Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Due to a physical move I am going to have to shut down all of my vSphere hosts running 4.0 u1 My concern is that I run vCenter as a VM. My plan is to shut down all VM's via VC prior to shuting down the hosts. then shutdown VC server via the console and then power off the hosts. A couple questions though Should I put the esx hosts in maintenance mode prior to shutting down VC? since I use DRS and shared storage I am aware the VC host can and does move but will I be able to power on the hosts and browse them via the vSphere client in order to restart VC first? (there are only 7 hosts so not a huge deal to go loooking. )

Am I missing anything?


share|improve this question

You should be fine.

To power everything off.

  1. Shut down all VM's (apart from the vCenter Server and its SQL server if it's a separate VM).
  2. Then put all all the hosts apart from the one running vCenter\SQL into maintenance mode and shut them down.
  3. Shut down the VC box and the SQL box (if needed) from an RDP session or using a VI Client session connected to the remaining host.
  4. Now shut down the last host. Remember which one this was as you want to restart this one first since the VC server is registered to this host and restarting it is straightforward.

To start up again.

  1. Power up the last host you shut down and connect to it with the VI Client.
  2. Start up SQL (again only if it's a separate VM) and then start up the vCenter VM.
  3. Disconnect the VI Client from the single host and connect to vCenter.
  4. Now start up your hosts and take them out of maintenance mode.
  5. You can begin starting VM's as soon as you have a couple of Hosts running and out of Maintenance mode, just make sure you don't try to start so many that you overload the available host resources before the cluster is back to sufficient strength.
share|improve this answer

I think what you want to do will work, though I would modify this a little bit:

  • Shut down all VMs with the exception of vCenter VM.
  • Turn on maintenance mode on all hosts with the exception of the one running vCenter VM and shut them down.
  • Use vSphere Client to connect directly to the last remaining host.
  • Shut down vCenter VM.
  • Turn on maintenance mode on the host and shut it down.

Power up in reverse order: first, start the host with vCenter VM, connect to it, bring up vCenter, then start everything else.

share|improve this answer
  1. Shutdown all VMs bar VC
  2. Maint-mode all hosts bar the one running your VC VM, note this host.
  3. Ensure VC VM is set to start automatically
  4. Shutdown VC VM
  5. Shutdown last host
  6. Move
  7. Start last, noted, host
  8. Keep fingers crossed VC reappears
  9. Exit all hosts from maint-mode
  10. Start remaining VMs.
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.