I work for a small company that recently started to work with VMWare ESXi. We currently have a single ESXi box that we've been running 4 guests on for a few months now with great results. We're thinking of buying a second server for ESXi, and I'd like to be able to restore guests between ESXi host servers in case of a hardware failure (the second server would run testing/demo servers, which would be shut down if we need to restore guests from the primary server).
Since we don't have access to shared storage, I know my options are limited. I've read about using vConverter and FastSCP to transfer a guest from one machine to another over a network, but I've also heard that the transfer rates can be painfully slow. I'm thinking we could just restore from windows backup (.bkf) files instead. I've restored a .bkf to a fresh Windows 2003 install on the same VMWare host successfully. My concern is that we might run into problems if the physical server hardware isn't identical.
Will the same version of ESXi always present identical hardware to guests, assuming the guest configurations match, regardless of the physical hardware the ESXi host is installed on? Or can there be differences?