You can move a virtual machine to another compute resource and move its disks or virtual machine folder to another datastore. With vMotion, you can migrate a virtual machine and its disks and files while the virtual machine is powered on.

About this task

Simultaneous migration to a new compute resource and datastore provides greater mobility for virtual machines by eliminating the vCenter Server boundary. Virtual machine disks or content of the virtual machine folder are transferred over the vMotion network to reach the destination host and datastores.

To make disk format changes and preserve them, you must select a different datastore for the virtual machine files and disks. You cannot preserve disk format changes if you select the same datastore on which the virtual machine currently resides.

Prerequisites

Procedure

  1. Right-click the virtual machine and select Migrate.
    1. To locate a virtual machine, select a data center, folder, cluster, resource pool, host, or vApp.
    2. Click the Virtual Machines tab.
  2. Select Change both compute resource and storage and click Next.
  3. Select a destination resource for the virtual machine, and click Next.

    Any compatibility problems appear in the Compatibility panel. Fix the problem, or select another host or cluster.

    Possible targets include hosts and fully automated DRS clusters. If your target is a non-automated cluster, select a host within the non-automated cluster.

    If your environment has more than one vCenter Server instances, you can move virtual machines from one vCenter Server inventory to another.

  4. Select the format for the virtual machine's disks.

    Option

    Action

    Same format as source

    Use the same format as the source virtual machine.

    Thick Provision Lazy Zeroed

    Create a virtual disk in a default thick format. Space required for the virtual disk is allocated during creation. Any data remaining on the physical device is not erased during creation. Instead, it is zeroed out on demand on first write from the virtual machine.

    Thick Provision Eager Zeroed

    Create a thick disk that supports clustering features such as Fault Tolerance. Space required for the virtual disk is allocated at creation time. In contrast to the thick provision lazy zeroed format, the data remaining on the physical device is zeroed out during creation. It might take longer to create disks in this format than to create other types of disks.

    Thin Provision

    Use the thin provisioned format. At first, a thin provisioned disk uses only as much datastore space as the disk initially needs. If the thin disk needs more space later, it can expand to the maximum capacity allocated to it.

  5. Assign a storage policy from the VM Storage Policy drop-down menu.

    Storage policies define the storage capabilities that are required by the applications running on the virtual machine.

  6. Select the datastore location where you want to store the virtual machine files.

    Option

    Action

    Store all virtual machine files in the same location on a datastore.

    Select a datastore and click Next.

    Store all virtual machine files in the same Storage DRS cluster.

    1. Select a Storage DRS cluster.

    2. To disable Storage DRS with this virtual machine, select Disable Storage DRS for this virtual machine and select a datastore within the Storage DRS cluster.

    3. Click Next.

    Store virtual machine configuration files and disks in separate locations.

    1. Click Advanced.

    2. For the virtual machine configuration file and for each virtual disk, select Browse, and select a datastore or Storage DRS cluster.

    3. If you selected a Storage DRS cluster and do not want to use Storage DRS with this virtual machine, select Disable Storage DRS for this virtual machine and select a datastore within the Storage DRS cluster.

    4. Click Next.

  7. Select a destination network for all VM network adapters connected to a valid source network and click Next.

    You can click Advanced to select a new destination network for each VM network adapter connected to a valid source network.

    You can migrate a virtual machine network to another distributed switch in the same or to another data center or vCenter Server.

  8. Select the migration priority level and click Next.

    Option

    Description

    Schedule vMotion with high priority

    vCenter Server attempts to reserve resources on both the source and destination hosts to be shared among all concurrent migrations with vMotion. vCenter Server grants a larger share of host CPU resources. If sufficient CPU resources are not immediately available, vMotion is not initiated.

    Schedule regular vMotion

    vCenter Server reserves resources on both the source and destination hosts to be shared among all concurrent migration with vMotion. vCenter Server grants a smaller share of host CPU resources. If there is a lack of CPU resources, the duration of vMotion can be extended.

  9. Review the information on the Review Selections page and click Finish.

Results

vCenter Server moves the virtual machine to the new host or storage location.

Event messages appear in the Events tab. The data displayed on the Summary tab shows the status and state throughout the migration. If errors occur during migration, the virtual machines revert to their original states and locations.