What's new in vMotion in vSphere 5.1?

by Scott Lowe [Published on 28 Oct. 2012 / Last Updated on 28 Oct. 2012]

Of course, the big news with vSphere 5.1 was the elimination of the despised vRAM tax. However, with this latest release of the market-leading hypervisor, VMware has made a number of other important improvements. In this post, I’ll discuss the changes that have been made to the vMotion component, arguably one of VMware’s greatest claims to fame. Perhaps most importantly, vMotion no longer requires shared storage in order to operate. Now, administrators can use what VMware is calling Enhanced vMotion to enable anywhere to anywhere workload migration without needing to worry about whether or not storage is visible to both the origination and target locations. Enhanced vMotion accomplishes this goal by moving all virtual machine components—storage, system state and VM configuration—at the same time. Enhanced vMotion is a manual operation that can’t be supported today by DRS. In vSphere 5.1, vMotion is included in all editions of vSphere starting at Essentials Plus and Storage vMotion has now made its way into the Standard edition, which makes it available to many more users. As was the case with earlier versions of vSphere, Storage vMotion is not included in any Essentials edition. You are able to initiate a maximum of two simultaneous Enhanced vMotion operations.

Of course, the big news with vSphere 5.1 was the elimination of the despised vRAM tax. However, with this latest release of the market-leading hypervisor, VMware has made a number of other important improvements. In this post, I’ll discuss the changes that have been made to the vMotion component, arguably one of VMware’s greatest claims to fame.

Perhaps most importantly, vMotion no longer requires shared storage in order to operate. Now, administrators can use what VMware is calling Enhanced vMotion to enable anywhere to anywhere workload migration without needing to worry about whether or not storage is visible to both the origination and target locations. Enhanced vMotion accomplishes this goal by moving all virtual machine components—storage, system state and VM configuration—at the same time.

Enhanced vMotion is a manual operation that can’t be supported today by DRS. In vSphere 5.1, vMotion is included in all editions of vSphere starting at Essentials Plus and Storage vMotion has now made its way into the Standard edition, which makes it available to many more users. As was the case with earlier versions of vSphere, Storage vMotion is not included in any Essentials edition.

You are able to initiate a maximum of two simultaneous Enhanced vMotion operations.

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