VMware Cross-Cloud vMotion is another major milestone on VMware Seemless Hybrid Cloud Vision

If you are like me or many of VMware customers who has been following the VMware Hybrid Cloud Story closely for a while, you have probably asked yourself or your sales rep when will you be able to move your Virtual Machines back and forth between On Premise (Private Cloud) to vCloud Air (VMware Public Cloud) without encountering downtime. Many of us are used to the concept of VMotion and being able to move our VMs across hosts within a site and in vSphere 6 we had the capability to move VMs across sites and vCenters.

The next logical step in that vMotion evolution is being able to vMotion VMs to the Cloud and back, and that is just what VMware has announced at VMworld today. In fact, a live demonstration of what is called Cross-Cloud vMotion was shown during today VMworld General session. This exciting news has been a part of  Technology Preview of Project SkyScraper, a new set of hybrid cloud capabilities for VMware vSphere that will enable customers to confidently extend their data center to the public cloud and vice-a-versa by seamlessly operating across boundaries while providing enterprise-level security and business continuity.

VMware Hybrid Network Cross Cloud VMotion

Below is the two features of Project SkyScraper that was shared today at VMworld:

  • Cross-Cloud vMotion is a new technology based on vSphere vMotion that allows customers to seamlessly migrate running virtual machines between their on-premises environments and vCloud Air.
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VMware VMotion Improvement in VMware vSphere 5

As most bloggers when vSphere 5 arrived decided to cover the improvement on VMware HA, as it was totally revamped. I have decided to cover up the improvement on VMware VMotion in vSphere 5. VMware VMotion had as much improvement in vSphere 5 as VMware HA had, but seems to be forgotten by most bloggers. Below I will summarize some of the nice improvements VMware VMotion has gained with the release of vSphere 5.

– In vSphere 4 simultaneous VMotions were supported with up to 4 VMs if you have 1Gbps NICs & 8 VMs if you were using 10Gbps NICs. In vSphere 5 this has been extended to support multiple NICs for VMotion which increase the number of simultaneous VMotions allowed. At now a max of 4 10Gbps NICs or 16 1Gbps NICs can be used for VMotion in vSphere 5. Doing the math will show you that you can evacuate any ESXi 5 host really fast with that amount of simultaneous VMotions. Further, if you are not going to carry out as many simultaneous VMotions as allowed between your hosts, vSphere 5 can load balance the load across the free adapters to speed up the process.

– As memory must be copied during any live migration including VMware VMotion, busier VMs with high memory activity used to take longer in earlier version of vSphere.… Read More

Enabling Long Distance Live Migration with F5 and VMware vMotion

As more and more companies offer different way of doing cloud computing, the concept it self is getting fuzzier to the consumer. Further, after VMware has prompted the idea of Hybrid Cloud Computing, many other companies have copied the road map as usual and started to talk about it as being the first to promote it. The funny part is when you look about how to move workload between the Private & Public cloud which was one of the matters discussed in VMware original Hyprid Cloud plan, you will find not much of an answer or plan at most vendors. VMware VCloud Connector was the first part of the answer to this strategy, but not yet the full solution. Things that are coming in the future should enable the workload to move across the Private and Public Cloud with zero downtime to enable a real Hybrid Cloud. This will require a long distance vmotion to work across datacenters. Today many solutions are out there to enable VMware Long Distance VMotion between datacenters, & it get me wondering how thing will look like when these are fully integrated with vCloud Director/vCloud Connector out of the box in the future. That seems to give us a real Hybrid Cloud Computing that we were talking about.… Read More

How to enable VMotion if you have bought vSphere Essential Plus 4.0

As many of you know VMware has included VMotion in vSphere Essential Plus 4.1, where it was not included in vSphere Essential Plus 4.0

I have been getting the question lately, how do I obtain VMotion in this case if I have a valid support. Do I have to upgrade or change my license?

The easy answer is all you have to do is upgrade your software to vSphere 4.1. The license key you used with vSphere Essential Plus 4.0 will still be valid and usable with vSphere 4.1 & in turn will provide you with the VMotion feature, without the need to do anything on the license.

I thought its worth mentioning a bit about what to upgrade:

1- Start by upgrading your vCenter to 4.1. Its important to remember that vCenter 4.0 will not be able to manage ESX 4.1, where vCenter 4.1 can manage both ESX 4.0 & 4.1 which is why you will need to start with the vCenter first.

2- After completing your vCenter upgrade, then upgrade your ESX hosts from 4 to 4.1

3- Enjoy VMotioning with your vSphere Essential Plus.

So in this case VMotion seems nothing but VMware gift to you at no cost :).… Read More

VMware vSphere 4.1 Standard License to Include VMotion

Although this news has been released for over a month now, I believe it was not pushed hard enough. Now its the time for it to make it to my blog. After reading this post, cheaper can no more be an execuse to not choose VMware the leading Virtualization product for your datacenter. Its no more the argument of just VMware being more cost effective, but a very price competetive at the initial cost. VMware has just moved VMotion to its Standard edition. That means the competitors will be offering their customers at best the equivelant of VMware Standard edition. Further, with the low pricing of VMware standard edition its no longer more expensive than the competition.

