Fixing Hiccups in The SCVMM2008R2 GUI & Database

As you might very well know by experience sometimes the System Center Virtual Machine Manager GUI and database get out of sync with reality about what’s going on for real on the cluster. I’ve blogged about this before in SCVMM 2008 R2 Phantom VM guests after Blue Screen and in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 Error 12711 & The cluster group could not be found (0×1395)

The Issue

Recently I had to trouble shoot the “Missing” status of some virtual machines on a Hyper-V cluster in SCVMM2008R2. Rebooting the hosts, guests, restarting agents, … none of the usual tricks for this behavior seemed to do the trick. The SCVMM2008R2 installation was also fully up to date with service packs & patches so there the issue dot originate.

Repair was greyed out and was no use. We could have removed the host from SCVMM en add it again. That resets the database entries for that host en can help fix the issues but still is not guaranteed to work and you don’t learn what the root cause or solution is. But none of our usual tricks worked.We could have deleted the VMs from the database as in  but we didn’t have duplicates. Sure, this doesn’t delete any files or VM so it should show up again afterwards but why risk it not showing up again and having to go through fixing that.

The Cause

The VMs were in a “Missing” state after an attempted live migration during a manual patching cycle where the host was restarted the before the “start maintenance mode” had completed. A couple of those VMs where also Live Migrated at the same time with the Failover Cluster GUI. A bit of confusion al around so to speak nut luckily all VMs are fully operational an servicing applications & users so no crisis there.

The Fix


I’m not telling you to use this method to fix this issue but you can at your own risk. As always please make sure you have good and verified backups of anything that’s of value to you Smile

We hade to investigate. The good news was that all VMs are up an running, there is no downtime at the moment and the cluster seems perfectly happy Smile.

But there we see the first clue. The Virtual machines on the cluster are not running on the node SCVMM thinks they are running, hence the “Missing” status.

First of all let’s find out what host the VM is really running on in the cluster and see what SCVMM thinks on what host the VM  is running. We run this little query against the VMM database. That gives us all hosts known to SCVMM.

SELECT [HostID],[ComputerName] FROM [VMM].[dbo].[tbl_ADHC_Host]

HostID                                                                        ComputerName

559D0C84-59C3-4A0A-8446-3A6C43ABF618          node1.test.lab

540C2477-00C3-4388-9F1B-31DBADAD1D8C        node2.test.lab

40B109A2-9E6B-47BC-8FB5-748688BFC0DF         node3.test.lab

C2DA03CE-011D-45E3-A389-200A3E3ED62E        node4.test.lab

6FA4ABBA-6599-4C7A-B632-80449DB3C54C         node5.test.lab

C0CF479F-F742-4851-B340-ED33C25E2013          node6.test.lab

D2639875-603F-4F49-B498-F7183444120A             node7.test.lab

CE119AAC-CF7E-4207-BE0B-03AAE0371165         node8.test.lab

AB07E1C2-B123-4AF5-922B-82F77C5885A2           node9.test.lab

(9 row(s) affected)

Voila en now the fun starts. SCVMM GUI tells us “MissingVM” is missing on node4.

We check this in the database to confirm:

SELECT Name, ObjectState, HostId
FROM VMM.dbo.tbl_WLC_VObject
WHERE Name = 'MissingVM'

Which is indeed node4

Name                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ObjectState HostId

———  —  ————————————

node4  220  C2DA03CE-011D-45E3-A389-200A3E3ED62E

(1 row(s) affected)

In SCVMM we see that the moving of the VM failed. Between node 4 and node 6.


Now let’s take a look at what the cluster thinks … yes there it is running happily on node 6 and not on node 4. There’s the mismatch causing the issue.

So we need to fix this. We can Live Migrate the VM with the Failover Cluster GUI to the node SCVMM thinks the VM still resides on and see if that fixes it. If it does, great! You have to give SCVMM some time to detect all things and update its records.

But what to do if it doesn’t work out?  We can get the HostId from the node where the VM is really running in the cluster, which we can see in the Failover Cluster GUI, from the query we ran above and than update the record:

UPDATE VMM.dbo.tbl_WLC_VObject
SET HostId  = 'C0CF479F-F742-4851-B340-ED33C25E2013'
WHERE Name = 'MissingVM'

We then reset the ObjectState to 0 to get rid of the Missing status. It would do this automatically but it takes a while.

