I have some 4.1 & some 5.0 hosts, all of which share a common iSCSI datastore. I'm trying to determine the best way to migrate live VMs from the 4.1 hosts to the 5.0 hosts. There doesn't appear to be any benefit of having the hosts in a cluster. I can't migrate both the host and datastore in one step without the VM being powered down. To move the VM live, I have to change the host from 4.1 to 5.0, then change the datastore from 4.1 local to iSCSI, then change the datastore to 5.0 local.
I know this isn't ideal but our iSCSI datastore is too slow to run production VMs. We're going to use it for this migration and subsequently for backups only.
What are my options for migrating live VMs from a 4.1 local datastore to a 5.0 local datastore?
Unfortunately the steps you mentioned are the only way I can think of. In order to live migrate the VM's files, the host which does the live migration needs to have access to both datastores, source as well as target.
Thanks, that was what I thought but I was hoping for an alternative. Does it make sense then that given that I won't be using the iSCSI datastore for .vmdk files, except momentarily during migration, that there isn't any particular advantage of having the 5.0 hosts in a cluster, as long as all hosts can access the iSCSI datastore?
BTW, it turns out that Veeam Backup and Replication, including the free version, can migrate live VMs from 4.1 local datastore to a 5.0 local datastore in one step. Sweet! The paid version has a bunch more bells and whistles, like scheduling, etc. but the free version is very handy.
Unless I'm mistaken there's nothing in your scenario that cannot be done with the 4.x hosts. Since you are talking about a cluster I assume that you already run vCenter Server 5. Unless there's a reason to stick with the 4.x version (e.g. hardware compatibility reasons) you may consider to upgrade your hosts to 5.0 anyway!?
Regarding Veeam, this is a great product, but are you sure the free version does replication? Or are you talking about the evaluation? see free vs. full comparison.
Yes, we have vcenter 5. I'm moving all the VMs off the 4.1 hosts to do clean installations of 5.0.
I don't know if the free version of veeam does replication. My only current need is migration, which is does on live VMs, in one step, vs the 3 steps and double copying of .vmdk files that vcenter requires.