MikeS1983
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Enabling EVC without downtime?

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Hi All,

I need to enable EVC on one of my clusters. Although this is very simple to do I would like to do it preferably without turning off all the virtual machines. I have read a couple of articles where people claimed to have done this by creating new temporary clusters, moving VM's around etc....

Also their articles claim they were able to live migrate VM's from a non-EVC enabled cluster to an enabled EVC cluster as part of the process. I didn't think this is possible!

Can anyone give me any advice on the possibility of this being possible?

I'm running Virtual Centre 2.5 Update 4 and ESX 3.5 Update 3.

Cheers

Mike.

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avlieshout
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

As long as you use a host from the original cluster to create the new EVC cluster you should be fine.

below the procedure I used (just in case, but you probably know that)

  • Put host in maintenance mode

  • remove host from original cluster

  • create new EVC enabled cluster

  • add host to it (check NX/XD and Intel_VT options in system BIOS. These options need to be enabled)

  • VMotion files from old to new cluster.

  • disarm old cluster

-Arnim van Lieshout

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AntonVZhbankov
Immortal
Immortal

EVC is just an automatic masking CPU features to level of least advanced CPU in cluster. So if you enable EVC on cluster with only one CPU model nothing is to mask and all features remain enabled.

Non-EVC cluster just do not have automatic masking and if you have the same CPU in Non-EVC cluster nothing prevents you from VM migration.


---

VMware vExpert '2009

http://blog.vadmin.ru

EMCCAe, MCITP: SA+VA, VCP 3/4/5, VMware vExpert http://blog.vadmin.ru
MikeS1983
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

The reason I need to enable EVC is because I have a new host which has a different CPU revision to the current hosts in the cluster. The CPU's will be compatible after EVC is enabled. My question is after EVC has been enabled will VM's be able to migrate from a non-EVC cluster to an enabled EVC cluster without switching off?

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MikeS1983
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

CPU's are quad core Intel Zeon. X53xx and X54xx.

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avlieshout
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

As long as you use a host from the original cluster to create the new EVC cluster you should be fine.

below the procedure I used (just in case, but you probably know that)

  • Put host in maintenance mode

  • remove host from original cluster

  • create new EVC enabled cluster

  • add host to it (check NX/XD and Intel_VT options in system BIOS. These options need to be enabled)

  • VMotion files from old to new cluster.

  • disarm old cluster

-Arnim van Lieshout

-


Blogging: http://www.van-lieshout.com

Twitter:

If you find this information useful, please award points for "correct" or "helpful".

Arnim van Lieshout Blogging: http://www.van-lieshout.com Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/avlieshout If you find this information useful, please award points for "correct" or "helpful".
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AntonVZhbankov
Immortal
Immortal

So, I suppose EVC will set cluster to 53xx level.

As far as I understand migration from 53xx Xeon to cluster will be possible, even if there are some 54xx in cluster. The only requirement - EVC cluster must contain 53xx.

But you won't be able to migrate VM from 54xx standalone to cluster with 53xx.


---

VMware vExpert '2009

http://blog.vadmin.ru

EMCCAe, MCITP: SA+VA, VCP 3/4/5, VMware vExpert http://blog.vadmin.ru
Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello,

If all the requirements for EVC are enabled within the BIOS on all hosts then migrating VMs should not be a huge issue however when they are not enabled, then you have to shutdown VMs and boot them on an EVC enabled node.

I have yet to perform one where I did not have to temporarily shutdown VMs. Perhaps you should use VMware HA to do this but make sure the target is a host enabled with EVC.....


Best regards,
Edward L. Haletky
VMware Communities User Moderator, VMware vExpert 2009
====
Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education.
Blue Gears and SearchVMware Pro Blogs -- Top Virtualization Security Links -- Virtualization Security Round Table Podcast

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIV: 2009-2022,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill
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MikeS1983
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi All,

I know it's a few weeks ago, but I thought I'd let you know I was able to turn on EVC with no downtime. Here is how I did it.

5 host cluster which once EVC was enabled will be a 6 host cluster. Intel Zeon 53xx and Intel Zeon 54xx was causing me problems and therefore needed EVC working.

1) Put one of the existing live hosts into maintenace mode and remove from cluster.

2) Create new EVC enabled cluster with new host and host just removed from live cluster.

3) Migrate enough VM's to new cluster so I can put another host into maintenance mode and remove from live cluster then add to new cluster. This was the stage I thought would fail due to CPU masking issues, but it work fine.

4) Repeat until all VM's and hosts are in new cluster.

5) Recreate resource pools and configure cluster. (HA/DRS)

I hope this helps others. Any questions please ask.

Mike.

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