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Vmware-  will there be problems moving vms between Intel and AMD esxi hosts.

Posted on 2010-11-29
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hello.  Just getting started with a virtualization project.  I have one VMware esxi host (the free version) built on an Intel-based processor and will soon build out a second server.  If the second server is an AMD server (both servers will be Dell PowerEdge) will I have problems migrating / load balancing vms between the two architectures?  Will life be overwhelmingly easier if I stick to 'all Intel' or 'all AMD' host servers?  The guests will run Windows 2003/2008 32 / 64 bit and CentOS 64-bit operating systems.  Will the host processor differences cause a server to fail to boot if migrated to the other processor?
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Question by:Paul_Olson
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danm66 earned 250 total points
ID: 34236399
you will be able to "cold" migrate VM's between the two different hosts, but live migrations (vMotion) will not be possible.  DRS uses vMotion so it will be unusable.  HA doesn't do live migrations, so it will be unaffected.
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by:srgilani
ID: 34236546
The best pratice is to use identical platform if you dont want any manual intervention.

Further there is a chance that u may see a blue screen of death. So my sggestion is use either of one Intel or AMD.

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by:kevinhsieh
ID: 34236663
I can't say if you can put AMD and Intel into a VMware cluster, I know that you can't with Hyper-V. Life will be easier if you go all AMD or all Intel because you will be able to use Vmotion. BSOD shouldn't be a problem when moving between CPU manufacturers because the hypervisor won't (shouldn't) let you do it when the VM is in any state other than off. The VM learns which CPU it is running on when it boots. Storage and networking is completely abstracted so there are no driver issues to cause a BSOD when moving between hosts.
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I think with the free versions of ESXi, you'll not be able to vMotion or DRS anyway. But in the future if you decide to upgrade to full license versions, mixing Intel and AMD in the farm can be done, but you'll need to use CPU Masks, to safely vMotion between Intel and AMD. Tweaking the CPU masks can be done, but takes some time. I've got clients that purchased AMD servers, and later added Intel servers into the same farm, and use vMotion and DRS (with CPU masks).
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by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 34237955
Hi

With ESXi free edition is not possible to vMotion. So you cannot do this using the Migration option.

The only option is copy between the Datastores, or if is in the same DataStorage just remove from inventory form ESX A and add into the inventory in the ESX B.

Jail
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by:bgoering
ID: 34238751
Life WILL be overwhelmingly easier if I stick to 'all Intel' or 'all AMD' host servers :)

However you can move powered down hosts between processor architectures with no issues as long as the OS on the guest vm being moved about has no issues with running on the different processor architectures.

If the guests are on local storage to each ESXi host you must use something like VMware Converter, Veeam FastSCP, or WinSCP to move them about. However, if the guest vms are on shared storage accessable both both of your ESXi hosts you will be able to simply power down the vm; unregister (remove from inventory) on one host; and register (add to inventory) on the other ESXi host. Then you will be able to bring it up on the other server.

Good Luck
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by:kevinhsieh
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FYI, if you go Hyper-V or Xen Server the features that do the same thing as Vmotion will be free.
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