Most of you probably heard about a feature called VMCP aka VM Component Protection. If not, this is the functionality in vSphere HA that enabled you to restart VMs which have been impacted by a PDL (permanent device loss) or APD (all paths down) scenario. (If you have no idea what I am talking about read this article first.)
When you configure the APD response you have four options:
- Issue Event
- Power Off / Restart – Conservative
- Power Off / Restart – Aggressive
The main difference between Conservative and Aggressive is that if you find yourself in a situation where HA isn’t sure whether a VM can be restarted during an APD scenario it will not power off the VM when using Conservative. If you have it configured as Aggressive it will power off the VM. However, if HA is certain that a VM can’t be powered on it will not power off the VM. Basically it prefers availability of the VM.
As you can imagine, in certain scenarios having a VM running while it is impacted by an “APD” situation makes no sense. The VM has lost access to storage, and you simply may prefer to kill the workload. Why? Well, when it loses access to storage it can’t write to disk. You could find yourself in a situation where a change is acknowledged and you think it is written to disk but it somehow is sitting in a memory cache etc.
If you prefer the VM to be killed, regardless of whether it can be restarted or not, you can enable this via a vSphere HA advanced setting. Now before you implement this, do note that if a cluster-wide APD situation occurs, you could find yourself in the scenario where ALL virtual machines are powered off by HA and not restarted as the resources are not available. Anyway, if you feel this is a requirement, you can configure the following vSphere HA advanced setting in vSphere 7:
das.restartVmsWithoutResourceChecks = true