Migration with vMotion, also known as hot migration or live migration, moves a powered-on VM from one host or datastore to another. Migration with vMotion is the best option for migrating small numbers of VMs without incurring any downtime.

To implement migration with vMotion, you can configure hybrid linked mode and use the vSphere client. You can also use command-line (PowerShell) or API automation.

Summary of Supported Configurations

The following table summarizes the supported configurations for hybrid migration with vMotion.
Table 1. Summary of Supported Configurations for Hybrid Migration With vMotion
On-premises vSphere Version Network Connectivity VDS version on-premises
vSphere 6.0u3 AWS Direct Connect with private virtual interface and L2 VPN VMware Distributed Switch version 6.0.
vSphere 6.5 patch d AWS Direct Connect with private virtual interface and L2 VPN VMware Distributed Switch version 6.0, 6.5.
vSphere 5.5, 6.0, and 6.5 Internet or AWS Direct Connect and L2 VPN created through HCX Any VMware Distributed Switch, vSphere standard switch, or Cisco Nexus 1000v.

Restrictions on VMs Migrated with vMotion

The restrictions on migration with vMotion that apply to VMs previously migrated from on-premises data centers are as follows:

  • VMs that use standard virtual switches for networking cannot be migrated back to an on-premises data center after being migrated to the cloud SDDC.
  • Any VM that has been power-cycled in the cloud SDDC can only be migrated back to an on-premises host or cluster with the Broadwell chipset or EVC mode.
  • If your on-premises hosts haven't been patched to address vulnerability to side channel analysis due to speculative execution (also referred to as the Spectre Variant 2 vulnerability), this may affect vMotion compatibility as shown in . To find the correct patch for your on-premises hosts, see https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/52245. All hosts in VMware Cloud on AWS SDDCs have been patched.
Table 2. vMotion Compatibility Effects of Spectre patch
On-premises Host Processor Family and Patch Status Virtual Machine Hardware Version Has the VM been power-cycled in VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC? vMotion from On-premises to VMware Cloud on AWS vMotion from VMware Cloud on AWS to On-premises
Broadwell (SPECTRE patched) < 9 No Supported Supported
Yes Supported Supported
9-13 No Supported Supported
Yes Supported Supported
Broadwell (Not SPECTRE patched) < 9 No Supported Not supported
Yes Supported Not supported
9-13 No Supported Supported
Yes Supported Not supported
Non-Broadwell < 9 No Not supported Supported
Yes Not supported Not supported
9-13 No Supported Supported
Yes Supported Not supported
Note: You can find the Virtual Machine Hardware Version on the Summary tab for the virtual machine. You can find the host processor type on the Summary tab for the host. For a list of processor types in the Broadwell processor family, see https://ark.intel.com/products/codename/38530/Broadwell.

These restrictions don't apply to cold migration.