You can use vMotion to migrate virtual machines to a different host and datastore simultaneously. In addition, unlike Storage vMotion, which requires a single host to have access to both the source and destination datastore, you can migrate virtual machines across storage accessibility boundaries.
In vSphere 5.1 and later, vMotion does not require environments with shared storage. This is useful for performing cross-cluster migrations, when the target cluster machines might not have access to the source cluster's storage. Processes that are working on the virtual machine continue to run during the migration with vMotion.
You can place the virtual machine and all of its disks in a single location or select separate locations for the virtual machine configuration file and each virtual disk. In addition, you can change virtual disks from thick-provisioned to thin-provisioned or from thin-provisioned to thick-provisioned. For virtual compatibility mode RDMs, you can migrate the mapping file or convert from RDM to VMDK.
vMotion without shared storage is useful for virtual infrastructure administration tasks similar to vMotion with shared storage or Storage vMotion tasks.
- Host maintenance. You can move virtual machines off of a host to allow maintenance of the host.
- Storage maintenance and reconfiguration. You can move virtual machines off of a storage device to allow maintenance or reconfiguration of the storage device without virtual machine downtime.
- Storage load redistribution. You can manually redistribute virtual machines or virtual disks to different storage volumes to balance capacity or improve performance.