ldornak
Contributor
Contributor

Enabling EVC with VirtualCenter VM

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I will have some time at x-mas to power down all my VMs and need some input on my plan to enable EVC on my cluster.

My Environment:

3 identical hosts - ProLiant DL585 G2

ESX 3.5u2

VirtualCenter 2.5u2 running in a VM

I can not migrate with the VMs running. I get the "CPUID Mismatch" error when I try to migrate running VMs into the EVC enabled cluster, so I will need to shutdown all my VMs to enable EVC. Would the following plan work?

  1. Shutdown all VMs and leave the VC VM running.

  2. Put host1 in maintenance mode.

  3. Move host1 outside the cluster.

  4. Exit maintenance mode on host1.

  5. Vmotion VC VM to host1.

  6. Enable EVC on the cluster containing host2 and host3.

  7. Clone VC VM - leave powered off.

  8. Migrate powered off VC clone to host2.

  9. Shutdown VC VM.

  10. Connect VIC to host2.

  11. Power on cloned VC VM.

  12. Connect VIC to cloned VC VM.

  13. Migrate original powered off VC VM to host2.

  14. Shutdown cloned VC VM.

  15. Connect VIC to host2.

  16. Power on original VC VM.

  17. Connect VIC to original VC VM.

  18. Put host1 into maintenance mode.

  19. Move host1 into the cluster.

  20. Exit maintenance mode on host1.

  21. Delete cloned VC VM.

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Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello,

It looks like it will work. Not sure I would clone the VM however. Here is what I would do:

Shutdown all VMs but VC.

Shutdown host2 and host3

During power on Update BIOS for host2/host3 to enable AMD-V and NX/XD Bit

Make a new Cluster.

Join host2 to the cluster

Enable EVC on the CLuster

Join host3 to the cluster

Shutdown VC VM on host1

migrate VC VM to new cluster

Power on VC VM

Ensure everything in cluster works

Power off Host1

Update BIOS for host1 to enable AMD-V and NX/XD Bit

Join Host1 to new Cluster

Recreate Resource Pools

Rearrange VMs

Boot VMs

There should be no need to clone the VC VM.


Best regards,

Edward L. Haletky

VMware Communities User Moderator

====

Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education.

SearchVMware Blog: http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/virtualization-pro/

Blue Gears Blogs - http://www.itworld.com/ and http://www.networkworld.com/community/haletky

As well as the Virtualization Wiki at http://www.astroarch.com/wiki/index.php/Virtualization

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIII: 2009-2021,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill

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9 Replies
Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello,

It looks like it will work. Not sure I would clone the VM however. Here is what I would do:

Shutdown all VMs but VC.

Shutdown host2 and host3

During power on Update BIOS for host2/host3 to enable AMD-V and NX/XD Bit

Make a new Cluster.

Join host2 to the cluster

Enable EVC on the CLuster

Join host3 to the cluster

Shutdown VC VM on host1

migrate VC VM to new cluster

Power on VC VM

Ensure everything in cluster works

Power off Host1

Update BIOS for host1 to enable AMD-V and NX/XD Bit

Join Host1 to new Cluster

Recreate Resource Pools

Rearrange VMs

Boot VMs

There should be no need to clone the VC VM.


Best regards,

Edward L. Haletky

VMware Communities User Moderator

====

Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education.

SearchVMware Blog: http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/virtualization-pro/

Blue Gears Blogs - http://www.itworld.com/ and http://www.networkworld.com/community/haletky

As well as the Virtualization Wiki at http://www.astroarch.com/wiki/index.php/Virtualization

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIII: 2009-2021,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill

View solution in original post

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ldornak
Contributor
Contributor

I may be missing something here. You stated the following:

Shutdown VC VM on host1

migrate VC VM to new cluster

Power on VC VM

How can I migrate without VC running?

I already have amd-v enabled, but can you elaborate on the nx/xd bit?

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Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello,

How can I migrate without VC running?

I use VMware Converter to do this migrate.

I already have amd-v enabled, but can you elaborate on the nx/xd bit?

It is required for EVC to work. In HP hardware it is in the processor menu in the BIOS. Check out http://www.itworld.com/virtualization/56292/understanding-vmware-evc for some help on this.


Best regards,

Edward L. Haletky

VMware Communities User Moderator

====

Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education.

SearchVMware Blog: http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/virtualization-pro/

Blue Gears Blogs - http://www.itworld.com/ and http://www.networkworld.com/community/haletky

As well as the Virtualization Wiki at http://www.astroarch.com/wiki/index.php/Virtualization

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIII: 2009-2021,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill
ldornak
Contributor
Contributor

>I use VMware Converter to do this migrate.

Hmmm, I'll have to investigate this. I currently have vmware converter installed on the VC VM.

On the AMD HP servers, looks like the nx/xd bit is controlled by the setting "No-Execute Page-Protection" which I already have enabled. So it looks like I can skip the BIOS settings since I already have both enabled.

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Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello,

That is the correct setting. However, I would verify each host as you bring it into EVC. If you get an issue with the CPU when you try to enable EVC on the host, this could be the cause.


