Windows 2008/2016 LVM VM Backup always causes VE crash/hang

CodeMonkeyBill

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Mar 3, 2017
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Long time lurker on this forum, first time poster. I have read many many threads that are a close variation to, but not exactly similar to my issue. And I have already resolved my issue to my satisfaction, but have some questions about how Proxmox's deeper features work and if I should really be using the fix that I figured out to allow me to make backups without crashing.

Anyway here we go:
This was a budget build for a small business and I recognize it is not really up to snuff with purpose built VEs, but it is what I am working with, and the business would like to get several more years of use out of it.

VE Hardware:
CPU - AMD Opteron 6168 1.9 GHz Processor
-12 Core Processor, 128 KB L1 Cache, 512KB L2 Cache (per Core), 12MB L3 Cache (per Socket)​
MOBO - Supermicro H8SGL-F Motherboard - Amd Magny Cours Single Socket with on-board Ipmi
-CPU: Single 1944-pin Socket G34 Support one Twelve/Eight-Core ready AMD Opteron 6100 Series processors,Support HT3.0 Link Technology
-Chipset: AMD chipset SR5650 + SP5100
-Memory: 8x 240pin DDR3-1333/1066/800 DIMMs, Supports Upto 128GB ECC/REG Memory
-Slots: 1x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 Slot; 2x PCI-Express 2.0 x8 Slots; 3x PCI Slots
-Video: Matrox G200 Graphics Controller, w/ 16MB DDR2 Video Memory
-LAN: Dual Intel 82574L Gigabit Ethernet Controllers​
RAM - 32GB 1333Mhz Quad-Rank non-ECC
RAID - LSI MegaRaid SAS 9260-4i
-4x Seagate SATA 3.0 RAID capable 2TB HDs (forgot which ones exactly)
-4x disks running in a 4-disk RAID6​
SATA - 1x Seagate SATA 3.0 2TB HD connected to MOBO SATA (for backups only)
PSU - 800W AthenaPower Server PSU (non-redundant)

VE Software:
PROXMOX - Virtual Environment 4.4-1/eb2d6f1e
RAID - megaraid_sas driver and megactl management and reporting tools
UPS - Cyberpower 1500PFCLCD managed via nut

VMs:
-2x Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 installed via best practices guide from this forum
-2x Windows Server 2016 x64 installed via best practices guide form this forum

The Problem:

Until recently I had been completely unable to run a backup of any of the VMs without the VE almost immediately becoming unresponsive and eventually crashing (but not rebooting on it's own). Every single time I tried to run a backup the VE would become unresponsive within ~3mins and totally crash within ~5mins.

The Solution:

What I did that eventually solved this problem was to simply disable RAM ballooning and KSM. I had installed the ballooning driver in all of the Windows VMs and believe it was functioning correctly. But once I disabled KSM backups are running reliably (and very quickly). I have run about a dozen backup jobs since disabling ballooning across all VMs and disabling KSM, and every backup has worked perfectly.

Next Steps:

First of all is, this normal? Should I have disabled ballooning and KSM due to known issues with Windows VMs in the first place? And I had just never noticed that recommendation somehow.

If not, and I should be able to use ballooning and KSM with Windows VMs and be able to back them up normally. I would like to conduct testing to try and figure out why those systems were causing my backup jobs to crash. If anyone can provide info as to the appropriate logs and how to access them to allow me to trace the root issue, that info would be greatly appreciated.

And of course if any additional info about my setup or configuration would be helpful please don't hesitate to ask.

And thanks already to this forum for helping me with numerous past issues that did not necessitate me posting a thread or even a comment!
 
Last edited:

Bwalker

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Mar 22, 2017
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No idea I tried with and without Ballooning and right now I am also on AMD 6000 series Supermicro and I cannot even keep my VM's UP they just turn off or crash - they are OFF with no error logs of any kind both 2008R2 and Win2012
 

CodeMonkeyBill

New Member
Mar 3, 2017
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No idea I tried with and without Ballooning and right now I am also on AMD 6000 series Supermicro and I cannot even keep my VM's UP they just turn off or crash - they are OFF with no error logs of any kind both 2008R2 and Win2012

I actually re-enabled ballooning on all VMs, I think I must have installed the wrong version of the ballooning driver/mgmt service the first time around. But I started getting crashes again as soon as I re-enabled KSM. So presently I am using ballooning but not using KSM.

What storage controller are you using? I had similar issues when I tried to use the SATA controller built into the SR5650 + SP5100 chipset. It was a long time ago, but IIRC there is some kind of known limitation/incompatibility with that built in SATA controller, which is why I went with the MegaRAID controller, the project was a hair under budget but I couldn't afford to get a nice hardware RAID controller with what was left so had to get what I could afford and make it work. Thus far the MegaRAID has done better than expected in a 4drive RAID6, I'm only using the MOBO SATA for a single non-redundant backup drive.

So, try disabling KSM, and get an add-on storage controller if you are currently trying to use the built in controller on that supermicro board.

Hope something I said will help.
 

Bwalker

New Member
Mar 22, 2017
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I am actually not using the local disks at all , I use an ISCSI SAN and all of my linux VM run off it 100% fine for weeks.
I tried a SSD direct attach and it also made no difference, VM just enter a STOPPED state after about 1 hour.
 

Bwalker

New Member
Mar 22, 2017
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I have another post going so far these are all the tricks I know:

- try raw disks
- try different disk types like IDE,virtio,scsi
- turn off all power saving and windows updates
- try CPU = HOST setting
- disable tablet
- Turn on off ballooning
- Install / Remove Qemu Agent
- Try different nics like intel / virtio

Happens to only Win2008 and Win2012 so far
 

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