Johnny Zhang
You can do a quick check on your ESX server right after it powered on. This log is a little different from what we know about (/var/log/messages). It also called messages log and it located at /var/log/initrdlogs/messages

tail -n 30 messages (check the last 30 line of the messages log)
We can see all VMkernel modules were loaded, and the system was "(forcing normal run)" Then we enter the service console booting process.
Johnny Zhang
You can find out the members of the HA cluster from vmware-sites file. This file is located at /etc/opt/vmware/aam/ directory
[root@bs-bcs-h132 aam]# cat vmware-sites
+ 1:8042,8042,8043 bs-bcs-h132 vmware #FT_Agent_Port=8045
+ 2:8042,8042,8043 bs-bcs-h133 vmware

This file will list all members of the HA cluster and the port used. One thing it's helpful here is the P "+" sign. This means the hosts is currently in the HA cluster. If you see a "-" sign then the host is not connected to the HA cluster (either powered of or agent is not running)

NicInfo is a file in the same directory, this file will list all available NICs that HA cluster can see and use
[root@bs-bcs-h132 aam]# cat NicInfo
interface { ipaddress: subnetmask: }
Johnny Zhang
Normally when you hit a VMotion issue, or a 64 bit VM can not be power on from your 64 bit ESX server. You might asked to reboot the host and check the BIOS if HV (Hardware Virtualization) is enabled. You can check this without reboot your server
esxcfg-info | grep -i "hv support'

It will return a number between 0 to 3
  • 0 is Not present

  • 1 is Not supported

  • 2 is disabled

  • 3 is enabled

So in my case my server supports HV but is disabled under the BIOS.
Johnny Zhang
Sometimes we will get a hardware device just won't work on ESX server. There are many different reasons for that. We'd like to first find out if the device is supported and the right device driver is loaded. You can check the HCL online, but what about you are in front of the ESX server and it does not have Internet connection?
You can check the device against file. this file is located at /etc/vmware directory on your ESX server.
Let's use a NIC on my server as an example
esxcfg-nics -l
We can see the device is Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme II 5706 Gigabit Ethernet and the driver is bnx2.
Now we will chaeck this against file
grep -i "bnx2"
We can see the line "device,0x14e4,0x164a,nic,NetXtreme II 5706 Gigabit Ethernet,bnx2.o" We know the device is supported, and the loaded driver is also correct. Now we need look elsewhere for the problem.
Johnny Zhang
I think we all experienced searching around and trying to understand why can't we power on a VM within the HA cluster, and how many those so called slots each of my host has? The HA calculation is a chapter for it's own. The good news is in vCenter 4.0 you now don't need to calculate everything by yourself. The "Advanced Runtime Info" for HA will give you that information.
Just click on the cluster --> Summary --> on the HA section click on "Advanced Runtime Info"