Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We've got a small ESX3 cluster w/ Server vMotion (I don't believe we have Storage vMotion) attached to two iSCSI storage arrays. One array is (gross) Windows and requires Windows updates pretty much all the time. The backup array offers pretty similar performance but is on a platform that doesn't need as much maintenance. However, for reasons that are outside the scope of this question, assume that the Windows array must be the primary.

Currently, we simply shut down all the VMs, place the ESX hosts in Maintenance mode, reboot the storage array, then re-boot the VMs. It is time consuming and annoying but doesn't seem to cause any problems with VM images.

In the cases in which I need to perform maintenance (aka Windows Update reboot) on the initial storage array, how can I migrate my VMs over to the backup array? After the array returns, how can I migrate them back? Prefer using VirtualCenter but we're comfortable from the command line.

Or, if it's possible, is there a way to, ahem, cluster the two arrays (using our existing tech - w/o add'l hardware purchase)?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you are running on ESX versions prior to v3.5 then Storage VMotion isn't supported but Storage VMotion is available in ESX 3.5 if you have VMotion enabled licenses. There there is no GUI interface provided by default though. If you want to use it you can use the ESX Remote CLI tools but it's a lot simpler to follow these instructions on how to install Andrew Kutz's excellent Storage VMotion VI Client Plugin and use that.

share|improve this answer
version 3.0 a aa – Matt Rogish Oct 14 '09 at 20:08
will take a look at upgrading, thanks! – Matt Rogish Oct 15 '09 at 2:24
The Storage VMotion VI Client isn't the pretties thing, but it works. I used it for quite a while without issue when I needed to move things around. – mrdenny Oct 15 '09 at 7:23

I see by shutting down the VM I can migrate to a different datastore. Guess I need Storage vMotion in order to migrate a running VM. Shucks.

share|improve this answer

I don't believe you can cluster your arrays and if that is indeed the case then you really only have one option which is to move to 3.5 and use SVM.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.