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Moving VM via cold migration from 1 ESX host to another

Posted on 2011-02-11
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Is it possible to move a VM that is under 1 ESX host that's not part of any FT cluster over to a Host that is part of a FT cluster? I'm not doing a live Vmotion, this will be a cold migration



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Question by:iamuser
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 34875148
It will be easy if on shared storage. Just remove from inventory (do not delete from disk!) on one server. Then in the datastore browser on the other server navigate to the vmx file for the vm, right click and add to inventory.

If on local storage it is pretty much just as easy - Just takes longer. Use VMware converter to copy it over.

Good Luck
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by:bgoering
ID: 34875152
I should say on shared storage that is shared between the source and destination!
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by:iamuser
ID: 34875291
we have 2 SAN's and vcenter can see both SAN. The blades themselves do not see each SAN.

But I'll be doing a storage Vmotion as well (cold move)

Once I do the offline storage Vmotion I can then do the offline Vmotion of the VM I take it then
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bgoering earned 500 total points
ID: 34875427
The ESXi blades would both need to see the same LUNs in order for the method above to work. As I understand it you have vCenter with two clusters, the ESXi servers in cluster one uses one set of LUNs (or SAN), the ESXi servers in cluster two uses a different set of LUNs. If there is no datastore shared between the two clusters the storage vmotion won't do much good. If that is the case the VMware converter copy would likely be your best bet... just as if you were going local storage to local storage.

In my shop I have one "shared" LUN and datastore that all ESX and ESXi servers can see and I use that as an intermediary when needing to move vms between clusters. If you don't have such a shared LUN you could do the same thing for shared storage with NFS - might be quicker and easier.

It boils down two if the source and destination server can both see the same storage you should be able to use storage vmotion and vmotion to move around, otherwise it will be a copy
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by:iamuser
ID: 34875658
how would I do a copy in this case?

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by:bgoering
ID: 34876359
Get the stand-alone VMware converter version 4.3 from http://www.vmware.com/go/converter. Install it pretty much on any physical or virtual Windows box with connectivity to both clusters, and do a "convert" - this will allow you to do other things if you wish, for example resize disks, convert thick to thin, etc. during the copy.

Alternatively look at Veeam FastSCP (http://www.veeam.com) or WinSCP. You would need to enable SSH access (Remote Tech Support mode on ESXi 4.1) on your servers. Add them both to the tree. Then you can browse the datastores and do a straight copy.

I find Converter a bit easier to use myself. And SCP will inflate thin provisioned disks to their full size during a copy.
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