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From Sean Lair <>
Subject RE: System VMs not migrating when host down
Date Thu, 15 Feb 2018 22:39:48 GMT
Thanks for the replies everyone. 

After further investigating, I am seeing how broken VM HA is right now (at least in 4.9.3).

We've started patching the code so it works again, but once we fixed it - we hit the dreaded
VMs running on 2 different hosts... not good!

We are KVM w/ NFS.  It looks like the standard CloudStack documentation doesn't specify to
use the built-in locking mechanism in libvirtd.  Looks like an easy solution, as if we are
locking the VM's disk files, it shouldn't be able to come up on another host...

I've seen some of the talk about IPMI being used for Host HA in 4.11... but we don't have
IPMI setup yet.  The locking mechanisms in libvirtd seem like the best idea to us so far -
but we are just starting to look into it and implement it.

It reminds us of how VMware vSphere does locking, which works great.


-----Original Message-----
From: Andrija Panic [] 
Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 3:22 AM
To: dev <>
Subject: Re: System VMs not migrating when host down

Humble opinion (until HOST HA is ready in 4.11 if not mistaken?), avoid using HA option for
VMs  - avoid setting the  "Offer HA" option on any compute/service offerings, since we did
end  up (was it ACS 4.5 or 4.8, can't remember now) having 2 copies of SAME VM running on
2 different hosts...imagine storage/volume corruption...this happened a few times for us.

HOST HA looks like really a nice thing, I have not tested that yet...but sould completely
solve the problem.

On 14 February 2018 at 10:14, Paul Angus <> wrote:

> Hi Sean,
> The 'problem' with VM HA in KVM is that it relies on the parent host 
> agent to be connected to report that the VM is down.  We cannot assume 
> that just because a host agent is disconnected, that the VMs on that 
> host are not running.
> This is where HOST HA comes in, this feature detects loss of 
> connection to the agent and then tries to determine if the VMs on that 
> host are active and then attempts some corrective action.
> Kind regards,
> Paul Angus
> 53 Chandos Place, Covent Garden, London  WC2N 4HSUK @shapeblue
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sean Lair []
> Sent: 13 February 2018 23:06
> To:
> Subject: System VMs not migrating when host down
> Hi all,
> We are testing VM HA and are having a problem with our system VMs
> (secondary storage and console) not being started up on another host when a
> host fails.
> Shouldn't the system VMs be VM HA-enabled?  Currently they are just in an
> "Alert" agent state, but never migrate.  We are currently running 4.9.3.
> Thanks
> Sean


Andrija Panić
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