Adding aVMware host to the Fram - with a very different processor

Agmit used Ask the Experts™
Adding another host to a farm of 2 IBM x3850 servers with a Dual Core  Xeon 7120N 3GHZ CPU

The available new server  (x3850 M2)CPU is Intel Xeon Quad Core 7440 2.4 GHz  or QC7420 2.13 Ghz
Currently running Vmware 3,5, will be upgrading to Vsphere
Apart from Vmotion, will anyhing else be affected?  How critical it is to have identical CPUs in all host servers?
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Vmotion, and foult tolerance will we affected.

The cluster schould run just fine. Just never try to vmotion betwen processor types, as it will course the machine to crash.

about your current servers: you might even be lucky that both will work as they are both intel processors that support about the same stuff. i would recommend to add a test virtual machine, and try and migrate it while its running to see if they will work.

its only critical if you go from new arcitecture types (ie from core2 to i7 (xeon versions)) or from intel to amd.

Same processor types with the same arcitecture schould work just fine. even with vmotion. the speed of the processor is not relevant.
to correct myself.  - i dont think you will even have problems with the new servers (havent looked them up - but they seem to be the same artitecture from the numbers)

if the CPU vendor is same, you will not have any problems with the cluster services on ESX os Vsphere servers.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

It will probably work but you will need to turn on EVC on each host in vCenter which will require all the host and VMs to be shutdown.

Larstr had a good thread with a chart for compatibility that will prove usefull, just match up and see if it fits
You can't do a live migration between those servers without using a mask (which isn't supported or recommended).

Shut down the VMs, copy them to a shared data store or the DAS for the 3850, then start them up.

That's all you have to do.


Thanks guys. vmotion is critical.

The CPUs in the current servers belong to the Tulsa 65nm family, the one in the new server to the Dunnington they are not exactly blood relatives...Gues hav eto look for a refurbished server...?
Even if it works now, with application of patches and updated, what is the assurance it won't chnage?
The 7xxxN series are based on the Netburst/P4 architecture.
The 7440 series are based on the Core2 architecture.
2 Very different architectures not compatible for VMotioning.


Thanks Roy and all for your input, very helpful
My pleasure Agmit,
I'm not exactly sure of the parameters of your migration scenario, but a live migration would require cpu masking...which can be risky and isn't supported.
You're better off just doing a cold migration, then doing the upgrade to VSphere. I'd make sure the minor versions of VI 3.5 on both boxes is identical.
Let us know what you decide and how it all turns out.
Thanks for the correction RoyC


We'll actually buy a refurbished server that is identical to the current hosts.

Thanks again!!
youre most welcome.

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