vpxd with 100% CPU, vCenter Server unresponsive…

It just so happened that our vCenter Server ran havoc. It is a vCenter 5.5, running on Windows Server 2008 R2, using the bundled MS SQL Express 2008 R2 database.

Symptoms:

  • The .Net AND web client reacted sluggish
  • No connection possible to the Update Manager
  • vpxd service had high CPU, sometimes 100% straight, making the whole server unresponsive.
  • vpxd service sometimes crashed, needing a manual restart.

After a restart, the above cycle would begin roughly after 30 minutes of operations.

When I analyzed the vpxd.log files, I saw many messages regarding the db like so:

Could not allocate space for object XYZ

So I checked the SQL DB and saw that it had only 2 KB of space available. After all, there is a 10GB limit on the 2008 R2 SQL Express.

Searching for a way to purge data, i stumbled across this KB: Purging old data from the database used by vCenter Server (1025914)

It describes similar issues, and helped me to free up about 6 GB of space for the database.

Immediately after starting the procedure mentioned in the link (it took about 40 – 50 minutes to finish) the vpxd service settled and became usable again, solving our problem.

What remains to be figured out is why the Events and Tasks tables had grown so rapidly over the last 90 days that it would jam a 10 GB DB. This environment has only 16 hosts and about 250 VMs.

 

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