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marty9876
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VMFS 3 to VMFS 5 Migration with Veeam

Post by marty9876 » Dec 16, 2011 3:49 pm

If I use Veeam to migrate VM's from a ESXIi 4.1 host to ESXi 5.0 w/ VMFS 5 and then upgrade VMtools/VM machine type do I get all the benfits of VMFS 5? Primary benefits I'm looking for are the unified 1MB File Block Size/Smaller Sub-Block & Small File Support. I'm a little unclear on when/how these new functionalities are applied to existing VM's.

I'm confused if I should use trial licensing VMotion instead Veeam migration and when/if I'll get my indented benfits of VMFS 5.

Environment & Plan:

2x ESXi 4.1 hosts with local storage only. One production, one used as warm standby replication target via Veeam.
VMware licensing essentials only (no storage motion) ~ 1 TB of VM's to deal with.

My plan is to:
-Do a clean 5.0 install on warm standby not preserving configuration or data store as I'm adding drives and not sure if the RAID can grow/want the benefits of a new VMFS 5 datastore on both host when done.
-Replicate from production to warm standby
-Then migrate the VM's from production to warm standby to keep them running as much as possible (I should have enough room for replica's & running VM's themselves) on warm standby local storage
-Clean 5.0 install on production host, wipe the datastore as I want to grow that RAID and clean VMFS install benfits
-Migrate the VM's back then to production via Veeam
-VMtools install/VM hardware upgrade to version 8 on production

With a Veeam backup to a NAS CIFS share on the side of everything just in case.

Thanks,
Marty

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Re: VMFS 3 to VMFS 5 Migration with Veeam

Post by Gostev » Dec 16, 2011 9:02 pm

Hi Marty,

VMFS5 benefits apply to all VMs moved to VMFS5 datastore. You may have heard about upgrading VMFS3 to VMFS5 - this indeed does not provide all VMFS5 benefits, so clean install is preferred.

You cannot use VMotion between 2 hosts with local storages, so Veeam Migration is your only choice anyway.

Your plan looks fine, very well thought. Be sure to create backups of all VM, and also run the whole process on the test VM first - as couple of people reported experiencing issue with migration job when it would not migrate the VM data correctly, but still delete the source VM. We were not able to reproduce this so far, so probably the issues were environmental - but just something for you to keep in mind.

Thanks!

marty9876
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Re: VMFS 3 to VMFS 5 Migration with Veeam

Post by marty9876 » Dec 19, 2011 4:53 pm

Thanks! Can you please expound upon the issue of not migrating the data correctly? Is it a huge problem such as the VM will not boot, or a file/service level problem where I need to do a deep inspection to make sure all looks well. All services running/working, all files as should be etc.

Gostev
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Re: VMFS 3 to VMFS 5 Migration with Veeam

Post by Gostev » Dec 19, 2011 8:27 pm 1 person likes this post

I don't have much information about this one, because we were unable to reproduce it, and no one else had ever reported the same. It was reported as a huge problem such as the VM will not boot and VM disks have no data. We tested and tested and tested, reviewed the whole code around this feature, and could not confirm this issue. Might have been environmental stuff (for example, migration working snapshot deleted by something or someone), but I figured I'd rather warn you nevertheless (better safe than sorry).

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