VMs appearing as 'Offline'
Posted by Marijan Kozic on 28 May 2019 14:57
Archiware Pure tracks VMs separately from vSphere. A Pure VM will normally be linked with its vSphere counterpart but it is perfectly normal to have a VM representation in Pure which no longer has its vSphere instance (e.g. when a vSphere VM gets deleted).|
It is also possible to have a vSphere VM without corresponding Pure VM (at least temporarily). This occurs when a new vSphere VM is discovered and before Pure creates its own representation.
Note that if a vSphere VM was never backed up by Pure and is later deleted from vSphere inventory, Pure will remove this VM from its own inventory too.
When a Pure VM has no vSphere counterpart (could not be found on any of the configured vCenter/ESXi servers), it is shown as being 'offline' in Pure GUI. Offline VMs cannot be backed up (since there is no live vSphere VM to backup, at least at the moment) but they can be used for restore.
Additionally, if there are multiple Pure VMs pointing to the same vSphere VM, only one of them (the one with the most recent backup snapshot) will be active and all the others will be declared as offline. This situation is possible if you get creative with adding, removing and re-adding backup volumes where you create some backups first on one backup volume then another and then you add them all together. You can see the storage volume where a Pure VM is located by expanding the VM list table to include more details (an icon in the upper right part of the GUI).
Another way to get duplicate VM entries in Pure inventory is if you restore a VM (already deleted from vSphere) using the exact same name as the original VM previously backed up. A restore operation explicitly creates a new vSphere VM and immediately adds it to Pure inventory. The existing Pure VM representation is, of course, not deleted in the process. If the restored VM happens to have exactly the same name and exactly the same vSphere storage path (e.g. if it is restored to the same vSphere datastore), you will end up with two separate Pure VMs pointing to the same vSphere VM. Newly restored VM, because it has no backups yet, will be marked as offline. On next Pure restart it will be automatically removed from the inventory. Future backups will be performed using the 'old' Pure VM that was used for restore. However, because the vSphere VM was newly created during restore, CBT (Changed block tracking) data will be reset and the very next backup will have to be a full backup.