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ESXi Enhanced vMotion - Do I need It and How to Enable It

Posted on 2014-01-13
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Last Modified: 2014-01-23
I'm currently running version 5.0.0 in a cluster and am adding new hosts with a much newer chipset.  Do I need to enable Enhanced vMotion and if so how do I set this up?
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Question by:iNetSystem
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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If your Intel CPUs are different generations, and you have a License for vMotion or Storage vMotion, you will find you *CANNOT* vMotion or Live Migrate between different hosts with different Intel CPU Generation chips, without enabling EVC.

So what Intel or AMD processors are in ALL you servers, and I can tell you if you need to enable?

To enable, Right Click the Cluster, Edit Cluster, and Select EVC.

see also here

VMware KB: Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC) processor support

VMware KB: EVC and CPU Compatibility FAQ

Also when Enabling EVC on ALL Hosts in the Cluster, it cannot be enabled when you have VMs which are Powered-ON, so ALL VMs must be OFF.
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by:iNetSystem
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Seriously?
Powering off all VM's might not be feasible.  Can VM's be moved to hosts that are alive and so on?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
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What processors are in your servers new and old, you may not need EVC enabled?

Do you understand what EVC does? It masks instruction sets from VMs, so all VMs across all Hosts, use the same instruction set on different processors generations,

An EVC Baseline cannot be applied to a Host, which has Live VMs, because you cannot change the Processor in the VM, because it's in use and using the Host CPU.

Do you use vMotion and DRS ?

Power off all virtual machines in the cluster ......

Source here

You could always create two cluster, we have two at present, an Old and New, because we are waiting to move existing VMs to new cluster, when we complete maintenance.

So enable EVC on the New Cluster, and wait for VMs to need patching and restart, Migrate when OFF to new Cluster, and when ALL VMs have been moved to new Cluster, add the Old Hosts to this new cluster.
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