I know Cormac Hogan already wrote about this topic awhile ago, but there was a question that was recently brought up that included a slight twist which I thought it would be useful to share some additional details. The question that was raised: How do you properly shutdown an entire VSAN Cluster when vCenter Server itself is also running on the VSAN Datastore? One great use case for VSAN in my opinion is a vSphere Management Cluster that would contain all your basic infrastructure VMs including vCenter Server which can be bootstrapped onto a VSAN Datastore. In the event that you need to shutdown the entire VSAN Cluster which may also include your vCenter Server, what is the exact procedure?
To help answer this question, I decided to perform this operation in my own lab which contains a 3-Node (physical) VSAN Cluster that had several VMs running on the VSAN Datastore including the vCenter Server VM that was managing the VSAN Cluster.
UPDATE (4/27) – Added instructions for shutting down a VSAN 6.0 Cluster when vCenter Server is running on top of VSAN.
Shutdown VSAN Cluster (VSAN 6.0)
Step 1 – Shutdown all Virtual Machines running on the VSAN Cluster except for the vCenter Server VM, that will be the last VM you shutdown.
Step 3 – Ensure that there are no vSAN Components being resync'ed before proceeding to the next step. You can find this information by going to the vSAN Cluster and under Monitor->vSAN->Resyncing Components as shown in the screenshot below.
Step 4 – Shutdown the vCenter Server VM which will now make the vSphere Web Client unavailable.
Step 5 – Next, you will need to place ALL ESXi hosts into Maintenance Mode. However, you must perform this operation through one of the CLI methods that supports setting the VSAN mode when entering Maintenance Mode. You can either do this by logging directly into the ESXi Shell and running ESXCLI locally or you can invoke this operation on a remote system using ESXCLI.
Here is the ESXCLI command that you will need to run and ensure that "No Action" option is selected when entering Maintenance Mode:
esxcli system maintenanceMode set -e true -m noAction
Step 5 – Finally, you can now shutdown all ESXi hosts. You can login to each ESXi hosts using either the vSphere C# Client / ESXi Shell or you can also perform this operation remotely using the vSphere API such as leveraging PowerCLI as an example.
Shutdown VSAN Cluster (VSAN 1.0)
Step 1 – Shutdown all Virtual Machines running on the VSAN Cluster except for the vCenter Server VM.
Step 3 – Place all ESXi hosts into Maintenance Mode except for the ESXi host that is currently running the vCenter Server. Ensure you de-select "Move powered-off and suspend virtual machines to other hosts in the Cluster" as well as selecting the "No Data Migration" option since we do not want any data to be migrated as we are shutting down the entire VSAN Cluster.
Note: Make sure you do not shutdown any of the ESXi hosts during this step because the vCenter Server VSAN Components are distributed across multiple hosts. If you do this, you will be unable to properly shutdown the vCenter Server VM because its VSAN components will not available.
Step 6 – Finally, you can now shutdown all ESXi hosts. You can login to each ESXi hosts using either the vSphere C# Client / ESXi Shell or you can also perform this operation remotely using the vSphere API such as leveraging PowerCLI as an example.
Startup VSAN Cluster
Step 1 – Power on all the ESXi hosts that is part of the VSAN Cluster.
Step 2 – Once all the ESXi hosts have been powered on, you can then login to the ESXi host that contains your vCenter Server. If you took my advice earlier from the shutdown procedure, then you can login to the first ESXi host and power on your vCenter Server VM.
Note: You can perform steps 2-4 using the vSphere C# Client but you can also do this using either the API or simply calling vim-cmd from the ESXi Shell. To use vim-cmd, you need to first search for the vCenter Server VM by running the following command:
Step 3 – To power on the VM, you can run the following command and specify the Vmid:
vim-cmd vmsvc/power.on [VMID]
Step 4 – If you would like to know when the vCenter Server is ready, you can check the status of VMware Tools as that should give you an indication that system is up and running. To do so, you can run the following command and look for the VMware Tools status:
vim-cmd vmsvc/get.guest [VMID]
As you can see the process to shutdown an entire VSAN Cluster even with vCenter Server running on the VSAN Datastore is fairly straight forward. Once you are comfortable with the procedure, you can even automate this entire process using the vSphere API/CLI, so you do not even need a GUI to perform these steps. This might even be a good idea if you are monitoring a UPS and have an automated way of sending remote commands to shutdown your infrastructure.