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VMware local storage to another host

Posted on 2014-02-22
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Last Modified: 2014-03-03
I have two ESXi hosts configured using local storage:-

host1_localstorage1
host2_localstorage2

I have no shared storage, I want to implement the following-

1. Perform live migration (powered on) to the respective ESXi host
2. If one of the hosts was to fail, what steps do I need to configure that the VM guest moves over to the respective host ?

Thanks
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Question by:rakkad
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27 Comments
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Abhilash
ID: 39879163
Both of them need shared storage.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Abhilash
ID: 39879167
You could think of using VSAN or VSA which will help you achieve shared storage with local disk.
But for both you need minimum of three hosts
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Author Comment

by:rakkad
ID: 39879169
We don't intend to implement shared storage on these hosts

I have read articles that you can move local storages ?
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 39879176
will NFS an option? too slow?
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Abhilash
ID: 39879179
Cold migration is possible but you can't do live migration. You could use veeam or converter to achieve it but not vMotion. Or you could use VSAN or VSA as I mentioned before.
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Author Comment

by:rakkad
ID: 39879182
What are VSAN VSA options ?
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Author Comment

by:rakkad
ID: 39879190
Does Cold migration require vmotion ?
0
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Abhilash
ID: 39879203
Cold migration is a type of vMotion. VSAN and VSA let's you use local storage as shared storage.
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Author Comment

by:rakkad
ID: 39879209
Does VSA come with standard editions, any special requirements for installation, etc.

Thanks
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 39879213
I beg to differ, this is "almost" Live Migration, with a small amount of downtime! (30 seconds!)

This is the Best you'll get WITHOUT Shared Storage:- (and it's FREE!)

see my EE Article, Step by Step Tutorial Instructions with Screenshots

Check it out, it works!

HOW TO: "Live Migrate" VMware Virtual Machines between ESX/ESXi hosts and/or datastores for FREE without licenses for vMotion or Storage vMotion
0
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Abhilash
ID: 39879221
VSA is another product that you will have to purchase it. It's Not a feature.
0
 

Author Comment

by:rakkad
ID: 39879251
Andrew:-

Thanks this will be useful.  What do you suggest in question 2 I initially raised, again this is for local storage and ensuring there is host failover recovery VM guests to the other host ?

Thanks
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 39879292
2. If one host fails, without failed storage, your VM is down, and not accessible. e.g. if one host is stolen, or blows up. or has storage failure, you will not have access to any of those VMs on that host.

So you need to ensure, you have valid backup routines. If you have backups of your VMs

e.g,

VMs on Host A >>>> Backup to Host B
VMs on Host B >>>> Backup to Host A

that gives you more resilience, and availability than what you currently have.

or backup Host A and Host B >>>>> NAS storage, Windows File Server, Workstation

Simple Backup like this ......will help you for free

Part 10: HOW TO: Backup (Export) and Restore (Import) virtual machines to VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 for FREE
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Author Comment

by:rakkad
ID: 39879302
This would mean powering off the VM, which for a production web server, this would not achieve the result I require.  I need the VM guest to be moved over to the other host automatically (failover..) if the hosting host fails

Any ideas ?
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 39879323
Yes, lots of ideas, we do this daily for clients!

This would mean powering off the VM, which for a production web server, this would not achieve the result I require.  I need the VM guest to be moved over to the other host automatically (failover..) if the hosting host fails

To complete this you would need Shared Storage and VMware HA.

Event his would, have a downtime of 1-2 minutes, whilst the ESXi server Cluster noticed the host had failed, and restarted the VM.

OR

No Shared Storage, Double Take - HA.
http://www.visionsolutions.com/Products/DT-Avail.aspx


1. How much downtime can you afford? e.g. Production Web Server down

30 secs, 1min, 1 hour, 4 hours, 24 hours?

2. and then there is how much money in your budget do you have to keep this Production Server Available?

Availability = Money, you provide more money, and ioncrease Availability, Increase the Money, and get better availability.

Two ESXi servers and no Shared Storage, single VM, Web Server in Production, there is Zero Availability in your Design!

You could consider Higher Availability, with a Microsoft Clustered Failover Solution?

or you could use Network Load Balance, with two Web Servers, on different ESXi hosts, this does not require Shared Storage, but does need a new VM, and OS License, and some network configuration, or you could use Hardware Load Balancer (more money!), or VM Load Balancer, or Microsoft NLB.

or, restore from current backup, downtime 30 mins to restore.
0
 

Author Comment

by:rakkad
ID: 39879345
I guess the HA build within VMware won't work since this relies on shared storage ?
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 39879559
Correct, VMware HA requires some form of shared storage.

You could build your own shared storage.
0
 

Author Comment

by:rakkad
ID: 39880841
I seen a video enhanced VMware vMotion from local storage, which shows a local storage VM moved between two different hosts using local storage

What is your take on this ?

Thanks
0
 
LVL 117

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 39880929
Yes, Enhanced vMotion works as well, very similar to Veeam function above.

http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-51/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vsphere.vcenterhost.doc%2FGUID-561681D9-6511-44DF-B169-F20E6CA94944.html

This does not help you in terms of Host Failure, because you will not know, when your host is going to fail, and when it does fail, you will not be able to migrate your VM.

I'm not sure how this is going to help you wirh your Web Production 24x7 issue, uptime issue?

see the Limiations here

http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-51/index.jsp#com.vmware.vsphere.vcenterhost.doc/GUID-9F1D4A3B-3392-46A3-8720-73CBFA000A3C.html
0
 

Author Comment

by:rakkad
ID: 39881184
I do have vMotion installed and have attempted to move the VM across and this does work, by switching the server off. I need to use the web client to use the option to move both the data store and host

So having saying this if I enable VMware HA, will this work ? since this is using vMotion ?
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 39881186
VMware HA does not use vMotion.

VMware HA uses an agent on the host, with instructs the VM to start-up from shared storage.

VMware HA requries Shared Storage,
0
 

Author Comment

by:rakkad
ID: 39881238
So regards to VMware HA do you think there is a need to implement this even though I am not using shared storage

Obviously, I will need to find a solution to have some sort of HA since using local storage, hence the methods you identified earlier, I think since on constraints I will be implementing windows load balancing
0
 

Author Comment

by:rakkad
ID: 39881240
Do you think moving forward there is a better approach than using load balancing, ideally since these servers are DMZ web servers we decided not to have shared storage.  Do you think this is a good approach ?

Thanks for you suggestions, much appreciated
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 39881861
Back to my original questions in http:#a39879323, that you did not answer?

they are many methods of providing HA, without using VMware HA.

How much downtime can you afford?

and at what cost?
0
 

Author Comment

by:rakkad
ID: 39883701
Sorry being late to reply..

Yes,  cost is a issue we would what to for with a cost-less approach solution and come back to a suitable solution later on.

So, what would your recommendations/suggestions for now as one from our applications is good live in two weeks
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 39883932
Have a backup of the Web Server, ready to restore on your other host in the event your host should fail. (this costs nothing!).

You could even backup the current web server, every hour of the day, e.g. costs nothing to the other Host Server.

What servers are you using?

I've not had a server failure for 5 years, using recent hardware, e.g. Dell, IBM or HP.

making sure, you have dual power supplies, RAID storage, good networking, UPS.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:rakkad
ID: 39900987
Thanks for the suggestions
0

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