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Moving a virtual machines files to a different shared storage...

Posted on 2011-02-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello,
 We've recently added some more storage to our storage array. I have been migrating the vm's to this new storage because the 2 smaller LUN's  are going to be reconfigured into one big one so this is why I'm migrating the vm's to the new larger storage array. I have successfully moved all but 3 vm's. The 3 I have left are the exchange server and 2 sql database servers. My question is:
Is it possible to migrate these servers to new storage only (not new host) while they are on, like I did to all the other servers without anything bad going wrong? Because I know that taking snapshots of exchange/database servers is not recommended but wasn't sure if vMotion acts the same way. I'm just curious about the changes that are happening to our exchange server for instance with mail coming in and how vMotion handles it while moving it to the new storage.

Thanks a lot,
BW
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Question by:bwinkworth
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 250 total points
ID: 34911575
vMotion/Stogare vMotion doesn't operate in the same way as Snapshotting. It's designed to move Services and Servers that are powered-up.

That being said, I would do it at a quiet time, out of hours, and arrange some scheduled downtime just in case you require it.
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It's okay to take Snapshots of Exchange and SQL servers, as long as you don't keep running the server on the Snapshot for an extended period, greater than 2 days.

Backup rely on the APIs, to Snapshot the machine to back them up.
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by:sevlahpt
ID: 34911652
Hello.
You did not specify wich Exchange you using, but if its 2010 that is not supported at all.
Other Exchange versions, i think they also don't support it, because you can actually loose data when trying to move (incoming email).
The best way would be, try get a day when you have to restart server, or perform a maintenance, and copy what you need. This way you don't take risk with those important data.
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by:danm66
danm66 earned 50 total points
ID: 34911675
I would underscore hanccocka's recommendation that you do your storage vmotions during slow times.  iirc, to do a storage vmotion, ESX needs to take a snapshot to release the locks on the disk's so they can be copied to the destination datastore.  I have seen a SQL vm running on a snapshot become unresponsive to the console and even drop pings when under high IO strain.
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by:bwinkworth
ID: 34915728
Thanks for the answers gentlemen. I'm currently running Exchange 2007 SP1 on Server 2008. It boggles my mind how Exchange and the snapshot reconcile the logs in Exchange by either deleting the snapshot or reverting to the snapshot. I thought it was totally a no no.

BW
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no problems, any further questions, the VMware Experts are waiting.
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