Transfer VMware VM from one host to another without vMotion

  1. Additional Notes:
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VMware vMotion is a vSphere feature that allows you to move a running VMware virtual machine (VM) from one host to another without interfering with the production environment. VMware vMotion was first introduced in 2003 and is now part of virtually all editions of VMware vSphere, except for the vSphere Essentials Kit, designed for small virtual environments.

VMware vMotion can be used in a wide variety of situations, starting with scheduled maintenance of hardware, when you need to move a VM for a short time to another ESX (i) host and not stopping it, and before migrating working VMs to more powerful servers. If your vSphere license includes VMware vMotion - congratulations, you're in luck! What to do if your license does not provide for this functionality OR if you only need it for one project? In this case, the Quick Migration technology from Veeam will help you.

What is Quick Migration? Quick Migration is a feature Veeam Backup Free Edition , free edition of Veeam Backup & Replication (no restrictions on the validity period!). Quick Migration is included in all editions of Veeam backup systems, but here we will focus only on the free product, since this article describes the migration option for running VMware VMs at no additional cost:

  • Download Veeam Backup Free Edition ;
  • Install Veeam Backup Free Edition on a virtual or physical machine running Windows. This process takes only 15 minutes and should not cause any difficulties. Step by step instructions you will find here ;
  • Before you use the Quick Migration feature, add the source and target ESX (i) hosts to the Veeam backup infrastructure. The user interface is very simple, so this operation will not cause problems. But if you want to be sure that everything is done correctly, take a look here.

Is done. Next question: How to migrate VMware VMs using Quick Migration technology?

The Quick Migration technology allows you to migrate running VMs between different hosts and / or storage. Select the required VM, then select Quick Migration in the context menu:

Select the required VM, then select Quick Migration in the context menu:

A wizard opens, including few intuitive steps .

That's all !

Additional Notes:

  1. The Quick Migration technology can be useful when you need to transfer VMware VMs from one VMware ESX (i) host to another, preventing significant interruptions, and VMware vMotion is not available, OR when you need to transfer running VMs to another storage, and vSphere Storage vMotion is not available. In both cases, Veeam Quick Migration will help you transfer the necessary VMs using the proprietary SmartSwitch technology.
  2. In general, Quick Migration can work with VMware VMs in any state, but its main advantage is that it allows you to migrate a running VM without having a significant impact on the production environment, since it is not necessary to turn off the system.
  3. Quick Migration can move multiple VMware VMs to a new location at the same time, rather than in turn.
  4. Quick Migration only works with VMware, but not with Hyper-V.
  5. Veeam Backup Free Edition requires at least the simplest paid edition of VMware ESXi, since the functionality of the ESXi Free API is limited.

I hope this article was helpful. If you have any questions or need help - contact me, I will be happy to help.

You may also find the following materials helpful:

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What to do if your license does not provide for this functionality OR if you only need it for one project?
What is Quick Migration?