vMotion VMKernel Missing


Recently, DRS was failing to vMotion virtual machines from a specific ESXi server. The error message was:

The vMotion interface is not configured (or is misconfigured) on the Source host “esxi.test.com”


Checked the VMKernels on the dvSwitch and there was only one management VMKernel. vMotion VMKernel was disappeared.

To identify the issue, I’ve tried:

  • Adding a new vMotion VMKernel
  • esxcli to check the status of VMKernels


First attempt was to add a vMotion VMKernel to dvSwitch. However, got an error message saying the VMKernel already exists.


This was telling me that somehow, the vMotion VMKernel is hidden. Next step performed was to use esxcli to identify the issue.

Running esxcli network ip interface list, gave me an interesting output. vmk1 for vMotion was disabled.



The output above gave me a clear idea on what’s mis-configured. The first thing I tried was to enable vmk1 by running esxcli network ip interface set  -e true -i vmk1. But, it outputted an error message saying:

Sysinfo error on operation returned status: Operation not permitted. Please see the VMKernel log for detailed error information

Enabling the VMKernel didn’t work as the ESXi thought vMotion VMKernel was busy. So, the next configuration I tried was to delete the VMKernel, esxcli network ip interface remove -i vmk1. Surprisingly, it didn’t cause any problems! Listed VMKerenls and confirmed that vMotion VMKernel was removed.


Added a new vMotion VMKernel and DRS was able to execute vMotion virtual machines successfully.


Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find the root cause of this problem. In future if I face this issue again, I will update this post.


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