I am ready to rebuild our organizations ESX 3.5 cluster with 4.0, however I have one major hurdle which I have yet to overcome. I have about 5 virtual machines in this cluster which have RDMs. To this point, I have yet to find a way to move these machines between ESX hosts without a shutdown and cold migration. The application owners of these servers are severely resisting a shutdown of their machines, even for 5 to 10 minutes, being done after business hours. I'm hoping that someone might be able to propose a solution that I haven't yet thought of.
Thanks in advance for your help -
Your cluster do have vMotion right? you can vMotion the VM with RDM to another hosts before upgrade the first one (after you upgrade your vCenter). Unless you don't have it, sure there will be a downtime.
In fact even you have vMotion, there will be minimum downtime when you upgrade VM version from 4 to 7 and after VMware Tools installation. Otherwise you will not getting the best out of your VM (hotadd cpu/memory & new driver).
If the VM have the RDM in the physical compatibility mode then VMotion is not possible, however if the VM has an RDM in virtual compatibilty mode then you can VMotion the virtual machines to other ESX servers.
From what I have read there shouldn't be any issues doing a vmotion with phyiscal of virtual mode RDM. Of course we are only using virtual mode so I can't test this out. Check out this KB article.
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Yep correct should be okay physical or virtual RDM as long :
•Symlink which refer to RDM LUN seen by all destination hosts
•All physical LUN which configured for RDM seen by all destination hosts
•Same LUN ID for RDM (to avoid disk not accessible/found during vmotion)