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Last reply by 12-07-2016 Unsolved
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How to migrate Windows Cluster VMs (incl. RDMs) from old to new storage with minimal downtime?

Hello community,

we are looking for some BP around "How to migrate Windows Cluster VMs (incl. RDMs) from old to new storage with minimal downtime ?".

Who has done this and what are your suggestions from your experience?

Thank you!

David

Replies (11)
2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Hi David,

I've been there several times and maybe I can point you in some options.

First, as usual, the answer will be : "it depends" and "your mileage will vary"

Assumptions :

     - cluster spanning physical hosts => physical RDMs

You will always need to remap your RDMs when migrating from boxes.

     -> what are your expectations in terms of "minimum downtime" ?   ; )

Options:

    1) SAN Based tools (assumption - you're using CX/VNX type array as destination)

          - take note of the RDM mapping to the VMs (note the SCSI ID assigned to the RDM in the VM configuration)

          - shutdown the VMs of that Virtual cluster

          - unmap the RDMs

          - Create the Luns on the destination array

          - Use SAN copy to copy to new array

          - present new lun to ESX (rescan, etc ...)

          - use Storage vMotion to move the VM to the new datastores

          - remap the new LUN as RDMp with the same SCSI ID

          - don't forget to set the bus sharing if it disappeared

Pro's :

     - using Array based tooling to do the data copy => no load on ESX host.

Con's (?) :

     - need EMC SAN Copy

     - Need to configure your SAN accordingly

     2) VMware tools based

          -

       - take note of the RDM mapping to the VMs (note the SCSI ID assigned to the RDM in the VM configuration) 

          - shutdown the VMs of that Virtual cluster

          - unmap the RDMs

          - Create the Luns on the destination array (must be at least as large as the source !!!)

          - present to ESXhost (rescan, ...)

          - use Storage vMotion to move the VM to the new datastores

          - use ESX CLI vmkfstools to copy the RDM content to the new lun

             create the new RDM

                         vmkfstools -z /vmfs/devices/disks/disk_ID:Partition  nameofdisk.vmdk

               Copy to new rdm

                         vmkfstools -i srcfile -d rdmp: /vmfs/devices/disks/disk_ID:Partition

                         or

                         vmkfstools -i srcfile nameofdisk.vmdk

PS : this is purely CLI based - you can do some of it using the gui (like create the RDM mapping file).

PS2 : I need to do some testing and come back to you with a real example to make this very clear.

          - remap the new LUN as RDMp with the same SCSI ID

          - don't forget to set the bus sharing if it disappeared

Pro's :

     - using VMware based tooling to do the data copy => no specific SAN configuration needed.

     - it will still go over your storage network so should be quite fast (!runs in the "console" so limited resources)

     - big fun if you like CLI

Con's (?) :

     - Got to love CLI

     - load on server

     - risk of human error (which disk id maps to which lun ....)

MSCS clusters are very touchy beasts. I managed to migrate / Failover a lot of them in the past. It is quite easy when you know how to handle them. It goes bad quickly if you miss some steps.

Hope this helps.

Eric.

Eric,

Awesome feedback.  I wanted to also bring up one more option which could be to use SRM as a migration strategy.  Since SRM v1.0 there has been full support for RDM's.  Of course it would require an SRM license and array-based replication (unless using v5); however, I only bring it up because you explicitly mentioned "minimal downtime" and the risk of possibly "going bad quickly" if steps aren't followed properly as pointed out by Eric could be minimized.  As we all know, you also have the ability to test/rehearse the recovery plan before committing.  Probably an unlikely candidate as I'm thinking this would have already been considered if it were available.

Hi Christopher,

You are right, if you can leverage SRM, that be a good approach.

Conditionned of course that you remain within compatible arrays.  ; )

Eric.

Eric,

Thanks for sharing!

In response to: "within compatible arrays", I made a subtle comment above: "require an SRM license and array-based replication (unless using v5)" and when typing it up I was thinking about VR (vSphere Replication)/HBR (Host-Based Replication) introduced in 5.0. 

Then again, I like your feedback and your options would be a solution for the vast majority of users and I'm just complicating things.

Hi,

Though this is quite an old post, I'm working on a plan for similar migrations of Windows failover cluster VMware VMs using physical RDM disk migration from old data center to new data center.

The server and storage will be new but similar models.

There is also an array level replication between two data centers

VMware SRM is also set up

But I need help on actual steps of migrating the WFC VMs to new DC using SRM and array level replication.

As these are clustered serves the process different from typical SRM procedure ?

Even if SRM mirates the VMs, how does the cluster come up at new DC.

Any help appreciated.

