Can not migrate VMware guest using vMotion

I have two ESXi 5.0 servers and have vMotion deployed and working. One of my hosts network cards has failed, there are no nics now on that host. I want to migrate a guest to a new host but can not, the option is grayed out.

In the vClient the host shows as unavailable and the guest shows as running. I can not manage the unavailable host because there are no nics. How can I migrate the guest to the new host?
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James HIT DirectorCommented:
Your only hope is to plug a USB and attempt to copy the files to the USB and place them on the datastore of the other host. Do you not use shared storage?

If not, here is the procedure from VMWare.
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
according to the fact that your VMotion is not working, that you lost a physical NIC, AND that your host is greyed out, I think that this was your only NIC configured for management of this host.

I could say that this is a bad install as we always think about configuring 2 NICs for management, if I remember correctly this is a VMware best practice. But I would not.. Crap, already done  ;-)

Now that you cannot reach this host's management, I think an eays way to resolve your issue would be to go on the hosts console, enter F2/password, go to network management, and configure another NIC to link it to the management portgroup.

But a screenshot of your networking config on your ESX would help if you can.
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
@Spartan_1337 : but I think if he do that he will have to shutdown the VM to transfer during the process.
And referring to the KB there is a host reboot too, to attach the USB device.
But in fact this is a good one (KB) I did not know about.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Simple, you cannot.

You will have to shutdown the host, and the VM, which will have a service outage.

OR, can you temporarily setup a new VMKernel Portgroup wuth vMotion!
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
@Andrew Hancock : is it not possible to do it at the console as I mentionned? to assign a NIC to the management vmkernel port?
CanOfWormsAuthor Commented:
I have a quad nic in the server, it is down. I do have shared storage, i never said I didnt.

It is my understanding, please correct me, if one of my hosts goes up in flames I can gracefully move the guests onto other hosts.
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
Yes, but you have to shut your VM down.

Here is how I would do it for each VM :
Shut down the VM from guest OS.
Identify on wich datastore the VM is (on summary tab of the VM in VMware you will see that)
Deregister them from the offline host (once a VM shut down is done, right clic on the VM in VMware inventory and select "remove from inventory" (not from disk!!!)
Then register it again on the other ESX host, the one going well, by browsing to the VM datastore and right clicking on the VM's .vmx file and selecting "add to inventory".

The wizard will ask you to choose on wich ESX you put the VM.
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
And to answer more precisely to your last question it depends if you have HA or not.

If you have HA and the first ESX goes up in flame then its VM will be hard shut down, but HA will restart them in really few minutes on the other host assuming ressources are fine.
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
If you don't have HA then your ESX and its VM will be down until you move them manually on the other host as I specified previously.
CanOfWormsAuthor Commented:
edit - i understand the guests would be down, by gracefully i mean without a huge rigamarole.
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
Ok, I understand ; I stated it again clearly in order for you not to think you could do everything on the fly.

But reading again past comments and being surprised of the guru answer, we may have another path to this :
VMotion port (for vmotion...!) and VMkernel port (for management), are same type and both with IP address.
So if you have your VMotion port IP for your down ESX, and if this IP and its NIC are not on different / isolated network you can reach your ESX remotely on this IP !
CanOfWormsAuthor Commented:
ok, so now I understand I can not "migrate", though I thought I did this in the past when the same box failed and was unreachable.

So now I can just add the guest to inventory manually and be done with it. When down server is repaired I will have to deal with it thinking it has these vms registered.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you have VMware HA, on a host failure, the VMs will be restarted on the other hosts.

If you do not have VMware HA, turn off the host.

Browse the datastore, search the VM Folder, Right Click the VMX file, select add to Inventory and Power On.

Less than 60 seconds of downtime...

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Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
To me it can be normal that if the host management is down, vCenter and the other host cannot reach it in order to VMotion the VM.
But the fact that the option is greyed out could be abnormal..
Is it possible that you change your license since VMotion was working? you can easily see if VMotion is supported by your ESX license version selecting an ESX and going to configuration tab/license in vsphere client.
CanOfWormsAuthor Commented:
I am unable to unregister the VM from the host. I see no way to do it.
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
What does it tell you or what is the error message?
Did you shut down the VM first?
CanOfWormsAuthor Commented:
The Host the VM is operating from is OFF. However, in vClient attached to vCenter Server the Host shows as unreachable and the VM shows started but disconnected.
CanOfWormsAuthor Commented:
Error I get when importing is:
A virtual machine or template having the same name is already registered. Server Error: The specified key, name, or identifier already exists.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Importing do you mean Registering the VMX ?
CanOfWormsAuthor Commented:
I mean when I right click on the VMX file and choose "Add to Inventory". It fails with the error. I believe I need to use the CLI to remove the orphaned VM from Inventory somehow?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Are you going to fix the failed host ?

is it the quad card which has failed ?
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
Hi again,
sorry i was out.

I understand what you say but before adding to inventory did you try to remove from inventory the orphaned VM? Did it work, or did you have any error message?
CanOfWormsAuthor Commented:
@Andrew Hancock
Yes, new MB and NIC required and will be installed tomorrow. The Quad NIC was the only NIC in the server and it failed.

@Mr Tortur
I now need a method to remove the VM from inventory. I have just installed CLI and am about to dig into how to get it done.

If anyone can offer assistance removing the VM from inventory it would be appreciated.
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
But can't you see orphaned VM in inventory (even greyed out)? If you see them you can remove them in GUI.
If not or another try would be to launch your vsphere client directly on the ESX instead of the vcenter : I know, you cannot connect to the offline one, but you could connect to the online ESX and try to add your VM to its inventory.
Also maybe it could create a double (UUID) in vcenter DB. I don't know for this part.
I am leaving now, so good luck or see you tomorrow.
CanOfWormsAuthor Commented:
I can see the orphaned VM in inventory. However I can take no actions on it.

I was able to connect the vClient to the Host, and then browse the datastore to "add to library" the ESX file. When my second host is repaired I will have to clean up vCenter as it still thinks the second host has an instance of the VM. But that is not a big deal, much better to have the VM running.

Thank you for everyone's help here. Side note: I do not have HA but do have vMotion. Had I had a second, redundant management network I would have been able to use vMotion to migrate the VMs and avoided a bit of workaround.

I also want to add, I did have 4 Network interfaces! But they were all on a single NIC. I will be installing dual dual port NICs from now on. :)
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