VMworld 2013: vMotion over the WAN (Futures)

This was a pretty short (30 minute) session on possible futures of vMotion, which focused on vmotion between datacenters and the cloud. To be clear, these features are not in vSphere 5.5, and may never see the light of day. But maybe in vSphere 6.0 or beyond we will see them in some form or shape. Some of the advanced scenarios that could be enabled with these technologies are live disaster avoidance, active/active datacenters, and follow the sun workloads. Integration with SRM and NSX are particularly cool, and automate tasks such as pre-configuring the network parameters for an entire datacenter. Or how about vMotioning live workloads to the cloud?

vMotion Recent Past

  • 5.0: Multi-NIC vmotion; Stun during page send (for VMs that dirty pages at a high rate)
  • 5.1: vMotion without shared storage

vMotion Demo

In this demo VMware showed vMotioning a VM migrating from Palo Alto to Bangalore. The migration of the VM took about 3 minutes and featured a bunch of forward looking technology including:

  • Cross-vCenter migration
  • L3 routing of vMotion traffic
  • Cross vSwitch VM migration
  • VM history and task history are preserved and migrated to target vCenter

Futures Highlights:

  • vMotion across vCenters (LAN or WAN)
  • vMotion across vSwitches (standard or distributed)
  • Long Distance vMotion (think 5,000 miles or more and 200+ms latency)

Cross-vCenter Details

  • vMotion now allows you to pick a new vSwitch during the migration process. Supports vSS and vDS.
  • You can migrate vmS between vCenters, be they LAN or WAN connected
  • VM UUID maintained
  • DRS/HA affinity rules apply and maintained during/post migration
  • VM historical data preserved (Events, Alarms, Task history)
  • Must be in the same SSO domain

Long-Distance vMotion Mechanics

  • No WAN acceleration needed
  • VM is always running, either on the source or destination (no downtime)
  • Maintain standard vMotion guarantees
  • vMotion traffic can cross L3 boundaries
  • Can configure a default gateway specifically for vMotion
  • NFC network (network file copy) lets you configure which vmkernel port it flows over (usually flows over management network)
  • Requirements: L3 connection for vMotion network, L2 connection for VM network, 250Mbs bandwidth per vMotion, same IP at destination
  • Future integration with NSX, for pre-vMotion network configuration

SRM Integration

  • SRM could issue long distance vMotion command to live migrate workloads to DR site
  • Orchestrate live migrations of business critical VMs in Disatance Avoidance scenarios
  • Integrate with NSX to pre-configure and on-demand network configs at the destination site

vMotion w/Replicated Storage

  • vMotion is very difficult over array-based replicated LUNs
  • Leverage VVol (virtual volumes) technology in the future to provide VM-level replication and consistency granularity
  • You can now replicate VMs at the object level with VVOLs
  • VMware is looking at all forms for synchronous and asynchronous storage replication and will likely enable vMotion for such scenarios

Long Distance vMotion to the Hybrid Cloud

  • Support per-VM EVC mode to allow for flexible migration
  • 10ms, 100ms, 200ms vMotion times are the same, given the same bandwidth
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