4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 28, 2006 10:00 PM by TomHowarth

    Adding 64 bit ESX host to 32 Bit Farm?

    taylorb Expert

      We are shopping for a new server to add to our 2 server ESX farm.   Looks like all the new hardware is dual or quad core 64 bit.   Are there any implications I should know about when adding a 64 bit box to our Farm that only has 32 bit boxes now?   

       

      As a side quesion, does ESX run as a 64 bit OS, or is it still running in 32 bit mode on the 64bit CPU?

        • 1. Re: Adding 64 bit ESX host to 32 Bit Farm?
          dpomeroy Virtuoso

          I would think the only problems would be if you are going to run 64bit OSes, obviously you couldn't run the 64 bit OS VMs on the 32 bit ESX servers.

           

          Also, if you are talking about the same "Farm" it would say its very possible you may not be able to use VMotion between your old and new servers.

          • 2. Re: Adding 64 bit ESX host to 32 Bit Farm?
            acr Virtuoso

            Are there any

            implications I should know about when adding a 64 bit

            box to our Farm that only has 32 bit boxes now?

             

            The most obvious one will be if your doing VMotion and the processor differences, you can perfom masking to help..

             

            This may help..

             

            http://kb.vmware.com/vmtnkb/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=1993&sliceId=SAL_Public

             

            As a side quesion, does ESX run as a 64 bit OS, or is

            it still running in 32 bit mode on the 64bit CPU?

             

            ESX itself i think still runs in 32Bit mode.

             

            This will tell you if your CPU will support 64bit guest VMs.

             

            http://www.vmware.com/download/vi/drivers_tools.html

            • 3. Re: Adding 64 bit ESX host to 32 Bit Farm?
              davidbarclay Master

              As a side quesion, does ESX run as a 64 bit OS, or is it still running in 32 bit

              mode on the 64bit CPU?

               

              First there is a the Service Console which is RHEL3 based. It's 32bit and AFAIK there are no 64bit plans (what benefit would that give anyway?).

               

              Then there is the vmkernel (the Hypervisor). Since it's all VMware proprietary technical mumbo-jumbo we will never know what they are doing in there. Again, don't care as long as it continues to evolve as hardware assisted virtualization matures.

               

              Are there any implications I should know...

               

              As acr said, there are vMotion requirements/limitations - so choose/design wisely. As hardware assisted virtualisation matures I think we will see this limitation disappear. Fingers crossed sooner rather than later.

               

              Dave

              • 4. Re: Adding 64 bit ESX host to 32 Bit Farm?
                TomHowarth Guru
                vExpertUser Moderators

                As ACR has stated the only phyisical limitation will be Vmotion across hosts this would be a no-no.  depending  upon how many host you have in your farm it may be better to have two seperate farms one for 32bit hosts and one for 64 bit hosts and buy 2 slightly lower spec server to start the new farm

                 

                this is the stituation I have in a small site which has a four node farm 2 x32bit and 2 x 64 bit.  ( hardware purchased prior to decision to virtualise)