Enabling EVC on vCenter 6.7U3

msidnam
msidnam used Ask the Experts™
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I currently have a cluster of 4 servers (Intel Xeon Gold 5220). I need to add another server to the cluster but I don't have EVC enabled and this host has an older chip (Intel Xeon Gold 5120).

I know I need to power off the VM's before enabling EVC but I also see that I might need to move my vcenter to another cluster and move the servers to that new cluster (https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1013111)?

The article looks old and the versions only mention up to 6.0.x.  I currently use vSAN for this cluster but I have the vCenter on a local SSD on one of the hosts.

Am I able to enable EVC without having to add a new cluster?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
So basically at present you've got...

4 servers (Intel Xeon Gold 5220) - Cascade Lake
1 server (Intel Xeon Gold 5120) - Skylake

To migrate VMs Live (vMotion) between all five servers will need an EVC baseline of Skylake.

Do you have VMs on all servers at present ?

Where is vCenter Server located ?

That article although dated 18 Oct 2018, is the correct procedure.

Your issue is you cannot apply an EVC baseline to a power-on VM.

Author

Commented:
I only have VMs on the 4 Gold 5220 servers. the Gold 5120 server is in MM currently. vCenter is in the same cluster on a local SSD on one of the Gold 5220 hosts.

If I create a new cluster and move all the servers to the new cluster I have several backup jobs pointing to that cluster which I think will break.

If moving a host to another cluster doesn’t break vSAN could I move the Gold 5120 to a new cluster, move the vcenter to that host, enable EVC on the current cluster and then move vcenter and the Gold 5120 host back to the current cluster? I know I will need to power down all my current VMs on the current cluster.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Hang on here, vSAN is currently enabled on the current cluster resource (as it's cluster specific!)
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Will all those VMs run on a single host ?

is Gold 5120 server, going to take part in vSAN and have storage to contribute ?

Is this Production or Lab ?

Author

Commented:
Yes, we have a vSAN in the current cluster which is why I am concerned when reading the KB Article. It doesnt seem like it will be that easy.

Right now, the amount of VM's I have will not run on one host. However, I can power them all off if needed.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Yes, that KB does not take into account vSAN.

Okay, lets walk through this... if you can power down the 4 VMs, that's good... because that will allow the EVC baseline of Skylake to be created.

Is that 4 one of them vCenter Server ?

Author

Commented:
I have more than 4 VM's on this cluster. They are spread out across 4 physical hosts (Gold 5220 CPUS). Even though the new physical host that I want to add (Gold 5120) is currently in the same cluster, I have it in MM with nothing running on it. It is part of the vSAN though.

I can turn off all the VM's in that cluster, including the vCenter if needed.

From what I've read if I turn off the VMs I should be able to enable EVC but I guess because vCenter is also a VM and part of that cluster, it might not let me?

Also, the vCenter server is an appliance thats on the local SSD of one of physical hosts (Gold 5220).
VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
Okay....

You need to get vCenter Server into the (Gold 5120) host.

0. Power off. (Storage vMotion it live)
1. Migrate it to Gold 5120. (and you might as well migrate to vSANdatastore)
(or swap SSD from Gold 5220 to 5120)
2. So it's resident on Gold 5120.
3. Power On. The reason is vCenter Server will then already be using CPU - Skylake.
4. Power off all other VMs on hosts 1 - 4.
5. Create an Apply Skylake baseline. (this will be okay for Gold 5120 because it's already using a CPU - Skylake Instructions)
6. Power on all other VMs, which will then use Skylake instructions (not cascade)

Author

Commented:
Ok, excellent. I will be doing my maintenance tomorrow morning. I will report back once I do the changes. Thank you for all the info.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
no problems

Author

Commented:
I was able to do this tonight. I enabled EVC using Skylake and I am able to vmotion between the servers. so far it’s all looking good. the only issue I had which was a strange one is that one of the templates I had on one of the 5220s was preventing the host from going into the EVC. I made it in to a VM and then migrated it to another host. didn’t work. then I migrated another template on the same host to another on and then back and it worked. I’m not sure why the template would cause that but so far everything is looking good. thanks again for all your help.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
no problems

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