Easy way to put Vmware ESXi host into maintenance mode.

  • 21 August 2020
  • 5 replies

  • Adventurer
  • 3 replies

I know there’s another topic like this but, it is 3 years old. Is there an easy way to put a single ESX host into maintenance mode?

Not to compare products but with Cisco Hyperflex, you right-click on the host and there’s a “Hyperflex maintenance mode” option.  This does what needs to be done to the CV without having to SSH into anything.

I was just wondering if the process has improved in 3 years.

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5 replies

Userlevel 6
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Hi Has,

I’m afraid the method is still the same.

  1. Right-click the host and select Maintenance Mode > Enter Maintenance Mode.
  1. In the Enter Maintenance Mode dialog box, click OK.
    The host gets ready to go into maintenance mode, which prevents VMs from running on this host. DRS automatically attempts to migrate all the VMs to another host in the cluster.
    Note: If DRS is not enabled, manually migrate or shut down all the VMs excluding the Controller VM. The VMs that are not migrated automatically even when the DRS is enabled can be because of a configuration option in the VM that is not present on the target host.
  1. Log on to the Controller VM with SSH and shut down the Controller VM.

Source vSphere Administration Guide for Acropolis (using vSphere HTML 5 Client) AOS 5.17: Node management

Hi @Alona ,

normally it will fail to enter Maintenance Mode if there is a running VM on this esxi host.

You have to shutdown the CVM first.

If all VMs are powered down or migrated you can do it like you explained.



Userlevel 6
Badge +5

Hi GaryS,

As far as I know when entering maintenance mode on an ESXi host for VMs that can’t be evacuated (either pinned to the host with affinity rules or presented with a device that either does not available on the other host or is a pass-through device of the host) an option to shut down VM or cancel the task (?) is presented. The maintenance mode task will not complete until the option is selected.

While that’s in progress you can log into CVM and shut it down. There’s room for improvement, I agree.

And you are right, you could evacuate all VMs off the host first, then shut down the CVM and then put the host into maintenance mode.



Thank you for your responses.  I understand the process.  I just thought it would have been improved in the past 3 years.  It just leaves a lot of room for error. “Oops, I SSHd into the wrong CV and shut it down”.  Also, from a security perspective, it’s another user name and password that has to be shared so, there’s no way to track who shut it down. Put it this way, if our security team knew this is the way it was done, I doubt we’d be allowed to buy Nutanix.


So, still no GUI way to shut down CV?  Everyone logs in with a shared ID and password? :(