vMotion between two vCenter Servers with different SSO domains

Last week i did my first vMotion between two vCenter Servers with different SSO domain by using PowerCLI. This functionality is also known as “cross vCenter vMotion” and is not included in the vSphere Web Client yet. Without downtime it’s possible to live migrate VMs from one vCenter Server to another. Cool stuff!

Before starting the following requirements must be met:

  • VMware vSphere 6.0 and later for the source and destination environment
  • PowerCLI 6.5 and later
  • vSphere Enterprise Plus license per ESXi host
  • An active connection to the source and destination  vCenter Server

I created a simple script to vMotion the VMs between the two SSO domains. See the more information section for more advanced PowerCLI scripts from for example William Lam and Romain Decker.

In the script the following variables must be defined:

  • Source vCenter Server, username and password
  • Destination vCenter Server, username and password
  • VM name will be moved
  • Destination vSwitch (this example is using a Standard vSwitch!)
  • Destination Portgroup
  • Destination datastore

Only VMs with one NIC are supported

PowerCLI example script

Import-Module VMware.PowerCLI

#Variables
$sourceVC = 'vc03'
$sourceVCUsername = 'ivobeerens@oracle.vsphere.local'
$sourceVCPassword= 'P@ssw0rd'

$destVC = 'vc01'
$destVCUsername = 'ivobeerens@vsphere.local'
$destVCpassword = 'P@ssword'
$destESXi = 'esx01.local'

$vmname = 'SRV121'
$Switchname = 'vSwitch2'
$NetworkName = 'vlan3114'
$datastorename = 'iaas-d029-05'

# Connect to the vCenter Servers
$sourceVCConn = Connect-VIServer -Server $sourceVC -user $sourceVCUsername -password $sourceVCPassword
$destVCConn = Connect-VIServer -Server $destVC -user $destVCUsername -password $destVCpassword

$vm = Get-VM $vmname -Server $sourceVCConn
$networkAdapter = Get-NetworkAdapter -VM $vm -Server $sourceVCConn

$destination = Get-VMHost -name $destESXi -Server $destVCConn
$destinationPortGroup = Get-VirtualPortGroup -VirtualSwitch $Switchname -name $NetworkName -VMHost $destination
$destinationDatastore = Get-Datastore -name $datastorename -Server $destVCConn

Move-VM -VM $vm -Destination $destination -NetworkAdapter $networkAdapter -PortGroup $destinationPortGroup -Datastore $destinationDatastore

With this script I migrated a couple of VMs between to vSphere 6.5 environment with different SSO domains without any downtime.

More information:

  • PowerCLI blog on the Move-VM cmdlet, link
  • William Lam, Automation Cross vCenter vMotion, link
  • Romain Decker Cross vMotion script from, link

What to know about vSphere 6.5 Update 1 before upgrading

vSphere 6.5 Update 1 is the first major update after the GA release of vSphere 6.5. Besides great new improvements such as vSAN 6.6.1 some nasty bugs are fixed. Here’s a short list you want to know before upgrading to vSphere 6.5 Update 1:

