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e000ff18 - A communications failure has occurred with a Virtual Machine resource

Level 3
I get this error randomly on nightly incremental jobs, or weekly full jobs on one particular ESX 4.0 VM running Win2k3 SP2..  I also get a SNMP alert on that VM stating that the device was not reachable for ~300 seconds, which coincides with the end of the BEWS processing window for that particular VM.

the log also indicates data IS being backed up and there are no skipped or corrupted files reported, but the job fails anyway.  This is annoying because it does not happen every night and returns no relevant Windows event log entries on the VM in question.  My other VM's on this VSphere host backup fine every night.

I have WSUS and Numara Patch manager running on this VM, which both use SQL server express.  I do NOT have the VSS option enebled in the job because it causes my other VM's to fail when enebled.

Level 6
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Does the wsus or Numara doing the patch deployment at that point of time when it failed. It seems that something on the VM is running and it lost the connection while the backup was running. Please make sure you stop the wsus services and patch management, try the backup when these services stopped or try the backup when they are not in use. Also make sure you have the vmware tools installed on the machine.

Level 3
Numara is not doing anything at that time.  I don't think WSUS is either, based upon event log. There are a boatload of information entries in the application log relating to MSSQL describing various database backup activities just prior to the start time for the BEWS backup event starting.  I assume these are related to the backup job.  the final log event in the sequence is a BeVssProvider entry with no description:

"The description for Event ID ( 0 ) in Source ( BeVssProvider ) cannot be found. The local computer may not have the necessary registry information or message DLL files to display messages from a remote computer. You may be able to use the /AUXSOURCE= flag to retrieve this description; see Help and Support for details. The following information is part of the event: Service stopped."

I cant be certain these SQL events are being triggered by BEWS, so I will move the time of the job a little later in the morning to see if it avoids this bottleneck.  Thanks.

Level 3
I moved the job so that the subject VM runs about 2 hours later in the morning.  I still get the same failure.

Agent used                     : YesAdvanced Open File Option used : No

Byte count             : 755,428,572 bytesRate                   : 67.00 MB/Min
Virtual machine count  : 1Virtual disk count     : 2
Files                  : 43,210Directories            : 5,009Skipped files          : 0Corrupt files          : 0Files in use           : 0
Start time             : Thursday, July 15, 2010 4:16:40 AMEnd time               : Thursday, July 15, 2010 4:27:21 AM
Media used             : DBS05
Set type               : BackupSet status             : CompletedSet description        : Daily Incremental Backup
Resource name          : \\\VMVCB::\\\VCGuestVm\ha-datacenter\vm\CHD10VRI01Logon account          : System Logon AccountEncryption used        : None
Error                  : e000ff18 - A communications failure has occurred with a Virtual Machine resource.