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Prevent Decommissioned VMs From Being Powered On

Prevent Decommissioned VMs From Being Powered On

Scenario: Having a look over your VM inventory shows that you need to do some cleanup work. You’ve recently discovered VMs that need to be decommissioned, put in change control, and eventually shut them down. Two weeks later, you find they’ve been powered on by an uninformed team member thinking they were down on accident.

How do you prevent such changes from happening and how can you prevent a VM from being powered on without additional intervention? Please welcome a unique use of the resource pool I call the “Decommissioned Resource Pool”. Creative name, I know. The concept is pretty simple – create a resource pool with absolutely no resources so a VM can’t be powered on as a member. A administrator would have to manually move it out of the pool so it has enough resources to power on.

1) Create new Resource Pool (Right-Click cluster and choose New Resource Pool)

2) Configure resources (or lack thereof) for the resource pool.

  • Make sure to uncheck Expandable Reservation and the Unlimited box
  • Make sure to slide the Limit slider all the way to the left (or just type 0 in the text box)

create resource pool

3) Two warning messages will appear after the resource pool configuration. Basically these are confirming what we’re trying to do, pull all resources from VMs to prevent it from powering on.

cpu warning

memory warning

4) Drag & drop your decommissioned/powered off VMs into the newly created resource pool.

VM in Resource Pool


5) For the fun of it – and to prove it works – try powering one on. You’ll quickly get an error message stating there aren’t enough resources to power on the VM.

Initialize Power On


This will prevent somebody from simply powering on a VMin it’s current state. An admin must make additional configuration changes, such as migrate it from this resource pool, to get the VM to power it on. Hopefully that sparks the interest of the admin and they start asking why the server is in that pool to begin with. Additionally, it brings a little bit of organization to your cluster, at least in the Hosts & Clusters View. Disclaimer: You should never use Resource Pools for organizational purposes – only use for proper resource management.

About The Author

Bryan Krausen

Bryan Krausen is currently working as a Sr. Solutions Architect with experience in a vast number of platforms, specializing in AWS and HashiCorp tools.

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