:
    "This temporary snapshot is taken as part of the clone operation. The temporary snapshot will be deleted once the clone operation is complete."
    --> Arg memory:false
    --> Arg quiesce:true

  • The vmware.log of the virtual machine contains entries similar to:

    2010-10-10T23:02:12.050Z| vcpu-3| [msg.snapshot.quiesce.vmerr] The Guest OS has reported an error during quiescing.
    2010-10-10T23:02:12.050Z| vcpu-3| --> The error code was: 5
    2010-10-10T23:02:12.050Z| vcpu-3| --> The error message was: 'VssSyncStart' operation failed: IDispatch error #8449 (0x80042301)

Cause

This issue occurs because the I/O in the virtual machine is high and the quiescing operation is unable to flush all the data to disk, while further I/O is created.

This issue may also occur if you try creating a quiesced snapshot on a virtual machine which does not have free space. That is, if the free space on the virtual machine is 0 bytes.

Resolution

Note: It has been reported that this issue can occur after installing a third-party backup agent inside the virtual machine without rebooting it. If this is the case, try a reboot of the virtual machine to determine if that resolves the issue before engaging in more advanced troubleshooting.

To resolve this issue, perform one of these options:

If you do not want to quiesce the virtual machine during snapshot creation, there are several options. Choose one of these options, based on your environment:
  • If you are using VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) or a backup product that relies upon the VCB framework, see Quiescing Mechanisms in the Virtual Machine Backup Guide.

    Note: vSphere 5.x does not support VCB.

  • If you are taking the snapshot manually in ESXi 5.x or ESXi/ESX 4.x, deselect the Quiesce guest file system option in the vSphere Client when you are taking the snapshot. In ESXi/ESX 3.5, it is not possible to take quiescent snapshots from the VMware Infrastructure Client.

  • You can consider stopping the application before the backup and restarting it again using the pre-freeze and post-thaw scripts which are a feature of VMware Tools. For more/related information, see the Running Custom Quiescing Scripts section of the Virtual Machine Backup Guide.

  • If the snapshots are taken via the ESXi host using the vim-cmd command, set the option of quiescing to 0.

    To get a list of virtual machines and their VMID, run the command:

    # vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms

    To set the quiescing to 0, run the command:

    # vim-cmd vmsvc/snapshot.create vmid [snapshotName] [snapshotDescription] [includeMemory] [quiesced]

    For example, if a virtual machine named testVM has a VMID of 23, the command is:

    # vim-cmd vmsvc/snapshot.create 23 "SnapName" "Snap Description" 0 0

  • If the snapshots are taken via the ESX host terminal using the vmware-cmd command, set the option of quiescing to 0.

    To set quiescing to 0, run the command:

    # vmware-cmd cfg createsnapshot name description quiesce memory

    For example:

    # vmware-cmd /vmfs/volumes/4adecc3a-62b367e8-5b15-001a4be960e0/VMname/VMname.vmx createsnapshot "Snap Name" "Snap Description" 0 0

  • If you are using a third-party backup product that does not allow you to configure for non-quiescent snapshots, remove the VSS component from the Windows guest operating system, provided as part of VMware Tools. This will result in VMware Tools attempting to use an older sync driver. When a quiescent snapshot is requested, VMware Tools does not find and utilize the VSS driver and then attempts to quiesce using the sync driver. To reinstall VMware Tools without the VSS option:

    1. Uninstall VMware Tools.
    2. Allow the system to reboot.
    3. Reinstall VMware Tools. Ensure that you click Custom Install.
    4. Deselect VSS.

    Notes:
    • This requires a reboot of the virtual machine. VMware recommends scheduling downtime before performing this action.
    • With ESXi/ESX 4.1 and later, the option to deselect VSS and use the sync driver on Windows Server 2003 and later versions of Windows is no longer available. Any snapshot taken with the quiesce option will use VSS to quiesce the guest OS file system by default unless the Volume Shadow Copy service is disabled in the guest OS.
    • After the installation, you are able to take a snapshot where the quiescing operation is not performed, even if specifically requested.

Notes:
  • Older versions of Windows and guests deployed prior to VMware ESX 3.5 Update 2 utilize the Sync Driver instead of VSS for quiescent snapshot requests.

  • Microsoft does not support snapshots of Exchange servers. For more information on support for snapshots, see these Microsoft TechNet documents:
  • When using the Symantec NetBackup tool with virtual machines running Microsoft Exchange, consider using the Symantec VSS provider. For more information, see The Symantec VSS provider for VMware section of the NetBackup for VMware 7.1 Administrator's Guide. If VMware Tools was installed before the Symantec VSS, follow the NetBackup Admin Guide for information on uninstalling and reinstalling VMware Tools without the VMWare VSS. If you need to remove the Symantec VSS, contact Symantec for assistance with uninstalling/reinstalling the Symantec VSS service.

  • The issue can occur if any of the VSS writers are failing. Verify the list of writers before running the backup job and after the job is finished, which will verify if any VSS writer is failing. As the VSS writers are provided by third-party vendors, engage the vendor for any issues with them or to troubleshoot any failures of those writers.

Additional Information

Tags

cannot-create-quiesced-snapshots

See Also

Update History

09/27/2011 - Added additional cause 11/17/2011 - Added information on using Symantec VSS provider and added link to the NetBackup for VMware 7.1 Administrator's Guide. 10/15/2012 - Added links to translations. 11/16/2012 - Added note regarding Microsoft support policy for snapshots 03/15/2013 - Added ESXi 5.x, vCenter Server 5.x, and vCenter Server Appliance 5.x to Products

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