Best regards,

Edward L. Haletky

VMware Communities User Moderator

====

Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education.

SearchVMware Blog: http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/virtualization-pro/

Blue Gears Blogs - http://www.itworld.com/ and http://www.networkworld.com/community/haletky

As well as the Virtualization Wiki at http://www.astroarch.com/wiki/index.php/Virtualization

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIII: 2009-2021,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill
dswitzer
Contributor
Contributor

So what happens when my VCenter Server DB is on a remote MSSQL server which is ALSO a VM on the same cluster? I am assuming that there MUST be a value in a VCenter DB that tells VCenter and the MSSQL VM is located in a specific cluster. Since VMs need to be powered off to move/migrate, to a EVC enabled cluster, that something will get confused when you power ON the VCenter Server or the MSSQL VM. Even if you clone eiother of the 2 VMs mentioned. I am sort of stumped and researching how to get my NEW cluster EVC enabled and all VMS migrated over. I have been contemplating, forever, if VCenter server should be created as VM. It is times like this that I wish it wosn;t however, I THINK I am glad I have.

I am thinking I will have to create a new VCenter server and delete the existing Vcenter SQL DB to get this EVC issue resolved.

Perhaps a clone will work and there is no association between a VM and a cluster in the SQLDB but I doubt that. Can someone confirm my assumptions.

Any help would be appreciated.

But you know what? I love this stuff.

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jasoncllsystems
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

1st you need to create a new cluster. This cluster is not necessary to have HA/DRS running itself, because is to really allow you to move the existing production VM to the temp servers. At the same time, you can setup 1 or 2 temporally ESX Server with the evaluation edition, which have similiar configuration with your production ESX. This is to allow Vmotion happen between the ESX host.

Once you had those ready, start to VMotion all the VM out from the production ESX to the Newly build temporally ESX, until your existing production ESX cluster is empty with any of the VM power on and running.

Check more details @ http://malaysiavm.com/blog/how-to-enable-evc-on-esx-35/

Regards,

CLL SYSTEMS http://www.cllsystems.com

MALAYSIA VMWARE COMMUNITIES

http://www.malaysiavm.com

http://www.malaysiavm.com
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dswitzer
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for the info. I was able to move ALL of my VMs, including my VCenter VM and my MSSQL VCenter DB server with no problems.

I moved all VMs off of one of my host.

Removed my host from the NON-EVC enabled cluster. Put in maintenance mode and remove from Cluster. Scary when it says "DESTROYING HOST" Smiley Wink

Created a new EVC Enabled cluster.

Moved my REMOVED host to the new cluster.

I shutdown my Vcenter server.

Logged into my host that is in the new cluster.

Added it to the inventory with the VM.vmx file

Powered on the Vcenter MSSQL DB server.

Logged into VCenter and the MSSQL VM appeared in the new EVC cluster

I then did the same with the VCenter VM.

Shut it down

Logged into host, added VCenter VM into the inventory, powerd up, logged into Vcenter and it ALSO appeared in the new cluster.

Luckily, and this is a balance act, you need to keep moving/migrating VMs around so you are able to move all your hosts AND VMs to the new cluster.

I ran into an issue where I moved to many VMs to the singel host cluster and wouldn't allow me to power up. Insufficient resources to power up.

I had to move VMs to my other NON-EVC hosts to get a host freed up to move to my EVC cluster.

You do however have to move VMs when they are powerd off. Our VM environment is in the early stages and the current VMs are not 24X7 so I was able to power them all down and migrate them over to the EVC cluster.

Like I said in my previous post...I love this stuff.

Thanks again for the reply and the info.

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FirstByte
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thanks dswitzer - your solution helped me out! You're a legend. Here's my list of steps that worked for my scenario....

Setup: ESX Server 3.5, with VirtualCenter 2.5 U3 (on a VM), with a remote SQL database server (also a VM), on five hosts (3 with one type of Intel CPU, and 2 with another type of Intel CPU) - trying to enable EVC. Downtime for the VMs was required, but at least no cloning was required.

1) Create a secondary cluster. Move a host to this cluster

2) Power off the VC VM, and database VM.

3) Open VI Client direct to host that contains the VC VM, and database VM - remove both VMs from Inventory (Note which datastore that reside on)

4) Open VI Client direct to host in that belongs to secondary cluster, and browse relevant datastores to VC VM and database VM, and add .vmx file to Inventory

5) Power on the VC VM and database VM

6) Power off remaining VMs on original cluster. Enable EVC on original cluster

7) You should be able to migrate the VC VM and database VM back to original cluster, and power on the other VMs

EVC is now enabled.

Thanks again dswitzer....

Regards

Darren

NOTE: I have since found out that I was still not able to VMotion VMs between different hosts, even with EVC enabled, because support for the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series is only included in VirtualCenter 2.5 Update 4 (See release notes: ) See also EVC processor Support KB article thus another piece of work will be required to upgrade my VC to update 4 before it can all work smoothly!

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