New series – Things you should know (TYSK) – Today Cross-Host vMotion

From time to time I learn something new about features in vSphere and other products I thought I was familiar with, so I decided to create a series of blog posts under the topic “Things you should know” or in short TYSK. This series of “short” posts will be focused on topics/features etc. everybody is using in his daily business/job but forgets over time some of the details.

Couple of days ago I had an discussion with a colleague about Cross-host vMotion and in which license it is included.

First let’s start with the basics! What is Cross-host vMotion? Cross-host vMotion was introduced in vSphere 5.1 and is the ability to change both host and datastore at the same time during a migration. It’s only available through the vSphere Web Client, where you can change both host and datastore of a running VM.

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Testing procedure

For testing purpose I installed  a small environment with 2 nested ESXi hosts and created a cluster in my main vCenter. I created a VM within the nested environment to test Cross-host vMotion (Shared-nothing vMotion, vMotion without shared storage or however you will call it).

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The following shows the requirements for Cross-Host vMotion (for more information click here):

  • The hosts must be licensed for vMotion.
  • The hosts must be running ESXi 5.1 or later.
  • The hosts must meet the networking requirement for vMotion.
  • The virtual machines must be properly configured for vMotion.
  • The destination host must have access to the destination storage.

As you can see a license where vMotion is enable can be used for Cross-Host vMotion which means anything from Essentials Plus to Enterprise Plus can be used. To test it I installed a RoBo version of an Essentials Plus license on my nested Hosts and rebooted it to make sure that the license is correctly loaded.

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After that I migrated the Test-VM from one host (Storage Local01) to the other host (Storage Local02).

As you can see in the screenshot Storage vMotion is not licensed.

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In my nested environment it took some time because the VM had approx. 40GB. When Cross-Host vMotion was finished you can see that the host and datastore were changed.

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I thought that this can also be used to migrate the VM from one datastore to another datastore without changing the host, but after I completed the migration steps I got this message:

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Conclusion

When you will use Cross-Host vMotion, the only licensed feature you will need is vMotion which is included in Essentials Plus and higher.

 

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