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ISE - Prevent VMware Snapshots



Taking a snapshot of ISE virtual machines is not supported but it still happens occasionally due to administrators taking a snapshot manually or an integrated technology that automatically takes snapshots to back up VMs.  When taking a snapshot of a live VM, the file system is quiesced which can lead to the ISE node becoming unresponsive or worse, corrupting it requiring a rebuild. 


A configuration parameter can be added to each ISE VM to prevent a snapshot from being taken.  See the attached document for the steps with screenshots or follow the steps below:

  1. Before powering on the ISE VM for the first time, right-click the VM and click Edit Settings. If the VM is already powered on, you must shut it down to make changes.
  2. Click the VM Options tab.
  3. Click Advanced to expand it.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and locate Configuration Parameters and click the Edit Configuration button.
  5. Click the Add Configuration Params button.
  6. Enter snapshot.maxSnapshots into the Name field and enter 0 into the Value field, then click OK.
  7. Attempt to create a snapshot of the VM to test. The task should error out.
Frequent Contributor
Thanks for share this tip.
VIP Advocate

Will this also deny a vmotion while the VM is powered on?  I believe that also requires a snapshot prior to starting.  


Thanks for the tip!

Rising star

It will not prevent a vMotion.  I believe the vMotion does not involve actually snapshotting the disks of the VM, rather it snapshots the guest memory and monitors changes while in motion, then it temporarily quiesces the VM while it switches the active memory.

That said, you can achieve the results of preventing a vMotion in a couple ways.

  1. Disable DRS for the VM:
    1. Go to the VMware host cluster, then configure and click the VM Overrides option.
    2. Click Add, then select the ISE VM.
    3. Change the DRS automation level to "disabled"
  2. Set a VM-Host affinity rule for the VM to ensure it always runs on a host which will prevent it from being vMotioned:
    1. Document the current host the VM is on.
    2. Go to the VMware host cluster, then configure and click on VM/Host Groups
    3. Add a host group and select the host from step 1 as a member
    4. From the same page, click Add again and choose a VM group this time and select the ISE VM as a member.
    5. Now click on VM/Host Rules.
    6. Click Add and give it a name. Select the type Virtual Machines to Hosts.
    7. Select the VM group created on step 4
    8. Select the option Must run on hosts in group.
    9. Select the host group created in step 3.

Repeat steps 1 and 2 above for all VMs.

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