VMware live migration from one vcenter to another. Which software?

Don
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Hi,

Looking to migrate a load of servers from one vCenter to another vCenter. We don't currently have Veeam, but are looking to move to it. Current backup software won't support any live migration etc.

Any recommended software packages for this? The other option is migrating the storage first, then shutting down, un-registering and re-registering on the new vCenter.

Thank in advance :)
 
Soldato
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There's loads of options that should do this without breaking a sweat or needing third party software such as veeam. Easiest are:

1. Linked mode and do a normal vmotion.
2. Use a jump host (add a host from venter a to venter b- vmotion vm's to new hosts... Move host back, rinse repeat until all vm's have moved) .
3. Use the cross vcentre migration fling.
4. Deploy vsphere replication (would require small downtime per server to fail over vm's)

Edit- Would be happy to take a quick look at this over a webex and see what the easiest method would be if you are unsure, as could do with more details on the scenario.

Option 2 is usually the most pain free and simple method if linked mode isn't possible.
 
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Associate
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done hundreds before by just moving the hosts to new vecenter before moving them over. just need to disable ha on first Venter. 8f not in same network can you add temporary vmk to old servers so they can be moved?
 
Associate
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When I've had to migrate VMs lke this (and I'm assuming you don't have your 2 vCenters linked in any kind) I have just recreated the Cluster (if one exists) on the new VC, and then added the ESXi hosts to this. Ensure you disable HA on the cluster first. It will complain and say they are already managed by a vCenter but you can okay that message and then once all hosts are under the the once vCenter you can migrate bewtween them freely
 

Si.

Si.

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When I've had to migrate VMs lke this (and I'm assuming you don't have your 2 vCenters linked in any kind) I have just recreated the Cluster (if one exists) on the new VC, and then added the ESXi hosts to this. Ensure you disable HA on the cluster first. It will complain and say they are already managed by a vCenter but you can okay that message and then once all hosts are under the the once vCenter you can migrate bewtween them freely

+1

This is how I usually do it, and I've done LOTS of it.. works perfectly, no downtime, doesn't need shared storage as you can also do a storage vmotion if required. No downtime :)
 
Associate
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Moving hosts to a new vcenter isn't so easy when you're using DVS huh?
Quite true Lanz, I always forget about that! you can export the DVS and import to the new vCenter, however as you say it isn't as straight forward as you need to recreate all the networking with Standard Switches before moving across, then reconfigure for DVS once in on the new vCenter
 
Associate
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Quite true Lanz, I always forget about that! you can export the DVS and import to the new vCenter, however as you say it isn't as straight forward as you need to recreate all the networking with Standard Switches before moving across, then reconfigure for DVS once in on the new vCenter
Hmmm it's been a while, but I don't remember having to do that. If you bring an ESXi host with VMs that were part of a vDS into a new vCenter, it will bring a stub of the vDS with it, and as long as you don't need to change anything, it still routes traffic just fine. You then do the normal re-homing of VMs onto the vDSs on the new vCenter and away you go.
 
Soldato
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Hmmm it's been a while, but I don't remember having to do that. If you bring an ESXi host with VMs that were part of a vDS into a new vCenter, it will bring a stub of the vDS with it, and as long as you don't need to change anything, it still routes traffic just fine. You then do the normal re-homing of VMs onto the vDSs on the new vCenter and away you go.

Again, I'm not too sure myself. Yes the VMs will continue running and stay online, but if you bring a host over with a pre-configured vDS, surely you have to configure the new vDS on new (different) NICs before changing the VM's networks? So you need more uplinks. I think you're meant to move the VMs to standard vswitches beforehand.

This whole vDS recovery issue always made me a little nervous.
 
Associate
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Again, I'm not too sure myself. Yes the VMs will continue running and stay online, but if you bring a host over with a pre-configured vDS, surely you have to configure the new vDS on new (different) NICs before changing the VM's networks? So you need more uplinks. I think you're meant to move the VMs to standard vswitches beforehand.

This whole vDS recovery issue always made me a little nervous.
Yeah, you steal one of the NICs off the stub vDS to get the host onto the destination vDS, then move the VMs to the destination vPGs, then steal the 2nd (and final) NIC and delete the stub vDS.
 
Associate
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If you have lots of VMs and lots of dPGs then creating new vSwitch and associated PGs is a fair bit of faff with potential for error for what is a one-off operation; eg make sure you got all the VLANs correct, make sure you move the VMs from dPG to the correct PG and then back to the correct dPG at destination. Obviously if you follow the official process then you have something to fall back on if it goes wrong (“I was following the official method, guvnor”), so I would recommend you keep doing that if you are a consultant. But if you’re doing it in-house, my method works absolutely fine, and is a lot more straightforward. Ironically you will lose less pings on my method (one migration per VM instead of two). I need to dig up my most recent (2 years ago) doco to make sure I’m not leading you astray. But test it, it’s easy!
 
Associate
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Quite true Lanz, I always forget about that! you can export the DVS and import to the new vCenter, however as you say it isn't as straight forward as you need to recreate all the networking with Standard Switches before moving across, then reconfigure for DVS once in on the new vCenter
I never had much joy — exporting and importing always caused more trouble than it was worth (probably up to 6.0? — haven’t done it in a while).
 
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