8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 26, 2011 9:09 AM by DSTAVERT

    Migration to ESX 4.1 issues

    khughes Virtuoso

      Currently we are running ESX 4.0U1 and have been trying to migrate up to 4.1 for the past couple months.  While the installation of 4.1 is no problem and most VM's vMotion to the 4.1 host without any issue, I am running into a major problem when I try to get our Citrix Presentation Servers moved onto ESX 4.1 host.


      While it will vMotion onto the new host, performance of these particular VM's goes down the drain.  Origionally when I would vMotion from a 4.0U1 host to a 4.1 host, the server would basically lock up, users that were connected to the VM would also freeze up and then it kind of would move forward but very slowly but still to the point they really couldn't work.  After many talks with VMware support, we tried a cold migration to 4.1 thinking maybe powering it on 4.1 would fix any vMotion bugs that might be going on between 4.0 to 4.1, at first it looked like it would fix the issue but today about half way through my migration to 4.1 users connected to the Citrix servers resting on 4.1 were complaining about performance and I could see the major lags.  Once I migrate the Citrix VM back to a 4.0 host, issues seem to be resolved in terms of performance.


      I've talked to a handful of other VMware users and been going back and forth with VMware support for the past couple months trying to figure this out so any information or ideas would be helpful.  It's been mentioned that maybe because it was a P2V'd server that could be an issue.  Its not like this is a new server or hasn't been running on VMware for a long period of time.  These Citrix servers have been running without performance issues for the past 3+ years starting from 3.0.2 + updates -> 3.5 + updates -> 4.0 -> 4.0U1


      In my mind something with 4.1 changed and is causing the issue.

        • 1. Re: Migration to ESX 4.1 issues
          mreed9 Enthusiast

          Based upon the information provided it appears the issue is not with the vm itself so it maybe an issue with the host in regards to the overall host performance. It could be a load issue on the host which i'm sure has been checked but if there is another 4.1 host it maybe worthwhile moving the vm to that host to test it. Identifying any performance differences between when the vm is running on a 4.0.1 host and a 4.1 host might help shed some light on what is the difference between the two host is. It could possibly network related to that host and maybe introducing unnecessary latency. I hope this maybe of some help, probably not but thought I'd try.

          • 2. Re: Migration to ESX 4.1 issues
            beyondvm Hot Shot

            What version of virtual hardware and tools are these VMs using?  Does upgrading the tools when they are on the 4.1 host help? Keep in mind though, you should then downgrade them again if you are moving back to the U1 host.

            • 3. Re: Migration to ESX 4.1 issues
              khughes Virtuoso

              Problem is I believe it is something to do with the host level mainly the build of ESX itself.  This issue happens even if nothing else is on the host but the Citrix server. Tried both dual quad / 26GB ram and dual dual / 30GB ram hosts and a 2vCPU / 2GB VM is having issues running alone on the host.


              Also the VM hardware is v7 but we don't upgrade the tools on the VM's until all of the hosts are at the highest level to avoid issues when you upgrade then have to revert host to earlier versions.

              • 4. Re: Migration to ESX 4.1 issues
                mreed9 Enthusiast

                When the vm experiences the performance issues does the host as well ? I assume that the host backend is the same as the other esx hosts, storage, network, etc. Have other VMs on those host had similar performance issues? Are the performance metrics relatively the same for the Citrix VMs when they are on the 4.1 host as compared to the 4.0.1 host?

                • 5. Re: Migration to ESX 4.1 issues
                  khughes Virtuoso

                  Nope to my knowledge all other VM's running on 4.1 hosts run just fine, its just the Citrix VM's

                  • 6. Re: Migration to ESX 4.1 issues
                    beckham007fifa Expert

                    Hi All,


                    I am having 4 hosts x3950 IBM servers with SAN LUNS shared for each one. Hosts having ESX 3.5 U5.
                    We have been told to migrate to esxi 4.1. Also, this going to be fresh installation of ESXi 4.1 and will be migrating VMs runnning on ESX 3.5 back to it.


                    Our steps..


                    Preimplementation Activity   
                    1    Install Windows OS on the physical server agreed to use for vcenter
                    2         Install Vcenter server 4.1 on new physical host with update manager
                    3          Create a new Datacentre on newly installed Vcenter server
                    4    Assign a new tempoarary IP to server
                    Implementation Activity   
                    1    Login to old vcenter 2.5 and check the ESX & vm running properly
                    2          Vmotion all VM from ESX03 to ESX04 ( Shut down some of VM if not required )
                    3          Check all vm with respect to its functionality
                    4    Take details of all datastore and network interfaces attached to the ESX03 server
                    5    Take the backup of ESX server config
                    6    Remove the ESX03 from the datacenter
                    7          Perform a fresh installation of esx4.1 on the free host (i.e ESX03 )
                    8    Add in the Datacenter of VC 4.1
                    9    Configure the Datastore and Network Interfaces on newly installed ESX server ( Keep the existing old IP of the esx system )
                    10    Remove the ESX04 form the datacenter of VC 2.5
                    11    Add the ESX04 in the Datacenter of VC 4.1
                    12         Vmotion all vm from the ESX04 to ESX03 ( Newly installed ESX 4.1 )
                    13          Check all VM with respect to its functionality


                    so, I would like to know from you guys that is it OK? Also, do I have to do any HBA disconnections before proceeding the ESXi 4.1 installation? if yes, how to do that?


                    also, how abt the communication and vmotion on the new ESXi server, if I am ahving all the configuration working with 3.5 and on the same we going to migrate it. then will it work as the same if we providing the same ip for ESXi 4.1. IF NOT, what all things I have to do for doing VMotion after pulling back all the servers in the Vcenter4? Please help me with this. this activity I am supposed to do ASAP.


                    any help will be highly appreciated.


                    Thanks in advance.

                    • 7. Re: Migration to ESX 4.1 issues
                      mreed9 Enthusiast

                      I'm sure a new post should have been started but here are my thoughts. Looking through it everything looks good to me, in regards to the HBA disconnection i'm not %100 certain on that but would assume that once the host is powered off the connection will eventually drop on the storage side. If both hosts are in the same VC datacenter then vmotion should work just fine even if the ip address changed as long as the networking configuration has stayed the same.

                      • 8. Re: Migration to ESX 4.1 issues
                        DSTAVERT Guru

                        The absolute first step is to verify that ALL your hardware is on the Hardware Compatibility List http://vmware.com/go/hcl including add in NICs, controllers, storage, HBAs etc.


                        You should also consider installing ESXi rather than ESX since 4.1 is the last version of ESX.