ESX host in a VMware High Availability cluster fails to enter maintenance mode and stops at 2%
ESX host in a VMware High Availability cluster fails to
enter maintenance mode and stops at 2%
• An ESX host fails to enter maintenance mode in a VMware High Availability (HA) or DRS cluster
• Hosts fail to migrate when attempting to enter maintenance mode
• The progress indicator remains at 2% indefinitely
• Trying to remediate a host and getting a time out error when trying to enter the maintenance
This article provides an explanation for the behavior and includes a workaround.
Note: The workaround provided may take a significant amount of time to complete.
This is normal behavior for a VMware HA/DRS cluster that is using strict admission control.
Disabling strict admission control (allowing virtual machines to power on even if they violate constraints)
should allow a host to enter maintenance mode in this situation. A bug was discovered that would not
allow a host to enter maintenance mode even if stict admission control was disabled.
This was resolved in VirtualCenter 2.5 Update 3 and disabling strict admission control should now allow
hosts to enter maintenance mode correctly.
To workaround the issue, temporarily disable VMware HA in the cluster settings. You will then be able to
put the ESX Server host into Maintence mode and do the work required. You can then re-enable HA on
For detailed steps, see VMware High Availability: Concepts, Implementation, and Best Practices.
Note: DRS needs to be enabled on your cluster in Fully Automated mode if you want VirtualCenter to
migrate your running virtual machines automatically to other hosts when placing your host in Maintenance
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