  • Upgrade from vSphere 6.0 Update 3 is now a supported upgrade path to vSphere 6.5.
  • Customers who are still on vSphere 5.5 will need to be on at least vSphere 5.5 Update 3b, build 3252642 in order to upgrade to vSphere 6.5 Update 1.
  • Discontinuation of third party vSwitch. Customers using 3rd patry switches such as Cisco Nexus 1000V, Cisco VM-FEX, , HPE 5900v and IBM DVS 5000v will need to migrate off those switches after vSphere 6.5 Update 1. So  vSphere 6.5 Update 1 is the final release that support these 3rd party switches!
  • General Support has been extended. This means that support for vSphere 6.5 will now end November 15, 2021.
  • vCenter Server Foundation will support from 3 host to 4.
  • With the vSphere 6.5 Update 1 you are prepared for the VMware Cloud on AWS (hybrid cloud) solution.
  • The vCenter Server needs to be running 6.5 U1 before upgrading your hosts to 6.5 U1.
  • The vSphere Client (HTML5) supports content library and OVF deployment operations (it’s still grayed out at the moment), as well as operations on roles and permissions, basic customization of the Guest OS, and additions to virtual machine, host, datastore, and network management.
  • A new version of vSAN 6.6.1 is added with new capabilities such as vSphere Update Manager (VUM) support. Manage vSAN software upgrades through integration with vSphere Update Manager.
  • vSAN Performance Diagnostic. This new feature is all about analyzing benchmarks and give recommendations.
  • New vSAN Licensing for ROBO and VDI. The vSAN licensing editions are expanded with an Enterprise model that allows encryption and stretched clusters.
  • Scalability improvements of vCenter Server:
    • Maximum vCenter Servers per vSphere Domain: 15 (increased from 10)
    • Maximum ESXi Hosts per vSphere Domain: 5000 (increased from 4000)
    • Maximum Powered On VMs per vSphere Domain: 50,000 (increased from 30,000)
    • Maximum Registered VMs per vSphere Domain: 70,000 (increased from 50,000)
  • vSphere 6.5 no longer supports the following processors:
    • Intel Xeon 51xx series
    • Intel Xeon 30xx series
    • Intel core 2 duo 6xxx series
    • Intel Xeon 32xx series
    • Intel core 2 quad 6xxx series
    • Intel Xeon 53xx series
    • Intel Xeon 72xx/73xx series

More information:

  • VMware ESXi 6.5 Update 1 Release Notes, link
  • VMware vCenter Server 6.5 Update 1 Release Notes, link

 

What to check before upgrading to vSphere 6.5

Last week vSphere 6.5 was released (GA). This release has a lot of new cool features (see this link for more information). In the past I saw vSphere environments that are upgraded without proper preparation resulting in a rollback because compatibility issues with hard-or software. So I created a simple list with steps to check before upgrading to vSphere 6.5:

  • Check the hardware against the VMware Compatibility Guide, link
    • There is a PowerCLI script to check the hardware against the VMware Compatibility Guide, link
    • Devices deprecated and unsupported in ESXi 6.5, link
  • Check if all vSphere products are supported by vSphere 6.5. The following product are not supported yet (when writing this blog):
    • VMware NSX
    • VMware Integrated OpenStack
    • vCloud Director for Service Providers
    • vRealize Infrastructure Navigator
    • App Volumes
    • Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode
    • Integrated OpenStack
    • vCloud Networking and Security
    • vRealize Business for Cloud
    • vRealize Configuration Manager
    • vRealize Hyperic
    • vRealize Networking Insight
  • Check the “Important information before upgrading to vSphere 6.5 article, link
  • Check the update sequence for vSphere 6.5 and its compatible VMware products, link
  • Check if all the third-party products are supported by vSphere 6.5. For example last week Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 is released. This release has no support yet for vSphere 6.5. Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 1 will add support for vSphere 6.5.
  • The existing vSphere 6.0 license keys are supported for vSphere 6.5. No new license key are needed. More info: link
  • Check the vSphere 6.5 upgrade documentation, link
  • Always install vSphere 6.5 first in non-production environments and test all the critical stuff for some time. vSphere 6.0 had some nasty Change Block Tracking (CBT) bugs that you don’t want in your production environment.
  • Check the supported and deprecated topologies for VMware vSphere 6.5 article, more info: link
  • The vSphere Windows (C#) Client is  deprecated. Use the vSphere Web client of the new HTML5 based Client.
  • VMFS6 is the new filesystem of vSphere 6.5. VMFS6 cannot be inline or offline upgraded from VMFS5 to VMFS6. More info: link
  • TLS protocol versions 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2 are enabled by default in vSphere 6.5. More information about disabling TLS 1.0 can be found here: link.