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Vmware Essentials Plus - Transfer VM from down host

Posted on 2011-02-11
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Hello,

Is just installed a Vmware vSphere Essentials Plus with a HA cluster.
Everything works like it should be, but I can't find a particular function.

Is it possible to transfer a VM to a different host when the initial host is down?

Info:
VI Client on a different servers
2 hosts in HA Cluster with 1 VM (test) on the Cluster.

Thanks for the awnsers
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Question by:NR_EIS
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by:bgoering
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You can so long as the guest is on shared storage. If the hosts are in a cluster with HA configured, then if one host goes down any vms running on the down host will automatically be powered back on on the remaining host.


Good Luck
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by:coolsport00
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Yep, just as "bgoering" states; a good info on High Availability (HA) can be found here:
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_availability.pdf; specifically read on pg. 13 of 'how HA works'. :)

Regards,
~coolsport00
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by:NR_EIS
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But we don't have a vmotion license, this is not included in Essentials Plus.
So when the first host goes down, the virtual machine just goes to disconnect same as the host...
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by:evgeny_f31
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Storage vmotion is not included, vm vmotion is included,
Do you haveVMware vCenter Server installed, or you just managing every host individually with vsphere client?
In vcenter you should see vmotion in licenced features, then you have the option to migrate vm between hosts.
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by:NR_EIS
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Just took a look at the Cluster Summary tab and in the Vmware HA window it states the following: Current Failover Capacity: 1 host; configured Failover capacity: 1 host.
But both hosts are added to the cluster without any errors
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by:NR_EIS
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everything is being managed through vmware vcenter server. And my bad, idd in the licensing window vMotion is there as a feature.

So in other words, there is something wrong with one of my host?
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by:coolsport00
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Yep, with Essentials Plus...vMotion is included. See what's included with each kit here for verification:
http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/buy/small_business_editions_comparison.html

As you can see under the Ess Plus column, vMotion is a feature for that 'kit'.

~coolsport00
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by:coolsport00
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If you have 2 hosts in a cluster, what that means is you can only have 1 host go down for failover to work. If you only have 1 host, failover (HA), can't work.
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by:NR_EIS
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yes that is logical :-)
I have 2 hosts in my cluster, but the summary window only states:
Current Failover Capacity: 1 host; configured Failover capacity: 1 host.

Is this correct or does it has to say, 2 hosts?
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by:coolsport00
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Nope...that is correct. The number shown is 1 less than the the total hosts you have in your cluster.
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by:NR_EIS
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hhmm everything should work then, maybe a stupid question: but what is the best way to test the failover?
Hard power off 1 of the hosts, reboot them, manual command on the cli?
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by:coolsport00
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Power off 1 of your hosts and see if your VMs migrate to the other.
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by:vmwarun - Arun
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The failover capacity of the cluster in your case can only be 1 since there are 2 hosts in the cluster.
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by:Randy_Bojangles
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I think that you are slightly mixing up 2 features here:

Vmotion is the technology that allows a running VM to be moved from one host to the other

HA is the technology that restarts any VMs that went down with a host onto another host in the cluster (note the restart - it doesnt move it via Vmotion as it cant, the source host is down)

Testing HA is exactly as above - turn one off and see what happens, testing VMotion is right click on the VM in VCentre and select Migrate

What you dont have is DRS which uses VMotion to balnce the cluster based on resources available - not really an issue with 2 (or 3 as you're licensed for in Essentials plus) hosts.
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by:coolsport00
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Correct "Randy..."; I actually had a good write-up in an EE post last yr about the specifics of HA. If I could find it, I would provide the link :P

~coolsport00
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by:Randy_Bojangles
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I know the one - I read it at the time!
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by:bgoering
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Based on your earlier comment about storage vmotion being missing from essentials plus - I have to ask are the vms running on shared storage? can you manually migrate them from one esxi host to another? Shared storage (fiber channel, iSCSI, or NFS) is essential for DRS and HA. It won't work with the vms on local storage...
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by:coolsport00
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Found it! :) (I'm gonna have to bookmark that)

