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Properly shutting down the ProSphere virtual appliance and collectors

From time to time you will need to Power Off the ProSphere vApp, most commonly after applying an update to ProSphere.  Before doing so, there are some settings you should be aware of in the vSphere client.  To view these settings right click the ProSphere virtual appliance and choose Edit Settings.  On the dialog that appears next, choose Start Order.  For the main three ProSphere virtual machines the deployment OVF file modifies the Start Order settings as follows,


First, note the Shutdown Action section.  We change the Operation to Guest Shutdown.   This ensures the OS of the VM is gracefully shutdown.  The default Operation is Power Off, which is not so graceful. Power Off is basically yanking the power cord of the VM, which can cause problems for the virtual machines. The next item of interest is the Group used for startup.  Notice that the 3 main virtual machines are all in start Group 1.  This means those VMs will all be started and stopped at the same time.  This is perfectly acceptable, you don't have to worry about which VM actually starts first, the ProSphere services don't care.

NOTE:  If by chance you don't see the StorageResourceManager, Historical Database, and Discovery Appliance all in your vApp container, you should have a look at EMC knowledgebase article emc288585.

Now let's focus on collectors, to avoid waiting for the other 3 VMs to shutdown or startup, just move any CollectorAppliance up to Group 1. Next, make sure to change the Operation to Guest Shutdown.  Finally, change the Shutdown sequence proceeds when: value to 600 seconds.  This will  give the VM enough time to shutdown gracefully.  When you are done, the dialog should look like this.


With ProSphere 1.6 and earlier, there is also an issue with the default configuration of the ProSphere vApp virtual machine Resource Shares. The way the VMs are configured by default, if you drag a Collector VM into the vApp, that Collector is going to end up with the majority of the resource shares.  This means if there is any contention for CPU or Memory, the Collector will get priority.  To correct this you'll just want to make sure the Shares are set to Normal for CPU and Memory for all VMs in the vApp.  This will cause the shares to be allocated based on the amount of memory or CPU allocated to each virtual machine, so you should see them much better balanced.


Now that you have the Shutdown Action set properly and the CollectorAppliance(s) moved to the same group as the rest of the ProSphere VMs, you can Power Off the vApp. You do this by right clicking on the vApp and choosing Power Off from this menu,


Because we have set the Shutdown Action Operation to Shutdown Guest for all of the VMs, selecting Power Off will gracefully shutdown all of the VMs. DO NOT choose Shut Down from the menu above.  This will yank the power cord from all of the VMs.

Now what if you have a collector that is on a different ESX cluster than the ProSphere vApp?  Because it will not be shutdown at the same time as the rest of the vApp, you will want to manually shut it down.  Again, the order in which you do things does not matter.  Where it gets a bit confusing is how you shutdown the VM.   Right click the VM and choose Power,


In the case of an individual VM, you will want to choose Shut Down Guest, DO NOT choose Power Off when doing this for an individual VM.  Again, that would mean you just yanked the power cord.  This is backwards of the recommended procedure for the ProSphere vApp, so it frequently causes confusion.

A final note, we don't recommend you restart the ProSphere virtual appliance frequently.  If you find there is a need to do so, please contact EMC support so we can look into the issue. 

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