chrisb101
Contributor
Contributor

Physically moving ESX servers

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Hi Everybody,

This is really dumb question but hopefully someone can give me the answer. We have 3 x ESX 3.5 servers and a physical vitual centre server that I want to move from one DataCentre to another. We have HA enabled and when I put one of the servers into Maintenance mode the virtual machines automatically migrate to the other boxes which is fine. I'm guessing that if i shut all of the virtual machines down then the ESX servers can be entered into maintenance mode and the powered off VM's will remain on the relevant server.

Also if I shut down all the servers and the virutal centre server and then power off the SAN, are the virtual machine files etc safe on the SAN. My worst fear would be to power it all back up and find I've lost the vm's. ;-(

Thanks

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VMmatty
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

The reason that your VMs are migrating to other ESX hosts in the cluster when you enter Maintenance Mode is actually DRS and not HA. If you set DRS to Manual mode or just disable it altogether you should no longer see that behavior.

You should just power down all of your virtual machines manually (or using a tool to help automate it like PowerCLI) and then enter Maintenance Mode on each of your hosts. Then you'll be able to shut them down with all of the VMs currently allocated to them, if that is your goal. From there provided that you are shipping your SAN and servers properly there shouldn't be an issue powering everything backup. That assumes that the networking side of the house is in order and that you don't need to re-IP all of your ESX hosts/VMs once they are placed in the new data center. If so then obviously it'll be a bit more complicated.

There is always risk when you physically move servers and SANs from one location to another. It goes without saying but try to make sure you have some kind of backup of the environment should there be a major problem. Things like getting into a car accident or dropping the SAN on the ground/down the stairs do actually happen so you should try to get a full backup to protect yourself if possible.

Matt | http://www.thelowercasew.com | @mattliebowitz

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Troy_Clavell
Immortal
Immortal

You should be fine. Just in case though, I would ensure you have a SAN backup. If you have going to shutdown the guests and then the ESX Hosts, before that, I would disable HA and DRS on the cluster. Bring up 1 host and it's guests at a time, then configure HA and DRS again on the cluster.

VMmatty
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

The reason that your VMs are migrating to other ESX hosts in the cluster when you enter Maintenance Mode is actually DRS and not HA. If you set DRS to Manual mode or just disable it altogether you should no longer see that behavior.

You should just power down all of your virtual machines manually (or using a tool to help automate it like PowerCLI) and then enter Maintenance Mode on each of your hosts. Then you'll be able to shut them down with all of the VMs currently allocated to them, if that is your goal. From there provided that you are shipping your SAN and servers properly there shouldn't be an issue powering everything backup. That assumes that the networking side of the house is in order and that you don't need to re-IP all of your ESX hosts/VMs once they are placed in the new data center. If so then obviously it'll be a bit more complicated.

There is always risk when you physically move servers and SANs from one location to another. It goes without saying but try to make sure you have some kind of backup of the environment should there be a major problem. Things like getting into a car accident or dropping the SAN on the ground/down the stairs do actually happen so you should try to get a full backup to protect yourself if possible.

Matt | http://www.thelowercasew.com | @mattliebowitz

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