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We're a small dev team that runs instances VMWare Ubuntu hosted on AMD x64 machines. Our hardware will be upgraded to Intel i7, but we want to continue to use the virtual images we've built. But according to the page on VMWare, there are

problems when moving virtual machine guests between hardware hosts using different instruction-sets (such as found in 64-bit Intel and AMD CPU

How do you run the same virtual guest image on different hardware, if the instruction sets are different? Is there additional VMWare product tool to use for this purpose?

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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You would only theoretically have problems if you live migrated your VMs from an AMD processor to an Intel processor (i.e. vMotion). If you shut down the VM and then start it up again on the new processor, you will be fine, provided the guest OS isn't particularly processor-dependent. (Most aren't.)

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Can you provide more information on the VMware infrastructure?

It sounds like you're running some variant of VMware vSphere rather than the VMware Workstation product.

  • Is your hardware a collection of desktops or are they physical servers?
  • Do you know the makes/models involved?
  • Will there be any change in the versions of VMware involved as well?

In either case, you'd be looking at cold migrations in order to make the existing guests work. That's essentially the process of shutting the VM down, moving its physical location (or the server it's running on), then powering up.

AMD -> Intel is not a problem in this case.

Also note that if there's going to be a version change in the VMware product being used, there's also the matter of upgrading the actual virtual machine's hardware version and its guest tools.

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each developer is running Ubuntu on VMWare workstation on AMD machine, and the new hardware will be Intel, but running the same virtual image of Ubuntu –  server-builder Jan 27 '13 at 20:58
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Yeah, no problem at all. Just copy the image to the new workstations. Nothing else will need to be done. –  ewwhite Jan 27 '13 at 21:00
    
+1 that is great news, idk what all the fuss was about on wikipedia's page –  server-builder Jan 27 '13 at 21:01
    
The difference is that the server-based VMware products feature live migration of running virtual machines between physical host servers. That is not possible between AMD and Intel architectures. Cold migration (with the VM turned off) is. –  ewwhite Jan 27 '13 at 21:02
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