Help: Looking to contact someone running FreeBSD on ESX

Greg Larkin glarkin at
Fri Feb 25 19:15:43 UTC 2011

Hash: SHA1

On 2/25/11 12:52 PM, Mark Felder wrote:
> 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.
> Mark

Hi Mark,

Are there any relevant messages logged in /var/log/messages prior to the
FreeBSD hard reboot?

I haven't used watchdogd(8) ( before, but I wonder
if it would help you by firing some data logging command (-e option) so
you have some information to go on.

- -- 
Greg Larkin           - The Power To Serve     - Ready. Set. Code. - Follow me, follow you
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