UPDATE VMM.dbo.tbl_WLC_VObject
SET ObjectState = '0'
WHERE Name = 'MissingVM'

After some patience & Refreshing all is well again and test with live migrations proves that all works again.

As I said before people get creative in how to achieve things due to inconsistencies, differences in functionality between Hyper-V Manager, Failover Cluster Manager and SCVMM 2008R2 can lead to some confusing situations. I’m happy to see that in Windows 8 the action you should perform using the Failover Cluster GUI or PowerShell are blocked in Hyper-V Manager. But SCVMM really needs a “reset” button that makes it check & validate that what it thinks is reality.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 Error 12711 & The cluster group could not be found (0×1395)

The Issues

I recently had to go and fix some issues with a couple of virtual machines in SCVMM 2008 R2. There was one that failed to live migrate with following error:

Error (12711)
VMM cannot complete the WMI operation on server HopelessVm.test.lab because of
error: [MSCluster_ResourceGroup.Name=" df43bf60-7216-47ed-9560-7561d24c7dc8"] The cluster group could not be found.

(The cluster group could not be found (0×1395))
Recommended Action
Resolve the issue and then try the operation again

Other than that it looked fine and could be managed with SCVMM 2008 R2. Another one was totally wrecked it seemed. It was in a failed state after an attempted live migration. You couldn’t do anything with it anymore. Repair was “available” but every option there failed so basically that was the end of the game with that VM. Both issues can be resolved with the approach I’ll describe below.

The Cause

After some investigation the cause of this was the fact that this virtual machine had been removed from the failover cluster as a resource was exported & imported using Hyper-V manager on one of the cluster nodes. It was then added back to the failover cluster again to make them high available. All this was done without removing it from SCVMM 2008 R2. By the way, as mentioned above in “The Issues” this can get even worse than just failing live migrations. The same scenario can lead to virtual machines going into a failed state that you can’t repair (retry or undo fail) or ignore and basically you’re stuck at that point. You can’t even stop, start, shutdown the virtual machine anymore, not one single operation works in SCVMM while in the failover cluster GUI and in hyper-v manager everything is fully operational. This is important to note, as the services are fully on line and functional. It’s just in SCVMM that you’re in trouble.

Why did they do it this way? They did it to move the VM to a new CSV. The fact that you delete the VM files when deleting a VM with SCVmm2008R2 made them use Hyper-V manager instead. Now this approach (whatever you think of it) can work but then you need to delete the VM in SCVMM2008R2 after exporting the virtual machine AND before proceeding with the import and making the virtual machine highly available.

People get creative in how to achieve things due to inconsistencies, differences in functionality between Hyper-V Manger and SCVMM 2008R2 (in the latter especially the lack of complete control over naming, files & folders, export/migration behavior) as well as the needs of the failover cluster can lead to some confusing scenarios.

The Supported Fix

Now the easy way to fix this is to export the virtual machine again and delete it in SCVMM 2008 R2. That will remove the virtual machine object from SCVMM, the failover cluster en Virtual Machine Manager. However this virtual machine was so large (50Gb + 750 GB data disk) that there was no room for an export to be made. Secondly an export of such a large VM takes a considerable time and it has to be off line for this operation. This is annoying as SCVMM might be uncooperative at this point, the virtual machine is online en performing it’s duties for the business. So this presented us with a bit of a problem. Stopping the virtual machine, Exporting it using Hyper-V Manager will cause it to go missing in SCVMM 2012 and then you can delete it, importing the virtual machine again and adding it to the failover cluster causes down time.

The Root Cause

Why does this happen? Well when you import a virtual machine into a failover cluster is creates a new unique ID for the virtual machine Resource Group . This happens always. Choosing to reuse an existing ID during import in Hyper-V Manager has nothing to do with this. But VMM uses ID/names to identify a VM, independent of the cluster. So when you did not remove the VM from SCVMM before adding the VM back to the cluster you get a different cluster group ID in the cluster than you have in SCVMM. They both have the same name but there is a disconnect leading to the issues described above.