Here's the gist of what I wrote in the post:
"HA works independently of vCenter once it is configured/enabled. The hosts have an agent running on them, which then basically just starts tracking heartbeats and takes action when one of the hosts in the clusters appears to be down. During an HA event, vCenter does not need to be running in order for the VMs to be powered up on another ESX/i host. vCenter is required for VMotion, but VMotion is not involved with HA at all. The VMs do go down when an ESX/i host fails, so VMotion is not an option. It is not really a cold migration either, because HA simply registers the VMs on another host and then powers them back up. At any point in time, you can go to an ESX/i host directly and remove a VM from inventory, and then go to another host and register that same VM there, leaving vCenter out of the picture. That is basically what HA does. Shared storage is necessary to do this of course...all the hosts in the cluster have to be able to access the virtual machine's files. So even if the host that vCenter resides on goes down, with HA, one of the remaining ESX/i hosts will try to register that vCenter VM and power it back up"

So, there you have it :)  And yes..."bgoering" is correct (and as stated in my comment here)...you have to have shared storage.

~coolsport00
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by:NR_EIS
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Thanks coolsport00 for the explanation.

Now both the servers have a Fibre Channel SAN storage connected.

A manual migration is possible, with manual I mean power down or place in suspend, right click and select migrate and do the required action.

But for the moment when I poweroff the host who has a running VM on it, it doesn't failover the other existing host.

Also in the summary window of my host, it says vMotion Enabled: NO
And I get the following error every x minutes: Ha agent on X.X.X.X in cluster Y has an error: error while running health check script
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by:bgoering
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You need to go into networking and on your vkernel port edit it and select the box to allow vmotion.. do that on both servers
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by:NR_EIS
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Addon: the error only arrives when the hosts are in a HA enabled cluster. When disabling the HA function of the cluster, the health message dissapaers.

Also when reconfiguring the hosts for HA (right click on host) the 2nd host fails from time to time. Is there a way to uninstall the agents on a ESX (the command for ESXI doesn't work)
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by:bgoering
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Should like below, if you don't have a vmkernel port you will need to create one
 Properties page Vmotion checkbox
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by:bgoering
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OK, and strictly speaking the vmotion isn't required for HA - but it is for live migration between hosts. I believe when HA is disabled on a cluster the HA agent is removed but not certain. You could also remove the host from vCenter - that removes the vCenter agent and HA may be part of that. When you add it back the agents are reinstalled.

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by:bgoering
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You should also walk through http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1001596 This article in step 10 points to how to manually uninstall and reinstall agents on ESX
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by:bgoering
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Is everything the same version? You will get into trouble if, for example, you are trying to use a 4.0 vCenter with 4.1 ESX hosts.
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by:NR_EIS
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bgoering: yes everything is the same version, installed with the same cd. No updates

I have configured my network cards good this time 1 for VMKernel & Management, 2nd for VM & backup management.

Thanks for the vmware kb, I have uninstalled the agents on the faulting hosts and readding them now.
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by:bgoering
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Good - keep us posted
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by:coolsport00
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Gosh...sorry just now getting back to this...mtgs, mtgs, mtgs. :)  Good postings though! :)  Will await to hear more info...

~coolsport00
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by:danm66
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If you want to test HA, disable the network ports to the "down" host or pull the network cables.  pulling the power on a system is just begging for disk corruption.
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by:danm66
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but leave the iSCSI network alone...
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NR_EIS earned 0 total points
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And found the solution to my problem.
Because the vmware cluster needed the run a domain controller with dns, I didn't set up a seperate one for the ESX. I have modified the hosts file and thought that was enough, but it wasn't :-)

So after setting up a DNS server on the seperate management server, everything went as smooth as possible.

Thanks all for the help and support
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by:NR_EIS
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Solved, DNS was the problem
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