Blog & Tutorials

Unable to connect to MKS: Virtual machine config file does not exist

If you have your VMs on an cheap iSCSI storage, chances are you’ve seen this error before in VMware vCenter:

Unable to connect to MKS: Virtual machine config file does not exist

When this happens, you cannot shutdown/stop or start the VM but VM IP address still remains pingable. Even if you to browse the datastore on which the VM resides, you would not be able to see anything in that datastore.

If you are monitoring that VM by ping, I would switch to monitoring the services running on that as pinging an IP which is online but services are offline could lead to issues and a lot of false-positives from your monitoring software.

Anyway, here is how to fix that problem and get the virtual machine up and running again. This does not require that you reboot ESXi host server or vCenter server or even your storage appliance. Connect keyboard and monitor to ESXi server which has the downed VM and login as root and restart the management agents. Here is list of complete steps.

To restart the management agents on ESXi:

  1. Connect to the console of your ESXi Server using Keyboard and a monitor
  2. Press F2 to customize the system.
  3. Login as root.
  4. Using the Up/Down arrows navigate to Restart Management Agents. (If you have upgraded to ESXi 4.1, this option is under the Troubleshooting Options.
  5. Press Enter.
  6. Press F11 to restart the services, it takes a few seconds.
  7. When the service has been restarted, press Enter.
  8. Press Esc to logout of the system.
  9. If starting or stopping the management agent fails try restarting it a second time. If the services still fail, its probably time to call VMware support.
  10. Log back into your vCenter and start the affected VM.

Here is a video of the steps above

I wonder if one can restart Management agents on remote ESXi server using vMA? Send us a tip!

If you have questions or comments, please be sure to post on our Virtualization Forum.

Server Virtualization

First-of-its-Kind Tech Lets Hyper-V Admins Restore Single VM

Rectiphy Corp. has released Rectiphy ActiveImage Protector for Hyper-V 2 .7.5 with patent-pending ReZoom technology. ActiveImage Protector (AIP) was the first solution that allowed users to hot image a Microsoft® Hyper-V™ host along with all guest virtual machines and applications without shutting them down, vastly improving Hyper-V backup management. In another industry first, AIP’s new ReZoom feature can now restore the entire system, just one, or some of the Virtual Machines, to the state they were in at the time of the backup. ActiveImage Protector for Hyper-V is an affordable, high-speed image-based backup solution that is optimized for Microsoft Hyper-V virtual environments.

Besides the first-of-its-kind ability to restore individual virtual machines using ReZoom, AIP also enables users to restore that Virtual Machine to a different server and hardware. AIP will intelligently adjust the security identifiers so the Virtual Machine will automatically show up in the Hyper-V Manager and run flawlessly on the destination server.

Designed to help customers meet data protection, business continuity and disaster recovery challenges, AIP includes innovative Hyper-V backup management features, which ensure the recovery of critical information quickly and affordably in virtual environments. AIP’s flexible licensing allows the user to install a copy on one physical host machine and restore on an unlimited number of virtual guest machines and servers – potentially saving the customer thousands of dollars.

AIP’s unique sector tracking driver works with Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) to perform safe incremental backups of applications such as SQL, Exchange, Oracle® and ISS at blazing speeds – even while the application is active. Backup images can be saved to any convenient storage location including a backup server, SAN/NAS storage, USB, FireWire®, eSATA, etc. Now, thanks to the ReZoom Wizard, when restoring an incremental backup, just select the image you want and AIP will restore your entire system, one or more machines if needed.

ActiveImage Protector for Hyper-V Backup Management Benefits at a Glance:

  • No Interruptions: Hot image backup of Hyper-V environments without having to shut down the guest virtual machine or application
  • Take What you Need: Patent-pending ReZoom Wizard restores an entire image, one or more virtual machines or individual files and folders
  • Hardware Agnostic: Restore a VM or image to a different system even on different hardware
  • Save Time: Performance tested, high-speed, image-based backups optimized for virtual environments
  • Easy to Use: AIP Wizards guide you through backing up and restoring – step by step
  • Save Money: Install one copy on the physical host server and restore an unlimited number of virtual machines
  • Set-it-and-forget-it: Scheduling makes perfect incremental background backups on only the data that has changed
  • Faster Disaster Recovery: CD-bootable disaster recovery gets you up and running quickly for a bare metal recovery
  • Industry Standard: Utilizes non-proprietary Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) to ensure the integrity of backed up data along with the Hyper-V Manager console
  • Use Your Current Infrastructure: Backup image to any convenient storage location – backup servers, SAN/NAS storage, USB, FireWire, eSATA, etc.

ActiveImage Protector for Hyper-V retails for $850, which includes the first year of software maintenance.

