At VMworld 2012 vSphere 5.1 was introduced. One of the features is “Enhanced vMotion”. Using Enhanced vMotion you can migrate between “shared nothing” hosts. Yes, you can now migrate live between local storage and shared storage as VMware has combined the storage vMotion and vMotion all-in-one. Cool new feature that can’t be missed, or just another tick in the box to keep up with Hyper-V in the announced Microsoft 2012 server?
Enhancements on vMotion called “Enhanced vMotion”
What a catchy name! 😉 So what does it do? Well, for one it allows you to perform “share nothing” vMotions. Yes! You can now vMotion between local disk and shared disk, or even local disk to another local disk located in another host! Ow so you are a non-believer? Watch and be amazed:
I have two vSphere 5.1 nodes called Lilo and Stitch. Both have a local datastore called
Now we start the “share nothing vMotion” by selecting I want to migrate away from the local storage as well as the host, to the other host and its local storage:
Now we select the remote datastore – yes: The other local disk on the other host:
Now we are ready to start the actual vMotion… Off it goes:
My VM is still fully active as the vMotion completes both data movement and VM relocation. Too cool! After a while, the Enhanced vMotion completes and look, the VM is now running on the other host on its local storage:
Very cool from a technology standpoint… But is it that useful in production environments?
Enhanced vMotion: Killer feature or just a “tick in the box” ?
From a technical perspective this “share nothing” vMotion is very cool. You can now migrate VMs live from one node to the other, without any shared storage. But how effective is this in a production environment? It is really only useful if you have or plan to use local storage… And when you look at it from that perspective, you still loose the killer features as the much more speedy vMotions you get with shared storage, and of course VMware HA will not work when you use local storage and the “share nothing” vMotions. Maybe it is just to show off: Microsoft’s new version of Hyper-V (Windows server 2012) will also be able to perform “share-nothing” vMotions. Just another tick in the box? (and VMware, while we are discussing “ticks in the box”: how about being able to create up to 64TB virtual disks?!?!)
So in the end the usefulness of the net Enhanced vMotion is limited in larger production environments I think. But VMware is heavily aiming its arrows at the smaller shops, and they will certainly appreciate new abilities like this.