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Configure virtual machine shutdown on standalone VMware ESX and ESXi hosts protected by PowerChute.

Published date: 22 April 2021

How to configure Virtual Machines to shut down when a standalone ESXi host is commanded to shut down by PowerChute.

Product Line:
PowerChute Network Shutdown
PowerChute Business Edition 

VMware ESX and ESXi 


You can use the "Virtual Machine Startup/Shutdown" feature of ESXi and ESX to gracefully shutdown VMs when the host is commanded to shut down. VMware tools must be installed on each VM.

To configure VMs to shut down with the host:

For VMware ESXi host 5.x:
  1. Log in to the ESXi host via the vSphere client. On the Configuration tab and under Software, select "Virtual Machine Startup/Shutdown"
  2. Click on Properties
  3. Enable the option "Allow Virtual Machines to start and stop automatically with the system"
  4. Change the Shutdown Action to "Guest Shutdown"
  5. Use Startup Order to specify the order in which the VMs are shut down and started
  6. Click OK to accept the changes.

Note: The Virtual Machine Startup/Shutdown feature is deliberately disabled for hosts that are part of a High Availability (HA) Cluster.

For VMware ESXi hosts 6.5, 6.7, 7.0
1 - Log into the ESXi host web interface
2 - Select Manage, Autostart

3. Select Edit settings
in the autostart configuration click Yes to enable, set the start and stop delays required, set the stop action to Shut down, click save.

4. Select a VM and click Actions

5. Select Autostart, Enable to enable autostart for the VM.

6. Once all the required VMs have been enabled you will see the Autostart order. The shut down order is the reverse of the start order.
The first VM started will be the last VM powered off. 

7. To arrange the VM in a specific order select the VM, click Actions, Autostart, and select Start earlier or later

Please review VMware knowledge base document for assistance with ESXi 6.5 and above.

PowerChute Business Edition is not supported in a HA environment and is not supported on VMware ESXi 6.7 or 7.0.
PowerChute Network Shutdown version 3.1 and above supports HA environments. For help on how to configure PowerChute Network Shutdown in a HA environment please review Application Note 180 or the VMware User Guide.

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