I believe with this new move VMware has just decided to start crushing the competition. If you have been reading my blog enough, you would have noticed my post less than a year back  IF I was VMware CEO. In that post, I have mentioned that If I were VMware CEO I would included VMotion in the standard edition to crush the competition. At that time, many people has looked at it as a crazy request. Less than a year later, the move has came to match my request.… Read More

VMware Long Distance VMotion is the missing link for cloud computing today

I am not sure how many people has heard of VMware Long Distance VMotion, although the concept has been supported since fourth quarter of last year. For that, I thought its worth getting people to know about it. It even get more important when deciding on your cloud computing vendor.

At the moment, many companies offer some form of cloud computing services. Some of these cloud services are really nice, specially the one built on VMware Technology. Features like Memory Page Sharing, Memory Over Commitment, VMotion, Storage VMotion, HA, SRM, Snapshot, VMware Data Recovery & so on has made VMware one of the best platforms if not the best for cloud computing. These features has helped cloud computing vendors to offer a highly available & flexible solution for lower cost.

One feature has went missing from most of the cloud computing vendor today, is the ability to transfer the services/virtual machines from a local cloud to remote cloud without requiring downtime. One of the thing cloud computing is promising to offer in the future, is the flexibility to move your services between data centers including local,  remote, & hosted data centers. At the moment, no cloud computing vendor that I can recall offer this without requiring a downtime to move the services/VMs across.… Read More

Another Secret reason why you should purchase VMware Storage VMotion

As most of you already know VMware Storage VMotion is the ability to live migrate a virtual machine from one storage to another without any downtime. The usage most IT Professional relate to VMware Storage VMotion is the following:

The ability to move your virtual machines from a storage or datastore to another for maintenance reason or storage replacement without downtime. Though I had just came to discover another reason where it became vital. Thanks to Vladan as he brought it to my attention when he commented on my previous post:  VMware ESX 4 Reclaiming Thin Provisioned disk Unused Space

Yes, you will require storage VMotion in VMware ESX 4 to be able to reclaim Thin Provisioned disk unused space without downtime. As this is not a documented use of VMware Storage VMotion any where in the VMware Documentation I thought I will share it with all of you. If you had seen my earlier post VMware ESX 4 Reclaiming Thin Provisioned disk Unused Space, you will find out that you need to use Storage VMotion to reclaim thin provisioned unused disk space. Ok, there is other ways to reclaim Thin Provisioned disk unused space, but these require downtime. Below are one alternatives to VMware Storage VMotion to reclaim Thin Provisioned disk unused space, but remember it will require a downtime.… Read More

VMware vSphere Virtual Machine still show old datastore after storage vMotion

Before I start with the article, I have to point out this is not a VMware bug. Its the VMware admins doing what they are not suppose to do. VMware ESX 3 & VMware ESX 4 Administration Guides mention clearly that you should not VMotion or Storage vMotion a Virtual machine before disconnecting it from CD Media & ISO images that is only available to the first host or Datastore. Actually it will even warn you when you trying to do that.

That has been said, I still have a good number of customers who call me about their Virtual Machine summary still showing that it has a disk on the old datastore after Storage VMotion it to a new datastore. In most cases, it end up that the customer has carried out a Storage VMotion on a virtual machine that is connected to an ISO Image on the old datastore (probably where they have installed the VM from) see the image below.

ISO Image from the original Datastore attached to VM

Luckily the solution is quite easy, all you have to do is just change the Virtual Machine CDRom setting to Client Device & Hit OK as per the image below:

changing Virtual Machine CDRom Settings to client Device

Now you should only see the new Datastore in your Virtual Machine.… Read More

VMware EVC (Enhanced VMotion Compatibility) enable VMware VMotion across CPU generations

Everyone who had been using VMware for a while, would appreciate VMware VMotion. Actually VMware VMotion have always been a distinguished feature of VMware ESX servers. Despite of VMotion has always been a great feature, people using it at earlier stages used to have a tough time when having to use it across different CPU generation. That meant companies had to actually put similar hardware server in the same cluster, to guarantee that VMotion work smoothly. This was not possible at all the time, and was a tough call for implementers as they had to cheat masking manually in order to avoid VMotion not accepting to run between different CPU genrations.

Although VMware EVC (Enhanced VMotion Compatibility) has been around for a while, many VMware administrators still does not know about it or just over looked it. VMware EVC is actually the defacto solution for VMotion across hosts with different CPU generations. It will automatically masks the non compatible features of different generation cpus from the hosts, which give you the ability to VMotion across hosts with different CPU generations. Please note VMware EVC has been supported since VMware ESX 3.5U2, but was highly Enhanced in VMware vSphere.

Ok, now I got your attention & you want to know how to actually enable VMware EVC & what is the pre-requisite for it.… Read More

VMware ESX – VMware VMotion

What’s VMware VMotion?

VMware VMotion enables the active migration of running virtual machines from one physical server to another without interruption of service, availability of service and complete integrity of transactions.

VMware VMotion moves running virtual machines from one physical server to another while maintaining service availability.

VMware VMotion allows IT organizations to:

  • Perform live migrations with zero downtime, undetectable to the user.
  • Continuously and automatically optimize virtual machines within resource pools.
  • Perform hardware maintenance without scheduling downtime and disrupting business operations.
  • Proactively move virtual machines away from failing or underperforming servers.


VMotion is a key technology which makes the creation of dynamic data center
, automation and optimization possible.

VMware VMotion Diagram

When to use VMware VMotion?

  • To Perform hardware maintenance without having to schedule an interruption of service (Downtime)
  • Migrate virtual machines from servers with flaws or poor performance proactively .
  • Any time you have a schedule downtime for the host (Ex: updating the VMware ESX)

How does VMotion work?Read More