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Snapshot commit task while vSAN 5.5 owner abdication is in progress results in virtual machine crash (2149817)

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Symptoms

When running a vSAN virtual machine in vSphere 5.5 (vSAN 5.5, VMware Virtual SAN 1.0), you experience one or more of these symptoms:
  • Virtual machine crash
  • Failed snapshot consolidation
  • A timeout in vCenter Server regarding failed operation after snapshot consolidation is initiated.

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to note specific behavior in vSAN 5.5 deployments, where a virtual machine occasionally returns a general error, or crashes, when a snapshot consolidation is in progress on a virtual machine running on vSAN 5.5 Storage.

Cause

During normal operation, virtual machines that attempt a snapshot consolidation may be impacted by a timing issue where underlying vSAN components are undergoing a change of node-ownership within the cluster. When these events happen simultaneously, various behaviors may occur:

  • An error stating Generic Configuration Fault Error occurs when a backup is taken. This is not impactful to a running virtual machine, however the snapshot consolidation will fail and a full backup of the virtual machine data may be required on the next incremental backup.
  • An error stating the virtual machine cannot continue to run due to a problem with quiescing the guest operation system, and the virtual machine must be powered off.

    To confirm this issue you can check the vCenter Server and ESXi host logs for  messages similar to the below in the following log files: 

    • In the vCenter Server vpxd.log log file:
       
      ERROR task-1814670 -- vm-201676 -- vim.VirtualMachine.createSnapshot: vim.fault.GenericVmConfigFault:
      --> Result:
      --> (vim.fault.GenericVmConfigFault) {
      -->    dynamicType = <unset>,
      -->    faultCause = (vmodl.MethodFault) null,
      -->    faultMessage = (vmodl.LocalizableMessage) [
      -->       (vmodl.LocalizableMessage) {
      -->          dynamicType = <unset>,
      -->          key = "msg.checkpoint.save.fail2.std3",
      -->          arg = (vmodl.KeyAnyValue) [
      -->             (vmodl.KeyAnyValue) {
      -->                dynamicType = <unset>,
      -->                key = "1",
      -->                value = "msg.snapshot.error-QUIESCINGERROR",
      -->             }
      -->          ],
      -->          message = "An error occurred while saving the snapshot: Failed to quiesce the virtual machine.",
      -->       },
      -->       (vmodl.LocalizableMessage) {
      -->          dynamicType = <unset>,
      -->          key = "msg.snapshot.vigor.take.error",
      -->          arg = (vmodl.KeyAnyValue) [
      -->             (vmodl.KeyAnyValue) {
      -->                dynamicType = <unset>,
      -->                key = "1",
      -->                value = "msg.snapshot.error-QUIESCINGERROR",
      -->             }
      -->          ],
      -->          message = "An error occurred while taking a snapshot: Failed to quiesce the virtual machine.",
      -->       }
      -->    ],
      -->    reason = "An error occurred while saving the snapshot: Failed to quiesce the virtual machine.",
      -->    msg = "An error occurred while saving the snapshot: Failed to quiesce the virtual machine.",
      --> }
      --> Args:
      -->

      For the location of the vCenter Server vpxd.log log files, see Location of vCenter Server log files (1021804).

    • In the ESXi host /var/log/hostd.log log files, you see entries similar to:

      Delete snapshot 182 translated error to vim.fault.GenericVmConfigFault
      Failed to remove snapshot(s): vim.fault.GenericVmConfigFault
      Exception The system cannot find the file specified trying to get sizes from <path to vmdk object>
       [FFB2D920 info 'DiskLib'] DISKLIB-VMFS : <path to vSAN datastore> failed to open (The system cannot find the file specified): . Type 3


                                                                                                      Resolution

                                                                                                      To resolve this issue, upgrade your vSAN environment to vSAN 6.x/vSphere 6.x.

                                                                                                      This behavior is inherent to the underlying filesystem structure of vSAN 5.5, no resolution for vSAN 5.5 exists and no workaround is available.  

                                                                                                      The issue is resolved in vSAN 6.0 and later, as the underlying filesystem structure is improved, and the timing condition is not applicable.

                                                                                                      See Also

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