Help: Looking to contact someone running FreeBSD on ESX

Mark Felder feld at
Fri Feb 25 18:18:31 UTC 2011

Hi all,

We have quite a few BSD VMs on our infrastructure and are having some  
issues with our main webservers. They die randomly -- ESX shows high/100%  
CPU the exact moment it dies (very, very low up until that point), the  
console takes keyboard input but doesn't really do anything or switch VTs,  
and the server is pingable, but does nothing. We have to hard reboot. This  
has been going on for a while and we moved the VMs off our iSCSI SAN and  
onto local storge and it's happening still. (Found a few configuration  
issues with our SAN; thought it was the issue with preferred paths being  
problematic, etc). We really need to contact someone else who has had  
success and find out what's different about their environment.

I'd like to note that we're still on ESX 4.0 (and behind a bit there)  
because our SAN wouldn't support 4.1 until recently and we haven't had  
time to switch.

Personally, I'm convinced this is an ESX issue because BSD never panics  
and there's never anything reported on the console when this happens. I'd  
really like to hear from someone who has been running FreeBSD in  
production on ESX without issues and hopefully they could describe their  
setup so we can begin to compare issues.

A few relavent things to note:

The ones that crash are usually our main webservers (Apache, PHP, no MySQL  
locally though). We have LOTS of IPs on them and they do a ton of network  
traffic, but usually don't have a super high load average (maybe .75 - 1.0  
on a normal day?). Currently we're running 8.1-RELEASE on them.

As I said, they're on local storage right now, but they were on iSCSI to  
Dell MD3000i SANs (booo, hisss, we're dumping them so dont worry)

ESX servers are a mix of Dell and HP....

Can't think of many more details.

Thanks everyone.


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