Tag Archive for Storage vMotion

Storage vMotion fails with the error: Storage vMotion failed to copy one or more of the VM’s disks

The Error

A general system error occurred: Storage vMotion failed to copy one or more of the VM’s disks. Please consult the VM’s log for more details, looking for lines starting with “CBTMotion”.


To resolve this issue, create a snapshot of the affected virtual machine and then commit the snapshot.
  • In the vSphere Client, right-click the virtual machine and click Snapshot > Take Snapshot.
  • In the vSphere Client right-click the virtual machine and click Snapshot > Snapshot Manager.
  • Select the snapshot you created in Step 1 and click Delete.

vSphere: Storage vMotion Fails with an Operation Timed Out Error

You may experience these symptoms

  1. Storage vMotion fails
  2. The Storage vMotion operation fails with a timeout between 5-10% or 90-95% complete
  3. On ESX 4.1 you may see the errors:

Hostd Log

v ix: [7196 foundryVM.c:10177]: Error VIX_E_INVALID_ARG in VixVM_CancelOps(): One of the parameters was invalid ‘vm:/vmfs/volumes/4e417019-4a3c4130-ed96-a4badb51cd0a/Mail02/Mail02.vmx’ opID=9BED9F06-000002BE-9d] Failed to unset VM medatadata: FileIO error: Could not find file : /vmfs/volumes/4e417019-4a3c4130-ed96-a4badb51cd0a/Mail02/Mail02-aux.xml.tmp.

vmkernel: 114:03:25:51.489 cpu0:4100)WARNING: FSR: 690: 1313159068180024 S: Maximum switchover time (100 seconds) reached. Failing migration; VM should resume on source.
vmkernel: 114:03:25:51.489 cpu2:10561)WARNING: FSR: 3281: 1313159068180024 D: The migration exceeded the maximum switchover time of 100 second(s). ESX has preemptively failed the migration to allow the VM to continue running on the source host.
vmkernel: 114:03:25:51.489 cpu2:10561)WARNING: Migrate: 296: 1313159068180024 D: Failed: Maximum switchover time for migration exceeded(0xbad0109) @0x41800f61cee2

vCenter Log

[yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss.nnn tttt error ‘App’] [MIGRATE] (migrateidentifier) vMotion failed: vmodl.fault.SystemError
[yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss.nnn tttt verbose ‘App’] [VpxVmomi] Throw vmodl.fault.SystemError with:
(vmodl.fault.SystemError) {
dynamicType = ,
reason = “Source detected that destination failed to resume.”,
msg = “A general system error occurred: Source detected that destination failed to resume.”


Note: A virtual machine with many virtual disks might be unable to complete a migration with Storage vMotion. The Storage vMotion process requires time to open, close, and process disks during the final copy phase. Storage vMotion migration of virtual machines with many disks might timeout because of this per-disk overhead.

This timeout occurs when the maximum amount of time for switchover to the destination is exceeded. This may occur if there are a large number of provisioning, migration, or power operations occurring on the same datastore as the Storage vMotion. The virtual machine’s disk files are reopened during this time, so disk performance issues or large numbers of disks may lead to timeouts.

The default timeout is 100 seconds, and can be modified by changing the fsr.maxSwitchoverSeconds option in the virtual machine configuration to a larger value. This change must be done with the virtual machine powered down.

To modify the fsr.maxSwitchoverSeconds option using the vSphere Client:

  1. Open vSphere Client and connect to the ESX/ESXi host or to vCenter Server.
  2. Locate the virtual machine in the inventory.
  3. Power off the virtual machine.
  4. Right-click the virtual machine and click Edit Settings.
  5. Click the Options tab.
  6. Select the Advanced: General section.
  7. Click the Configuration Parameters button.
  8. From the Configuration Parameters window, click Add Row
  9. In the Name field, enter the parameter name: fsr.maxSwitchoverSeconds
  10. In the Value field, enter the new timeout value in seconds (for example:300
  11. Click the OK buttons twice to save the configuration change.
  12. Power on the VM
To modify the fsr.maxSwitchoverSeconds option by editing the .vmx file manually:

The virtual machine’s configuration file can be manually edited to add or modify the option. Add the option on its own line fsr.maxSwitchoverSeconds = 300

Note: To edit a virtual machines configuration file you will need to power off the virtual machine, remove it from Inventory, make the changes to the vmx file, add the virtual machine back to inventory, and power the virtual machine on again.

What machines can you “not” Storage vMotion

VMware Storage VMotion is a component of VMware vSphere™that provides an intuitive interface for live migration of virtual machine disk files within and across storage arrays with no downtime or disruption in service. Storage VMotion relocates virtual machine disk files from one shared storage location to another shared storage location with zero downtime, continuous service availability and complete transaction integrity. StorageVMotion enables organizations to perform proactive storage migrations, simplify array migrations, improve virtual machine storage performance and free up valuable storage capacity.Storage VMotion is fully integrated with VMware vCenter Server to provide easy migration and monitoring.

How does it work

1. Before moving a virtual machines disk file, Storage VMotion moves the “home directory” of the virtual machine to the new location. The home directory contains meta data about the virtual machine (configuration, swap and log files).

2. After relocating the home directory, Storage VMotion copies the contents of the entire virtual machine storage disk file to the destination storage host, leveraging “changed block tracking” to maintain data integrity during the migration process.

3. Next, the software queries the changed block tracking module to determine what regions of the disk were written to during the first iteration, and then performs a second iteration of copy, where those regions that were changed during the first iteration copy (there can be several more iterations).

4. Once the process is complete, the virtual machine is quickly suspended and resumed so that it can begin using the virtual machine home directory and disk file on the destination datastore location.

5. Before VMware ESX allows the virtual machine to start running again, the final changed regions of the source disk are copied over to the destination and the source home and disks are removed.

What machines can you not Storage vMotion?

1. Virtual machines with snapshots cannot be migrated using Storage vMotion

2. Migration of virtual machines during VMware Tools installation is not supported

3. The host on which the virtual machine is running must have a license that includes Storage vMotion.

4. ESX/ESXi 3.5 hosts must be licensed and configured for vMotion. ESX/ESXi 4.0 and later hosts do not require vMotion configuration in order to perform migration with Storage vMotion.

5. The host on which the virtual machine is running must have access to both the source and target datastores

6. Virtual machine disks in non-persistent mode cannot be migrated

7. Clustered applications or clustered virtual machine configurations do not support Storage vMotion.

8. For vSphere 4.0 and higher, Virtual Disks and Virtual RDM pointer files can be relocated to a destination datastore, and can be converted to thick provisioned or thin provisioned disks during migration as long as the detsination is not an NFS Datastore

9. Physical Mode Pointer files can be relocated to the destination datastore but cannot be converted

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