VMware Enhanced vMotion

A little bit more detail on the new Enhanced vMotion available in vSphere 5.1.

Basically, it allows you to move VM’s running on host based local storage on one host to host based local storage on another host. No more need for any type of shared storage. This is a big bonus for the SMB market place, as the ‘expense’ (not just the cost of the the storage, but also of the administration overhead) of shared storage for a full HA vSphere environment has sometimes been a stumbling block on implementing these solutions.

Benefits of the new Enhanced vMotion:

  • No longer dependant on ‘expensive’ or ‘complicated’ shared storage solutions
  • Ability to run maintenance tasks on the ESX hosts without downtime for the VM guests
  • Manual storage resource management, in case a local host storage is unable to supply the required IO for a VM guest that guest can now be moved, with no downtime, to another host which can handle the IO requests.

Requirements for Enhanced vMotion:

  • Hosts must be part of the same Data Center
  • Hosts must be managed by the same vCenter Server
  • Hosts must be on the same switch is Virtual Distributed Switches are in use
  • Hosts must be on the same layer 2 network

Limitations (at this time):

  • Maximum of 2 concurrent Enhanced vMotions per host
  • DRS and sDRS do not use Enhanced vMotion, it is a manual process