Desktop Virtualization

Fedora 13 Propels Open Source Innovation, Virtualization Enhancements

RALEIGH, N.C.: The Fedora Project, a Red Hat, Inc. sponsored and community-supported open source collaboration, today announced the availability of Fedora 13, the latest version of its free open source operating system distribution. Fedora 13 combines some of the latest open source features with an open and transparent development process. Fedora 13 includes a variety of features and improvements to enhance desktop productivity, assist in software development, and improve virtualization.

“Fedora continues to help advance free and open source software and content,” said Paul Frields, Fedora Project Leader at Red Hat. “This release comes just six months after the release of Fedora 12, and it incorporates technologies built by free software developers around the globe. The Fedora Project reciprocates by contributing everything built in Fedora back to the open source community.”

Fedora 13 includes several new features with special focus on desktops, netbooks, virtualization and system administration. Its robust feature set includes:

Simpler installation and device access
The user interface of Anaconda, the Fedora installer, has changed to handle storage devices and partitioning in an easier and more streamlined manner, with helpful hints in the right places. Once installed, Fedora automatically offers driver installation when the user plugs in a printer. Software applications for instant or scheduled data backups, photo management, and scanning make it easier for users to load, edit, share, and secure their content. Color management offers creative users the ability to produce more color-accurate art and photos, from loading to display to printing.

Accelerated 3D graphics using free drivers
In previous releases, Fedora introduced free and open source 3D drivers for Intel and ATI video cards. In Fedora 13, a variety of Nvidia graphics cards can now be 3D enabled to support free software games and an enhanced desktop experience. New DisplayPort connectors are now supported on ATI and Nvidia cards as well. These free drivers are expected to be enhanced over the course of Fedora 13 and beyond, and become part of the platform for the next-generation free desktop including GNOME 3.

Virtualization enhancements
Fedora continues to be a leader in virtualization technologies and is one of the leading contributors of key technologies like Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), libvirt and virt- manager. Fedora 13 adds support for stable PCI addresses, enabling virtual guests to retain PCI addresses’ space on a host machine and expanding opportunities for large-scale automation of virtualization. New shared network interface technology enables virtual machines to use the same physical network interface cards as the host operating system. Fedora 13 also features improvements in performance for KVM networking and large multi-processor systems. These features offer savvy technologists the opportunity to experience virtualization innovations before they are seen in later releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Enhanced software development and debugging
Fedora 13 includes new support that allows developers working with mixed libraries (Python and C/C++) in Fedora to get more complete information when debugging with gdb, making rapid application development even easier. The SystemTap utility adds support for static probes, giving programmers expanded capabilities to improve and optimize their code. And with new support for userspace processes, developers can instrument code written in high level languages such as Python, database applications, and more.

Expanded Btrfs features
Fedora continues to be a key contributor to Btrfs development, and adds support for filesystem snapshots in Fedora 13. Plugin support for snapshots allows administrators to experiment with software updates and more easily revert the system as needed. As in previous releases, advanced users can enable experimental Btrfs support in the installation process to try out this next-generation file system.

During the past year, the Fedora community, led by its volunteer corps of Fedora Ambassadors, has held 14 Fedora Activity Day (FAD) events around the globe. At each FAD, community members gather to work on focused Fedora tasks, teach users and administrators, and plan coverage of worldwide events. The Fedora Project also held three Fedora Users and Developers Conference (FUDCon) events in Porto Alegre, Berlin, and Toronto. The Fedora Project’s record of open, transparent collaboration with the community continues to attract participants, with over 17,000 currently registered contributors.

Fedora will also be at the 2010 Red Hat Summit and JBoss World on June 22-25, 2010 in Boston. Summit attendees will receive a free Live USB key containing Fedora 13. Visit the Fedora table on the mezzanine level of the Seaport World Trade Center, or in the dedicated Fedora room, where community members will answer questions, take feedback, offer demonstrations and help attendees get involved. The next FUDCon is scheduled for July 15-17, 2010, in Santiago, Chile. For more information about FUDCon Santiago 2010, visit here. FUDCon EMEA will follow on Sept. 17-19, 2010 in Zurich, Switzerland.

About Red Hat, Inc.
Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions and an S&P 500 company, is headquartered in Raleigh, NC with over 65 offices spanning the globe. CIOs ranked Red Hat as one of the top vendors delivering value in Enterprise Software for six consecutive years in the CIO Insight Magazine Vendor Value survey. Red Hat provides high-quality, affordable technology with its operating system platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, together with virtualization, applications, management and Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) solutions, including Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and JBoss Enterprise Middleware. Red Hat also offers support, training and consulting services to its customers worldwide.