VMworld 2012: Insight into vMotion and Futures INF-VSP1549

This session recapped how vMotion currently works, enhancements in vSphere 5.1, and a “future” version. The biggest news for vSphere 5.1 is Unified vMotion, which requires no shared storage. Now on-par with Hyper-V 3.0. Future vMotion capabilities are very cool….in short, live vMotion any VM anywhere around the globe. Session summary:

  • vMotion is deployed in 80% of environments
  • 5.5 vMotion operations occur every second around the world
  • vMotion uses iterative memory pre-copy – Copy rate must exceed page dirtying rate
  • Storage vMotion uses 64MB copy regions
  • Unified vMotion – New to vSphere 5.1
    • Entire VM state (storage and memory) is migrated without shared storage
  • Performance of Unified vMotion
    • Same disk migration time for storage vMotion and Unified vMotion
    • Higher total migration time for Unified vMotion due to memory copy process (very minimal increase)
    • Multi-NIC feature is useful for large VMs
    • Performance in metro scenarios (.5ms 5ms and 10ms) is the same, as it uses the same metro vMotion code path optimizations as vMotion
  • Best Practices
    • Upgrade to latest VMFS file system if you aren’t using 1MB blocks
    • Use multiple NICs for vMotion
      • Same subnet for all IPs
      • Configure each vmknic to use a different vmnic
    • Provision at least 1Gbps management network when migrating VM with snapshots
    • When the source host has access to destination datastore it can use VAAI offload
  • Future vMotion capabilities
    • Cross-vCenter vMotion – Enable long-distance vMotion architectures
      • Simultaneously change compute, storage, networks and vCenter
      • Requires L2 connectivity between vDS portgroups using same VLAN, VXLAN, or third party L2 extensions
      • UUID is tracked and kept for the life ofthe VM
      • Events, alarms, task and stats history preserved across datacenters
      • HA and DRS are supported, including admission control
      • vCenters must belong to the same SSO domain, metro distances only
    • Cross-VDC (virtual datacenters) vMotion
      • Live migration of vApps across local VDC boundaries
      • Operation initiated by admins and tenants
    • Long-distance vMotion
      • Support geo distances
      • Disaster avoidance
      • Requires secure VM migration channel, L2 connectivity, global site load balancer and NAT servers, unified vMotion, cross-center vMotion.
      • Supports three architectures – Unified vMotion with share nothing; Utilize active-passive storage replication using virtual-volumes; Utilize active-active asynchronous storage plus virtual volumes
      • vMotion anywhere (private to private, private to public, public to public) clouds
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