Fixed: Cross vCenter vMotion with shared storage bug

I’m in the middle of the project where I need to split up my environment into two vCenters so I decided to update part of it to vSphere 6.0 to ease up my work and operations tasks later on.

I do have a stretched infrastructure across the datacenters including storage and network, and obviously there are another ways to migrate without cross site vMotion – like disconnect target hosts from vCenter with desired VMs running there already, however you would need to account there is no MAC addressees blacklisting in this case, you cannot do it with distributed switches configured and also you will loose custom stuff like annotations.

This is were cross vCenter vMotion brings a lot of benefits and a simple GUI 🙂

As I have over 150TB of the storage per site I was mostly interested about migrating VM without changing storage aka “Change compute resource only”.

And sadly I discovered vMotion option is not showing in vSphere Web Client when your VM has disks spread across multiple datastores. Web Client GUI will simple not give you this option :/. Although it works when you want to change both compute and storage, you don’t want to migrate terabytes of the storage all the time….

I’m working on this with VMware support for two weeks now and at first we couldn’t find when or why it is not working as it looked more or less, like a random behavior for us. Luckily for me they were able to simulate it in their lab as well, therefore I hope we can have a fix for it soon.

Note this issue is present in vCenter 6.0 Update 2 and in the latest Update 1 as well.

Update May 9,2016: Release notes for vCenter 6 Update 2 were updated by VMware:

vMotion and Storage vMotion Issues

  • New Issue vSphere 6.0 does not support cross vCenter vMotion if a VM belongs to multiple datastores 
    Attempts to migrate a virtual machine that belongs to more than one data store, to a host on a different vCenter Server is not supported in vSphere 6.0. This issue is seen only when you use Change compute resource only as the migrate option.

Workaround: Use Change both compute resource and storage as the migrate option.

Update March 5, 2017: vCenter 6 Update 3 fixes the issue

Attempts to perform an exclusive compute resource cross vCenter vMotion might fail.
When a VM is migrated using vMotion or cold migrate from a vCenter to another vCenter and space available on datastore is less than size of the Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK), an error similar to the following is displayed:
insufficient space

This issue is resolved in this release

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Dusan has over 6 years experience in Virtualization field. Currently working as Senior VMware plarform Architect at one of the biggest retail bank in Slovakia. He has background in closely related technologies including server operating systems, networking and storage. Used to be a member of VMware Center of Excellence at IBM, co-author of several Redpapers. His main scope of work consists from designing and performance optimization of business critical virtualized solutions on vSphere, including, but not limited to Oracle WebLogic, MSSQL and others. He holds several IT industry leading certifications like VCAP-DCD, VCAP-DCA, MCITP and the others. Honored with #vExpert2015 and 2016 awards by VMware for his contribution to the community. Opinions are my own!

About Dusan Tekeljak

Dusan has over 6 years experience in Virtualization field. Currently working as Senior VMware plarform Architect at one of the biggest retail bank in Slovakia. He has background in closely related technologies including server operating systems, networking and storage. Used to be a member of VMware Center of Excellence at IBM, co-author of several Redpapers. His main scope of work consists from designing and performance optimization of business critical virtualized solutions on vSphere, including, but not limited to Oracle WebLogic, MSSQL and others. He holds several IT industry leading certifications like VCAP-DCD, VCAP-DCA, MCITP and the others. Honored with #vExpert2015 and 2016 awards by VMware for his contribution to the community. Opinions are my own!
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4 Comments

  1. Hi Dusan,

    Any update on this issue?

    Thanks.

    • Hi Roman,
      sorry your comment went to spam.
      As you can see vmware updated release notes. Support told me it may be fixed in update 3 planned for Q3 2016. Meanwhile they promised me a hot patch for workaround, as there is a space validation if you are using change compute and storage, which is not good, if you don’t have an additional space in your datastores. Although it will not migrate storage, it will not let you migrate because of it….

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