Troubleshooting ESXi host in a “not responding” state issues in VMware

When an ESXi host is in a “Not Responding” state in the VMware vSphere environment, it means that the vCenter Server or the management system has lost communication with the host. This can happen due to various reasons, and the host becomes unmanageable from the vCenter Server. To resolve the “Not Responding” state, follow these steps:

Verify Network Connectivity: Ensure that the ESXi host has a functioning network connection and can communicate with the vCenter Server and other management systems. Check the network cables, switch ports, and network settings on the host.

Check Host’s Console: If you have physical access to the host, check its console or management interface to see if there are any error messages or issues that might be preventing it from responding.

Restart Management Services: Log in to the host’s console directly or connect via the out-of-band management interface (such as iLO, iDRAC, or IPMI). Restart the management services on the host to see if it re-establishes communication with vCenter. Use the command: restart

Check Host’s Resources: Ensure that the host has enough CPU, memory, and storage resources available. Resource exhaustion can cause the host to become unresponsive.

Check Host’s Storage: Verify that the datastore where the ESXi host stores its virtual machines has enough free space. Lack of storage space can lead to issues with the host’s responsiveness.

Check for Hardware Issues: Check the physical hardware of the host for any faults or failures. Look for error messages on the server’s hardware display or in the system logs.

Ping the Host: Try pinging the ESXi host from the vCenter Server or another system on the same network to check if there is network connectivity.

Restart the Host: If other options fail and you are confident that the virtual machines on the host are not affected, consider restarting the ESXi host gracefully to see if it comes back to a responsive state.

Verify Firewall Settings: Check if any firewall settings on the ESXi host or network are blocking communication between the host and the vCenter Server.

Check vCenter Server Status: Confirm that the vCenter Server itself is functioning correctly and has not encountered any issues that may prevent communication with the host.

Check vCenter Server Services: Verify that the necessary vCenter Server services are running. Restart any relevant vCenter services if needed.


I hope you have learned something from this article and you may have found the troubleshooting steps, you should be able to identify the cause of the ESXi host in a “not responding” state issue and take appropriate actions to resolve the issue.

If none of the above steps resolve the issue, it might require more in-depth troubleshooting or the involvement of VMware support. Before attempting any major changes or restarting the host, ensure that you have a verified backup of the virtual machines running on the host to avoid potential data loss.

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