I am in a catch 22 position. I need to do some work on a SAN that hosts our VCenter but due to the client only having Essentials Plus licence they do not have Storage Vmotion and can only cold migrate the VM. Obviously if I power down the VM I lose the features provided by VCenter. Is my only option to clone the VM power down the old one and power the new one back on the new data store? Would this cause any issues?

Esxi 5.1. VCenter 5.1b

  • Can you describe the problem a little better? Is it the downtime issue? What's the nature of the SAN work? Are you most concerned about vCenter? – ewwhite Jan 9 '13 at 18:05
  • @ewwhite I thought you coukdnt svm without vcenter? – Zapto Jan 9 '13 at 18:28

I ran into a similar situation myself, but we had a host that was also running Enterprise at another site. Our solution, to which our VMWare account manager said "I don't see why not" was to "borrow" the license from the Enterprise one by literally swapping the license keys for a day, doing to the SVM and then swapping the licensing back.

We were in a situation where we were going to do this ONCE from DAS to SAN storage of the VM and we couldn't afford the downtime but also wasn't getting management to purchase the upgraded license for a day's worth of use.

That all said...we never got a true answer from VMWare support on whether it was legal or not. Their licensing dept. basically told us that it was "technically" ok since we swapped the licenses between the hosts vs. having both hosts running the same key, but couldn't find anything in the EULA that would tell us we did anything wrong.

  • We spoke to our Vmware contact who confirmed that we could do this to complete what we needed to do. As we wrent duplicatating liciences. Best to check each time I think tho. – Zapto Jan 10 '13 at 13:07

You can do the following:

  1. Make sure that you ESXi host accept ssh connection.
  2. Power down virtual machines.
  3. Connect to ESXi host by ssh.
  4. Copy virtual mashines using cp command to a new storage.
  5. Remove VMs only from inventory very carefully with VClient
  6. Add this machines to inventory from new storage.
  7. Make sure that VMs boot and work OK from new storage
  8. Remove VMs from old storage

I've used the method here in the past without any problems prior to having the storage vmotion licensing.

edit: this method is essentially the same as dchirikov listed but is done through the vSphere client as opposed to needing to jump on the command line.

  • As far I know when you use "Browse Datastore" traffic during copying goes through admin machine. – dchirikov Jan 9 '13 at 21:26

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