A cluster enabled for DRS becomes invalid (red) when the tree is no longer internally consistent, that is, resource constraints are not observed.

The total amount of resources in the cluster does not affect whether the cluster is red. A cluster can be red, even if enough resources exist at the root level, if there is an inconsistency at a child level.

You can resolve a red DRS cluster problem either by powering off one or more virtual machines, moving virtual machines to parts of the tree that have sufficient resources, or editing the resource pool settings in the red part. Adding resources typically helps only when you are in the yellow state.

A cluster can also turn red if you reconfigure a resource pool while a virtual machine is failing over. A virtual machine that is failing over is disconnected and does not count toward the reservation used by the parent resource pool. You might reduce the reservation of the parent resource pool before the failover completes. After the failover is complete, the virtual machine resources are again charged to the parent resource pool. If the pool’s usage becomes larger than the new reservation, the cluster turns red.

If a user is able to start a virtual machine (in an unsupported way) with a reservation of 3GHz under resource pool 2, the cluster would become red, as shown in the following figure.

Figure 1. Red Cluster

This figure shows an invalid (red) cluster.