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Pre-staging vMotion across datacenters

  • 1.  Pre-staging vMotion across datacenters

    Posted 05-18-2020 12:25 PM
    Hi all,

    I am working on laying out a possible upcoming datacenter migration.  My brain is a little fuzzy on this, but I seem to recall in some vSphere 6.7 discussions that vMotion was slated to support "pre staging", more or less, whereas the blocks are moved ahead of time.  Since it's nearly impossible to know how long it will take to migrate a VM across a WAN connection, the idea was that you could do all of the heavy lifting ahead of time.   When it comes to the final migration, vMotion just performs the final  delta copy to complete the vMotion, in a more controlled manner.  Does anyone know if this feature actually exists in the product?  I've reviewed the 6.7 documentation, and also searched around, but I can't seem to find any references to it.

    Thank you!

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    Brian Wall
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  • 2.  RE: Pre-staging vMotion across datacenters

    Posted 05-19-2020 12:23 PM
    Hey Brian,

    You have a very good question about Data Center Migration. Without knowing everything about your project my first suggestion to you is vSphere Replication. WAN speed is critical and if there is any doubt, then go slow. vRep and Site Recovery Manager will do what you are thinking about protecting the integrity of your VMs powered up or down, over slower WAN links.

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    Keith Nunnery
    @vmugkeithn
    Las Vegas VMUG Co-Leader
    VMUG US West Regional Champion Leader
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Pre-staging vMotion across datacenters

    Posted 05-20-2020 07:09 AM
    Hi Keith, and thanks for the reply.

    I've got a few tools in the toolkit.  vSphere replication of course, but I also have a few Veeam and Zerto licenses that could accomplish the same thing.  What I'm wondering about is doing this natively with vMotion.  I had thought (again, fuzzy minds) that VMware had been talking about this feature in vMotion to assist with moving workloads to/across the cloud via slower WAN links.  Perhaps I'm wrong?

    Thanks!

    ------------------------------
    Brian Wall
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  • 4.  RE: Pre-staging vMotion across datacenters

    Posted 05-22-2020 09:53 PM
    Hey Brian,

    @BrianWard has great suggestions. My comments here are based on experiences and what your project might require as a best practice. Whatever you do...TEST TEST TEST and TEST AGAIN.

    WAN speed is always the slowest link. ​I am fortunate to have a WDM PTP link between data centers. At times I have seen it max'd out during bulk migrations of various types. It works but WAN links are WAN links.

    In my mind migrating a data center is a big deal whether it's private or hybrid cloud. You and I are thinking how do we forklift workloads doing the Star Trek Transporter trick from start to finish, with all the bits rebuilt to exact specs? A loss of one hair is.....a loss.

    vMotion, Long Distance vMotion, Stretch Clusters, vReplication, Site Recovery Manager are purpose-built with thoughts and results in mind. Cross vCenter migrations have their own perils without the right tools and a clear understanding of how to be successful, the first time. VMware partners like Veem and Zerto certainly come to the table ready to play utilizing in-place APIs. Brian, you certainly have choices of tools.

    Are you migrating VMware workloads to AWS or Google Cloud?

    Check out this article on vSphere 7 vMotion Enhancements HERE.

    Here are free tools you might find useful for planning and testing purposes found at VMware Flings
    - Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility
    - vSphere Replication Capacity Planning

    I don't know if I am helping answer your question(s)


    ------------------------------
    Keith Nunnery
    @vmugkeithn
    Las Vegas VMUG Co-Leader
    VMUG US West Regional Champion Leader
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Pre-staging vMotion across datacenters

    Posted 15 days ago
    Hey Brian

    Glad Asaf has the answer you are looking for. I am doing a partial data center move next month, migrating VMs between two different vCenters - long distance. VMware's Site Recovery Manager w/vReplication is my magic carpet.

    VMs are replicating, SRM Recovery Plan test, and cleanup for the Protection Group works as planned. I am parked until the big day.

    Keep in touch with your progress. Another VMUG member will ask for help about this same subject someday. We have the answers!

    Cheers!

    ------------------------------
    Keith Nunnery
    @vmugkeithn
    Las Vegas VMUG Co-Leader
    VMUG US West Regional Champion Leader
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Pre-staging vMotion across datacenters

    Posted 15 days ago
    Hi Brian.
    And could be a HCX or long distance vmotion like another migration techniques to use?

    Regards!!

    ------------------------------
    Omar Salinas
    -- VMware System Engineer
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  • 7.  RE: Pre-staging vMotion across datacenters

    Posted 05-20-2020 11:29 AM
    If you're looking to perform bulk migrations, I'd also take a look at our Hybrid Cloud eXtension platform (HCX).   It's designed for bulk DC migrations.  It enables the definition of move groups, background syncing and minimal disruptions.  It can also coordinate long-distance vMotions along with offline / minimal disruption migrations.

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    Brian Ward
    Staff Solution Engineer
    VMware
    Charotte NC
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  • 8.  RE: Pre-staging vMotion across datacenters

    Posted 24 days ago
    I agree with Keith that chances are the tool you are thinking about is either long distance vmotion or the cross vcenter migration utility, in my experience there is no such thing as doing a prestage of a vmotion, there is the other option being mentioned about vSphere Replication being a free option but that would need downtime.

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    Edwin Castellanos
    System Administrator
    NTT Data Services
    Tlajomulco de Zuñiga JAL
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  • 9.  RE: Pre-staging vMotion across datacenters

    Posted 24 days ago
    Yes consider that Keith  said; If you consider Long Distance vMotion or Cross.. vM tecniques you must consider network configs changes.
    instead you can use vSphere Replication but consider Veeam Replications - you reduce replication time.

    Regards!

    ------------------------------
    Omar Salinas
    -- VMware System Engineer
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Pre-staging vMotion across datacenters

    Posted 23 days ago
    Hi Brian,

    I believe what you are referring to is an HCX called Replication Assisted vMotion (RAV). It leverages vSphere replication to vmdk data and then uses vMotion to do the compute switchover.
    Note that this is an HCX enterprise capability, so it's an add-on to the default HCX advanced license you might get with VCF/NSX Enterprise.

    ------------------------------
    Asaf Blubshtein
    Engineer/Specialist
    Connection
    Chicago IL
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Pre-staging vMotion across datacenters

    Posted 15 days ago
    Thank you Asaf!

    Yes, this is the feature I was thinking of.  It uses vSphere Replication underneath vMotion so that you can pre-stage the blocks and schedule your actual VM move.  I don't think it's the right tool for this job, as it would require a hybrid cloud configuration, but thanks for affirming that I'm not crazy and this feature really does exist.

    Brian

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    Brian Wall
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