Thanks

krk

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

David,

As promised more detailed and tested CLI (thanks Vlabs !) :

This approach works in all cases, whether you use the same storage array, migrate to another array from the same vendor and if you migrate from one vendor to another one.

identify LUNs


     command :

                    ls /vmfs/devices/disks/ -lh


     sample result :

-rw-------    1 root     root         8.0G Feb  2 13:28 mpx.vmhba1:C0:T0:L0

-rw-------    1 root     root         4.0M Feb  2 13:28 mpx.vmhba1:C0:T0:L0:1

-rw-------    1 root     root         5.0G Feb  2 13:28 naa.60060160444400006449ed60a14de111

-rw-------    1 root     root         6.0G Feb  2 13:28 naa.6006016044440000cab17497a14de111

lrwxrwxrwx    1 root     root           19 Feb  2 13:28 vml.0000000000766d686261313a303a30 -> mpx.vmhba1:C0:T0:L0

lrwxrwxrwx    1 root     root           21 Feb  2 13:28 vml.0000000000766d686261313a303a30:1 -> mpx.vmhba1:C0:T0:L0:1

lrwxrwxrwx    1 root     root           36 Feb  2 13:28 vml.020000000060060160444400006449ed60a14de111565241494420 -> naa.60060160444400006449ed60a14de111

lrwxrwxrwx    1 root     root           36 Feb  2 13:28 vml.02000100006006016044440000cab17497a14de111565241494420 -> naa.6006016044440000cab17497a14de111

     Notice the 2 vml.xxx that point to naa.xxx. Those are my LUNs.

Query existing RDMs

     Command :

                    vmkfstools -q Test_VM.vmdk

     result :

Disk Test_VM_.vmdk is a Passthrough Raw Device Mapping

Maps to: vml.020000000060060160444400006449ed60a14de111565241494420

copy old RDM to new RDM

     Command :

                    vmkfstolls -i <srcdisk.vmdk> -d rdmp:device <destination.vmdk>

                    rem :  This will automatically create the new RDM vmdk pointer file (destination.vmdk)

       Example :
 

vmkfstools -i TestVM_RDM1.vmdk -d rdmp:/vmfs/devices/disks/vml.02000100006006016044440000f8b164674b51e111565241494420 TestVM_NewRDM.vmdk

     result :

Destination disk format: pass-through raw disk mapping to '/vmfs/devices/disks/vml.02000100006006016044440000f8b164674b51e111565241494420'

Cloning disk 'TestVM_RDM1.vmdk'...

Clone: 100% done.

Result :

    

     Before :

Command :

fdisk -l /vmfs/devices/disks/vml.02000100006006016044440000f8b164674b51e111565241494420

Result :

Disk /vmfs/devices/disks/vml.02000100006006016044440000f8b164674b51e111565241494420: 5368 MB, 5368709120 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 652 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Disk /vmfs/devices/disks/vml.02000100006006016044440000f8b164674b51e111565241494420 doesn't contain a valid partition table
    

     After :

Command :

fdisk -l /vmfs/devices/disks/vml.02000100006006016044440000f8b164674b51e111565241494420

Result :

Disk /vmfs/devices/disks/vml.02000100006006016044440000f8b164674b51e111565241494420: 5368 MB, 5368709120 bytes

255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 652 cylinders

Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes


           Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks  Id System

/vmfs/devices/disks/vml.02000100006006016044440000f8b164674b51e111565241494420p1             1       522   4192933+  87  NTFS volume set

/

Enjoy,

Eric.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

You could also use the EMC Open Migrator/LM software to migrate physical RDMs (also within a cluster).

For this you need to install and reboot, both before and to swap driveletters (and deinstall), but data migration is online. However during migration only one node can be active.

Good point and unlike the other options noted above, as we all know OM will let you fix the NTFS partition alignment of the volume in the guest image if needed.  Keep in mind though for clusters only, we don't support, with the latest version, rebooting to swap drive letters.  You must use the OM interface and select "Complete migration" as noted in the Administrator Guide.

Another scenario, if eligible, might be using this opportunity to convert RDM's to a VMDK via Storage vMotion (or Cold Migration).  Of course, first verify p/vRDM requirements; for instance, in regards to MSCS clusters and ESX, refer to the following KB article:

VMware KB: Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) support on ESX/ESXi

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1004617

Then depending on the version of ESX(i), search for the "Supported Shared Storage Configurations" section in the corresponding PDF which lists the possible combinations and the support of pass-through (pRDM), non-pass through (vRDM), and virtual disks.

There is a very good blog post that lists the migration from RDM to VMDK combinations (Storage vMotion/Cold Migration).  Please note the scenarios (when you don't select a format to convert to) where you are only moving the mapping file, but then again it would be obvious as the migration would complete in very little time as it is not moving data off of the original LUN.

Migrating RDMs, and a question for RDM Users

http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2012/02/migrating-rdms-and-a-question-for-rdm-users.html

convert.JPG

When following along in the blog post:

1) If selecting "Same format as source", it would only move mapping file

2) If selecting either "Thin provisioned format" or "Thick format", this would convert from RDM to a VMDK

And please respond to his request for feedback at the end of the post and support a pRDM to pRDM migration tool within vSphere.  I think we all agree it would be useful.

[...]

How useful would you find an RDM -> RDM migration tool, i.e. the ability to move data from one LUN to another LUN via the vSphere migration wizard?

[...]

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