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g0badgers
Contributor
Contributor

Long Distance VMware Migration Question

I'm looking for possible solutions for the following scenario:

40 VMs (all .vmdk) from a ESX 3.5 cluster in Florida need to be

migrated to our ESX4 cluster in Madison. We will not be moving the

hardware in Florida, just the VMs.

Total used space in all datastores on the Florida cluster is about 5TB.

Assume all VMs in Florida cluster are 24/7 production and as little

downtime as possible is needed.

The data pipe between Madison and Florida is about 6meg u/d.

My initial thoughts are to have the vmdk files shipped via a NAS to

Madison, get them in to our environment and then use some sort of

software package to sync the changes during a final cut-over. Once all

changes synced, Florida datacenter is shutdown and all VMs are

upgraded to the latest Virtual Hardware and tools and booted in

Madison.

If this is a workable idea, the question remains, what software

package is workable in this scenario. It would be a one time use so it

doesn't make a lot of sense to spend a lot of budget on this software

(demo software?). Would software like Veeam work here?

What are some alternatives to this scenario? Thanks for your time.

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FranckRookie
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Leadership

Hi G0Badgers,

Welcome to the forums.

The two software products I am aware of being able to do incremental replications are Veeam Backup & Replication and Novell PlateSpin Protect. But there should be others.

Depending on your storage system, you can also check if the manufacturer doesn't have a replication tool.

Good luck.

Regards

Franck

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g0badgers
Contributor
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Thanks for the reply Franck. Does anyone out there have experience in doing long distance WAN replication of this much data? What's the best approach?

G0Badgers

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NuggetGTR
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Yeah ive been involved with a project to migrate about 3500 VMs 300KM to another city, but our pipe was allot more than 6meg tho its bandwidth is upward of 80 Gbps this made it pretty easy as we just added a staging lun that both esx hosts could see and moved them to that then to the new storage. with your setup I would recommend some downtime do one machine at a time move them over cold. you link between sites is the only limiter here.

Hey you could try have a plan old NAS at the other end make sure both sites ESX hosts can see it and add it, and migrate both host and storage, not sure what the time out would be it could go through, worst case cold migrated it like that.

what sort of storage to you use? most SANs will have some kind of san replication software which you could do also.

________________________________________ Blog: http://virtualiseme.net.au VCDX #201 Author of Mastering vRealize Operations Manager
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Cyberfed27
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I would have to agree that an offline shipping of the VM's would be your best bet to ensure no issues.

Your network pipe is too tiny for that amount of machines.

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g0badgers
Contributor
Contributor

Another thought I had was to build a standalone beefy ESX4 host with enough internal storage onsite in the Florida location and V2V the 3.5 VMs to the 4.0 ESX host and then ship that ESX host to Wisconsin. Upside of this would be that I wouldn't have to then get a software package in place to sync any changes between the VMs. When they arrive at the 4.0 cluster they would already be running the latest virtual hardware. Downside I suppose is a much longer window of downtime for these production servers. Any other thoughts on this? Anyone know if there are software packages that have a fully functional demo/trial window so that we wouldn't have to spend $$$ on software that would be one time use?

G0Badgers

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taylorb
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

We've been working on a similar project and have replicated several large VMs. On our 10 meg link we can transfer a 300GB VM in about 2 days. We use a Lefthand at our recovery site and found it much more convenient to load copies of the VMs onto the lefthand and have it delivered to the site instead. We still occasionally copy a big VM, but I suspect it would take a month to copy 40 normal sized VMs over 6Mb link.

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