We have a bunch of systems running on IBM x3850m2 servers. The newest box we've gotten has slightly different processors requiring us to enable enhanced vmotion to move them. Is there a way to get these machines working with out rebooting the VMs? Maybe create a new cluster (or current one does not have resource pools defined on it but does have a lot of folders organizing the VMs and Templates.
I think we may have painted ourselves in a corner.
You don't have to bring down the hosts.
Right click the hosts in the cluster, click 'disconnect. Then REMOVE the hosts.
Once no more hosts are in the cluster NOW you can change the cluster parameters.
Readd hosts. You have to change the DRS / Resource pools and move VM's back into the pools, but AT LEAST you don't have to reboot...
From what I have read and researched the answer is no. We just added 4 new servers and they would not work in the existing cluster. We setup and new EVC cluster and then are migrating over to the new cluster as needed from the older cluster. We had to do a cold migration of the VM's though as well due to the EVC being enable and the different hardware...Others may know of a better way though so x your fingers
vMotion can be enabled without shutting down the vms, but EVC can not.
Some argue that you can build the new hosts into an EVC cluster then migrate from the existing cluster to the new cluster, but this will only work if the EVC mask applied masks all instructions that the new processor has . .and the old one didn't (so very few circumstances)
If you want these hosts in the same cluster, I'd build a new cluster, enable EVC, then migrate your VMs 1 at a time ( cold migrate . . about 5 minutes downtime) and as you make old hosts available, reboot them, make the Bios changes and add them to the new EVC cluster,
As mentioned earlier, the only way to not bring down your systems are to have new set of hardware and create new EVC enabled cluster and migrate those VMs one by one you can see the workaround mentioned at
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So if I can pull one of my existing hosts out (that has compadible CPUs) and move it to a new cluster (with enhanced vmotion enabled), can I vmotion across clusters?
This is somewhat disappointing - this is the first time since 2.0 that I've had to bring down all my VMs (well, aside from our two power outages last summer when our UPS exploded). Not that I can blame it on VMware, we should have verified with IBM that the processors where the same.
Maybe I should go kick the replacement UPS a few times.
You will only be able to vMotion from the EVC cluster to the non EVC cluster - sorry
You'll really need to enable EVC in a new cluster .. then when your VMs atec are next patched / rebooted /. . .whatever it may be, simply migrate them (They will have to be powered off, but will migarte OK . . they change can't HOT migrate)
Oh well, I guess it's time to schedule an outage (or pray for a hurricane).
Can you change EVC levels after it's implemented? Right now we're mostly running 65nm chips, will I have to go through this again in 3 years?
To Enable EVC you need to have three things: Intel-VT/AMD-V enabled and also the NX/XD Bits enabled within the CPUs all servers using the same family of processors AMD or Intel and all have to be supported by EVC. If the bits are NOT enable YOU WILL have to SHUTDOWN the host and Access the BIOS to fix first.
If you have enough hosts, then you migrate all VMs off, reboot, make the changes, reboot again. Join to EVC, then migrate the VMs back. The migrate may fail and if so then the source host is not EVC ready yet. Then you are stuck doing a fast migration (shutdown, move, boot) or doing hot clones of them.
If your hardware is not setup properly that is when you have issues.
With vSphere this is minimalized as you need NX/XD bits enabled else you get boot warnings.
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As in my previous post I already Vmotioned the machines to the new cluster. Since the hosts in the new cluster where the same processor type as in the old cluster we where able to simply move the machines, no reboot was required.