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Live Migration vs. vMotion: A guide to VM migration


Both VMware and Microsoft have similar virtual machine live migration features that allow IT pros to move virtual machines -- that are running -- from one host to another, but that hasn't always been the case. VMware Inc., a very big name in virtualization, was first on the scene, debuting vMotion with GSX and vCenter in 2003. VMotion caused quite a stir in the industry and was seen by many as a turning point for virtualization.

It wasn't long before other vendors attempted to develop a VM live migration feature of their own. Microsoft responded with Quick Migration in its Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V release, but it fell a little short. Quick Migration allowed a similar ability to move VMs among hosts, but it required that the VM pause for a short time to perform the move. Microsoft took a major step toward matching vMotion by eliminating the need for this pause with Live Migration, which replaced Quick Migration in Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V R2.

Even though both vendors now offer the feature, there are still important (if small) feature and process differences. In this guide, we'll lay out how to use each live migration feature and explain the differences between Hyper-V Live Migration and vMotion.

1Get started with vMotion-

Understanding the basics of VMware vMotion

VMware vSphere vMotion moves running virtual machines from one ESX/ESXi host to another without stopping the VM's operations. There are some restrictions on vMotion, although VMware has pushed to open vMotion's possibilities as vSphere matures as a hypervisor platform for VM live migration.


VMware vMotion's limitations for vSphere admins to know

VMware vMotion live migrates VMs between hosts. Evolving with vSphere, vMotion has gained a lot of capabilities, but it still has limitations. Continue Reading


Metro vMotion and other vSphere 5 updates

Storage DRS wasn’t a secret. But there are lesser-known vSphere 5 features that may greatly affect your VMware infrastructure, such as VMFS 5, SplitRx Mode and Metro vMotion. Continue Reading


Metro vMotion requirements

VMware's Metro vMotion requirements for networking, storage and vCenter keep live VM migration between data centers just a dream for most IT shops. Continue Reading


Performing vMotion without shared storage

Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and VMware’s upcoming vSphere 5.1 will both include shared-nothing live migration functionality. But how does it help an IT admin? Continue Reading


Storage bottlenecks to watch for with vMotion

The move to SSD and enhanced Fibre Channel speeds can ease storage bottlenecks at endpoints in the enterprise. Continue Reading

2Uses for vMotion-

Putting VMware vMotion into motion

VMware vSphere vMotion enables Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), which balances host utilization and supports scheduled maintenance. It also helps VMware Site Recovery Manager put VMs back into service when unexpected failures occur.


Your vSphere options enabled by vMotion

VMware's options for virtual machine availability and backup can look like an alphabet soup. Get a handle on VMware VADP, SRM, HA and FT features. Continue Reading


Working with VMware DRS

DRS balances virtual workloads and optimizes power use, all tailored to an admin's settings. But without a pricy vSphere edition, DRS is out of reach. Continue Reading


How to deploy VMware SRM

VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager enables virtualized data centers to reduce downtime and automate failover in a disaster recovery plan. But these three considerations are musts for a successful installation. Continue Reading


How Metro Storage vMotion works

Find out how vSphere Metro Storage Cluster delivers cross-site HA and load distribution, as well as which IT organizations are a good fit for it. Continue Reading

3Live Migration vs. vMotion-

Using and comparing Live Migration vs. vMotion

While Live Migration isn't the original, it's now competitive with VMware's vMotion. In fact, the latest version of Hyper-V Live Migration has even impressed some VMware loyalists. However, there are a few important differences you should know about.


Comparing differences between Hyper-V Live Migration and vMotion

Both VMware and Microsoft now offer a shared nothing VM migration feature. Find out how they stack up in this vMotion vs. Live Migration comparison. Continue Reading


Hyper-V Live Migration from a VMware user perspective

VMware expert Mike Laverick takes Hyper-V Live Migration and System Center Virtual Machine Manager for a spin and likes what he sees, for the most part. Continue Reading


The basics of Hyper-V Live Migration

In this section of our guide on Hyper-V installation and management, we explore one of Hyper-V's standout management features: Live Migration, which enables the movement of virtual machines from one host to another without downtime Continue Reading


Important changes to Live Migration in Hyper-V R2

Microsoft's Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2 will feature Live Migration, enabling virtual machines to move between hosts with zero downtime. Here's how to get started with Live Migration. Continue Reading


Customize Hyper-V Live Migrations with PowerShell

SCVMM PowerShell cmdlets add granular flexibility to Hyper-V’s baseline Live Migration technology. These SCVMM cmdlets will improve performance and reduce administration effort. Continue Reading

4Troubleshooting Live Migration-

What to do when Hyper-V Live Migration doesn't work

VM live migrations don't always work as expected. Compatibility problems or resource limitations can short-circuit Hyper-V Live Migration. Here are some tips and tricks to help you resolve problems and better leverage Hyper-V Live Migration.


Troubleshoot storage and network configurations

For Live Migration to function correctly in Hyper-V environments, the proper storage and network configurations must be in place. This tip shows you what to watch out for. Continue Reading


What causes Hyper-V failures?

Hyper-V live migration helps admins maintain infrastructures. But a few common configuration snafus can cause failures. Do you know what to look for? Continue Reading


Limitations with PowerShell in Hyper-V Live Migration

Hyper-V Live Migration still has a few shortcomings, but these Windows PowerShell cmdlets can help you get around them. Continue Reading


Brownouts, blackouts and dirty pages

You may not know about brownouts, blackouts and dirty pages in Hyper-V Live Migrations, but they are useful for monitoring virtual machine live migration. Continue Reading


How to fix common Live Migration problems in Hyper-V clusters

This Hyper-V cluster guide provides solutions to common virtual machine cluster problems that plague complex virtual infrastructures. Continue Reading

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