This situation could happen if the SpectroSERVER had crashed and it was configured to AUTORESTART in the $SPECROOT/lib/SDPM/partslist/SS.idb file;
The .VNMDB.LOCK file will exist under $SPECROOT/SS directory and the Spectrum Process Daemon will try to start the SpectroSERVER every time.
Based on this behavior when the SpectroSERVER attempts to start it sees there is a .VNMDB.LOCK file and therefore cannot start the SpectroSERVER.
Looking into the VNM.OUT file you can see the following messages as an example:
Database already locked by: spectrum,
Could not open the database. VNM exiting.
Landscape not initialized. VNM exiting.