Moving VMs from VMFS3 to VMFS5 with local storage

Reading this:

It sounds like the best plan to go to 5.1 and VMFS5 is to not upgrade datastores from VMFS3, but to delete them and create new, VMFS5.

I have 3 hosts total: one is 4.0, one is 4.1 Update 1 and one is 5.1.  The 5.1 host is brand new and I am just now creating the datastore, and must choose VMFS-3 or VMFS-5.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I can simply move/copy my VMs from my 4.x hosts on VMFS3 to the new 5.1 VMFS5 using Veeam, or scp or whatever, and they should run fine, correct?  After a process of converting them I assume.  Once I get this new server built, I can move all VMs off a 4.x at a time to delete the datastore/create new VMFS5.

I do not have shared storage and do not use vmotion.  I use Veeam mostly to mitigate a lack of shared storage, but also simply do scp moves/copies using the shell.

tl;dr: should I stick with VMFS-3 on all 3 hosts or make the move to VMFS-5 on my new 5.1 host?

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Hi, You are correct the Virtual Machines will work on VMFS-5 if copied across. There should be no converting as such. You will have the option of upgrading the hardware version to vmx-9. This is a manual task. If you plan to move the Virtual Machines back to the vSphere 4 hosts don't upgrade because the hardware version will not be compatible. You will need to stay on hardware version 7 which is compatible with all your flavours of vSphere.

You are also correct in going down the route of emptying each datastore and recreating as VMFS-5 rather than an upgrade from VMFS-3. That is the way I did it. I was lucky enough to have Storage vMotion but the principle is the same.

I suppose the big question around VMFS-3 and VMFS-5 on your hosts is around your strategy for the other two hosts.

Do you plan to upgrade these hosts to vSphere 5.1 as well? If you are I would put them all on VMFS-5 as you upgrade since that will give you consistent standard deployment. If you don't plan to it might be worth keeping them all on VMFS-3 so you know your datastores are standard across the hosts and if you have issues down the line it is one less variable to worry about.

Hope this helps.


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