By the way exporting & importing a VM without first removing the virtual machine from the failover cluster leads to some issues in the Failover cluster so don’t do that either Smile

The “No Down Time” Fix

This is not the first time we need to dive in to the SCVMM database to fix issues. One of my main beef about SCVMM other than inconsistency with the other tools and its lack of control & options in some scenarios is the fact that it doesn’t have enough self-maintenance intelligence & functionality. This leads to the workaround above which are slow and rather annoying or consist of messing around in the SCVMM database, which isn’t exactly supported. Mind you Microsoft has published some T-SQL to clean up such issues themselves. See You cannot delete a missing VM in SCVMM 2008 or in SCVMM 2008 R2 and RemoveMissingVMs. See also my blog SCVMM 2008 R2 Phantom VM guests after Blue Screen post on this subject.

The usual tricks of the trade like refreshing the virtual machine configuration in the failover cluster GUI don’t work here. Neither does the solution to this error described Migrating a System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 VM from one cluster to another fails with error 12711. The error is the same but not the cause.

# Add the VMM cmdlets
Add-PSSnapin microsoft.systemcenter.virtualmachinemanager

# Connect to the VMM server
Get-VMMServer –ComputerName MySCVMMServer.test.lab

# Grab the problematic VM and put it into the object $vm
$vm = Get-VM –name “HopelessVM”

#Force a refresh
refresh-vm -force  $vm

In the end we have to fix the mismatch between the VMResourceGroupID in failover cluster and SCVMM by editing the database.

First you navigate to the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINEClusterGroups on one the cluster nodes, do a find for the problematic VM’s name and grab the name of its key, this is the VMResourceGroupID the cluster knows and works with? So now we have the correct VMResourceGroupID: 0f8cabe4-f773-4ae4-b431-ada5a3c9926c


Now you connect to the SCVMM database and run following query to find the VMResourceGroupID that SCVMM thinks that VM has and that it uses causing the issues

SELECT  VMResourceGroupID  FROM tbl_WLC_VMInstance WHERE ComputerName = 'hopelessVM.test.lab'

The results:




(1 row(s) affected)

The trick than is to simply update that value to the one you just got from the registry by running:

UPDATE tbl_WLC_VMInstance SET VMResourceGroupID = '0f8cabe4-f773-4ae4-b431-ada5a3c9926c' WHERE VMResourceGroupID = 'df43bf60-7216-47ed-9560-7561d24c7dc8'

Than you need some patience & refresh the GUI a few times. Things will turn back to normal, but in between you might seem some “missing” statuses appear for your problematic VM. These go away fast however. If not you can always use the Microsoft provided script to remove missing VM’s as mentioned above in RemoveMissingVMs.


What I described above is something you can do to fix these issues fast and effectively when needed. But I’m not telling you this is the way to go, let alone that this is supported. Make sure you have backups of your VMs, Hosts, SCVMM database etc. It only takes one mistake or misinterpretation to royally shoot yourself in your foot Winking smile. It hurts like hell; recovery is long and seldom complete. On top of that it might generate a vacancy in your company whilst you’re escorted out of the building. Be careful out there.

Assigning Large Memory To Virtual Machine Fails: Event ID 3320 & 3050

We had a kind reminder recently that we shouldn’t forget to complete all steps in a Hyper-V cluster node upgrade process. The proof of a plan lies in the execution Smile. We needed to configure a virtual machine with a whooping 50GB of memory for an experiment. No sweat, we have plenty of memory in those new cluster nodes. But when trying to do so it failed with a rather obscure error in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2

Error (12711)

VMM cannot complete the WMI operation on server hypervhost01.lab.test because of error: [MSCluster_Resource.Name="Virtual Machine MYSERVER"] The group or resource is not in the correct state to perform the requested operation.

(The group or resource is not in the correct state to perform the requested operation (0x139F))

Recommended Action

Resolve the issue and then try the operation again.


One option we considered was that SCVMM2008R2 didn’t want to assign that much memory as one of the old host was still a member of the cluster and “only” has 48GB of RAM. But nothing that advanced was going on here. Looking at the logs found the culprit pretty fast: lack of disk space.

