DBagini
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Adding a new host

I have what I think is a simple question that I am finding it hard to find the answer to.

I have esx 3.5 with vcentre and two hosts (HA etc) and a couple of dozen VMs running on them.

I want to add another host.

Does the new host have to be exactly the same as the existing ones (cpu, mainboard, network cards etc) to be able to immediately start running the existing VMs without them needing to reconfigure?

If not, where/how can I find out how to determine what will work and what won't?

More details:

I have two Dell 2950 hosts (Dual Xeon E5310 CPUs in both). They are getting a bit long in the tooth and I am looking at possibly adding another (newer and more powerful) host, eg a Dell R710.

Thanks.

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9 Replies
Mouhamad
Expert
Expert

Hello,

Your question is simple and trust me that the answer is also simple.

From my experience, I highly recommend having the same specs across all the servers in the cluster to maintain a good host profiles. But, it's almost impossible to do so all the times.

VM reconfiguration is not required at all when you have consistent vDSwitches and datastores presented to all the  hosts including the new one.

The only thing you need to worry about is the CPU family, to make sure the live vMotion will perform well in normal mode or EVC mode.

Check Dell vMotion CPU compatiblity matrix to ensure that you are buying the correct CPU, otherwise you will loose the vMotion functionality and everything depending on t.

Regards,

VCP-DCV, VCP-DT, VCAP-DCD, VSP, VTSP
AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

To use vMotion you need to enable EVC.

So first check if your system is compatible with it (as I remember there is also a Dell table).

Then check you update level  to see if you have EVC (or just look in cluster properties).

At this point you can by a R710 or 610 or similar (must be Intel) also with different RAM, motherboard, NICs, ...

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
SimonStrutt
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Bare in mind that to enable EVC you'll need shut-down your VM's (as this effectively alters the underlying CPU architecture that your VMs run on).

Being that you're adding a new host, and need to shutdown your VM's anyway, you could take the plunge and migrate to ESX4 (DELL 2950's are on the compatibility list for ESX4 - though worth double checking for yourself).

"The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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DBagini
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

EVC is the technology I was looking for! First few pages I have dug up on it appear to answer a lot of my simple questions. Thank you very much.

It is currently disabled so I am going to have to go looking for a good guide on how to turn it on and make it work.

Thanks again everyone who answered.

Funnily enough, I only just now also found this thread http://communities.vmware.com/message/1529696 on almost exactly the same issue from a year ago.

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niv201110141
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hello;

I am sending you a link which is vmware Compatibility matrix:

http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?source=web&cd=2&ved=0CB8QFjAB&url=http://ww...

You just need to enter the  Keyword and product version and then click on search if its compatible it will be mentioned in the list.

You can check for I/O,Storage;Guest OS Etc.

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DBagini
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Err, not sure what this page is meant to do. If I search with the keyword 2950, only Dell 2950s come up. Does this mean they are only compatible with themselves? Smiley Happy

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niv201110141
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Smiley Happy  Nope. I guess u didnt get how to do a search.I will do it for you.I got the server Model number which is Dell 2950s but will it be esx /esxi server?

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niv201110141
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

For example if i search assuming its Esx 4.1 in that case compatibility list will be as follows:Check the link

http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?action=search&deviceCategory=server&product...[]=24&datePosted=-1&partnerId[]=-1&formFactorId[]=-1&filterByEVC=0&filterByFT=0&min_sockets=&min_cores=&min_memory=&rorre=0

Let me know if it helps.

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DBagini
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Yeah, still not understanding how this page is menat to help me, sorry.

All that is listed in your example was 7 Dell 2950s.

What is this meant to show except a list of what Vmware versions will run on Dell 2950 machines?

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