We have a 5.1 vCenter server, with several hosts, some on 5.0 and others in 5.1.

We are licensed in Standard edition.

Using the vCenter Web Client we can Storage vMotion VMs between the 5.1 hosts (with local storage).

However, using the vSphere Client (Desktop client), we can't do that, the option to 'Change both host and datastore' is grayed out with a note saying

The virtual machine must be powered off to change the VM's host and datastore.

Any ideas on what to check? looks like a bug in the vSphere client.


  • vCenter 5.1.0, 1123961
  • hosts ESXi 5.1.0, 1065491
  • vSphere Client: 5.1.0 1064113
  • I'm not aware that you can perform a vMotion and a Storage vMotion at the same time for a powered on VM. How did you accomplish that for a running VM? I'm also not aware that you can perform a vMotion between hosts that don't share storage. How did you accomplish that? vMotion implies that this was a live migration of the VM, not a cold migration.
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 0:11
  • 1
    @joeqwerty its a new features of 5.1 - vsphere vmotion without the need of shared storage and you can do on live vm without any downtime.
    – Muhammad
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 4:54
  • I believe it is required to have vCenter for this to work. pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-51/…
    – scape
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 12:52

1 Answer 1


To do VMotion without shared storage in 5.1, it can only be done from the vSphere Web Client.

There was no more development of vSphere Client - especially the new 5.1 features.

Refer to VMware blog here. It seems vSphere Client is being deprecated.

And refer to the 5.1 release notes:

vSphere Client. In vSphere 5.1, all new vSphere features are available only through the vSphere Web Client. The traditional vSphere Client will continue to operate, supporting the same feature set as vSphere 5.0, but not exposing any of the new features in vSphere 5.1.

  • This is true, sadly enough..
    – pauska
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 6:33
  • Yet you can only do update manager config via the vsclient still, and SSO is broken - not happy with 5.1 at all
    – Chopper3
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 7:14
  • 1
    SSO was fixed in the meantime (with 5.1 U1a), and the Update Manager integration of the Web Client got much better with 5.1 U1 (although not yet complete).
    – VFrontDe
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 8:25
  • Thanks for the response. This is not a good choice in my opinion... but I guess they (VMware) know better than me.
    – rufo
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 11:31
  • to get web client I must download and run the install of vcenter server? pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/…
    – scape
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 12:43

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