We saw following errors in the Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-Worker-Admin event log:

Log Name:      Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-Worker-Admin
Source:        Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-Worker
Date:          17/08/2011 10:30:36
Event ID:      3050
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
User:          NETWORK SERVICE
Computer:      hypervhost01.lab.test
‘MYSERVER’ could not initialize memory: There is not enough space on the disk. (0x80070070). (Virtual machine ID DEDEFFD1-7A32-4654-835D-ACE32EEB60EE)

Log Name:      Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-Worker-Admin
Source:        Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-Worker
Date:          17/08/2011 10:30:36
Event ID:      3320
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
User:          NETWORK SERVICE
Computer:      hypervhost01.lab.test
‘MYSERVER’ failed to create memory contents file ‘C:ClusterStorageVolume1MYSERVERVirtual MachinesDEDEFFD1-7A32-4654-835D-ACE32EEB60EEDEDEFFD1-7A32-4654-835D-ACE32EEB60EE.bin’ of size 50003 MB. (Virtual machine ID DEDEFFD1-7A32-4654-835D-ACE32EEB60EE)

Sure enough a smaller amount of memory, 40GB, less than the remaining disk space on the CSV did work. That made me remember we still needed to expand the LUNS on the SAN to provide for the storage space to store the large BIN files associated with these kinds of large memory configurations. Can you say "luxury problems"? The BIN file contains the memory of a virtual machine or snapshot that is in a saved state. Now you need to know that the BIN file actually requires the same disk space as the amount of physical memory assigned to a virtual machine. That means it can require a lot of room. Under "normal" conditions these don’t get this big and we provide a reasonable buffer of free space on the LUNS anyway for performance reasons, growth etc. But this was a bit more than that buffer could master.

As it was stated in the planning that we needed to expand the LUNS a bit to be able to deal with this kind of memory hogs this meant that the storage to do so was available and the LUN wasn’t maxed out yet. If not, we would have been in a bit of a pickle.

So there you go a real life example of what Aidan Finn warns about when using dynamic memory. Also see KB 2504962 “Dynamic Memory allocation in a Virtual Machine does not change although there is available memory on the host” which discusses the scenario where dynamic memory allocation seems not to work due to lack of disk space. Don’t forget about your disk space requirements for the bin files when using virtual machines with this much memory assigned. They tend to consume considerable chunks of your storage space. And even if you don’t forget about it in your planning, please don’t forget the execute every step of the plan Winking smile

Hyper-V Cluster Nodes Upgrade: Zero Down Time With Intel VT FlexMigration

Well the oldest Hyper-V cluster nodes are 3 + years old. They’ve been running Hyper-V clusters since RTM of Hyper-V for Windows 2008 RTM. Yes you needed to update the “beta” versions to the RTM version of Hyper-V that came later Smile Bit of a messy decision back then but all in all that experience was painless.

These nodes/clusters have been upgraded to W2KR2 Hyper-V clusters very soon after that SKU went RTM but now they have reached the end of their “Tier 1” production life. The need for more capacity (CPU, memory) was felt. Scaling out was not really an option. The cost of fiber channel cards is big enough but fiber channel switch ports need activation licenses and the cost for those border on legalized extortion.

So upgrading to more capable nodes was the standing order. Those nodes became DELL R810 servers. The entire node upgrade process itself is actually quite easy. You just live migrate the virtual machines over to clear a host that you then evict from the cluster. You recuperate the fiber channel HBAs to use in the new node that you than add to the cluster. You just rinse and repeat until you’re done with all nodes. Thank you Microsoft for the easy clustering experience in Windows 2008 (R2)! Those nodes now also have 10Gbps networking kit to work with (Intel X520 DA SPF+).

If you do your home work this process works very well. The cool thing there is not much to do on the SAN/HBA/Fiber Switch configuration side as you recuperate the HBA with their World Wide Names. You just need to updates some names/descriptions to represent the new nodes. The only thing to note is that the cluster validation wizard nags about inconsistencies in node configuration, service packs. That’s because the new nodes are installed with SP1 integrated as opposes to the original ones having been upgraded to SP1 etc.

The beauty is that by sticking to Intel CPUs we could live migrate the virtual machines between nodes having Intel E5430 2.66Ghz CPUs (5400-series "Harpertown") and those having the new X7560 2.27Ghz CPUs (Nehalem EX “Beckton”). There was no need to use the “Allow migration to a virtual machine with a different processor” option.  Intel’s investment (and ours) in VT FlexMigration is paying of as we had a zero down time upgrade process thanks to this.


You can read more about Intel VT FlexMigration here

And in case you’re wondering. Those PE2950 III are getting a second life. Believe it or not there are software vendors that don’t have application live cycle management, Virtualization support or roadmaps to support. So some hardware comes in handy to transplant those servers when needed. Yes it’s 2011 and we’re still dealing with that crap in the cloud era. I do hope the vendors of those application get the message or management cuts the rope and lets them fall.