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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, VMWare EXSi in ESX Setup in Technical; Hi, We have a VMware ESX setup. with 3 hosts an San etc. The disk space on the SAN is ...
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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    VMWare EXSi in ESX Setup

    Hi,

    We have a VMware ESX setup. with 3 hosts an San etc. The disk space on the SAN is fairly now.

    We are building a new domain. The idea is setup a free ESXi box add it in vSphere as a separate host not in the existing cluster. Build the new servers on this box and migrate the virtual machines over to the main setup when the times come and move the old ones onto the ESXi box for an archive.

    Is this possible please?

    Thanks

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    Duke's Avatar
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    I don't think you can manage the free version of ESXi from a vCenter (I assume that's what you mean by vSphere, I'm not sure how interchangeable the names are in this context!) server. I believe that management via vCenter will require the correct licences on both the ESXi host and vCenter box.

    However, there's nothing to stop you deploying a completely standalone free ESXi server and managing it in the usual way by directly connecting to it with the vSphere Client.

    Migrating virtual machines from the free ESXi host to the managed cluster should certainly be possible, the only tricky thing is storage. I take it your plan is to use local storage on the free ESXi server? As such there's no way to add that storage pool to the cluster (I don't think?) in order to do vMotion or Storage vMotion via vCenter.

    Your alternatives at that point would be:
    • Temporarily attach the SAN storage to the free ESXi server and move the files between datastores using the vSphere Client, then inventory it on the new host/cluster
    • Use the VMware Standalone Converter to 'covert' the machine from one host and storage pool to the cluster and SAN
    • Use SSH to manually move the files between storage pools then inventory it on the new host/cluster (can get messy, but sometimes offers the best transfer speeds)
    • Use the datastore browser to download the files to your PC, then upload them to the new host using the datastore browser on that host, then inventory it


    TL;DR - Yes it can be done, I did it the other week with no problems.

    Chris

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    Definitely possible - we used to have several ESXi clusters managed through vSphere at a previous job of mine. I thought VMWare were planning to kill off ESX at some point and replace it with ESXi anyway?

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    jonny_2010 (6th May 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    Definitely possible - we used to have several ESXi clusters managed through vSphere at a previous job of mine. I thought VMWare were planning to kill off ESX at some point and replace it with ESXi anyway?
    But you need to have the cpus licenced for vsphere - as ESXi is free, but using it in a vsphere environment is not. you certainly can't vmotion to it.

    The suggestions @Duke mention are valid - vmware converter is probably the safest method.

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    jonny_2010 (6th May 2011)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Thanks i have been playing around with this recently and does what i need it to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    But you need to have the cpus licenced for vSphere - as ESXi is free, but using it in a vsphere environment is not. You certainly can't vmotion to it.
    The 60-day trial version of vSphere would work wouldn't it?

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Just thought of something.

    I am licensed to have 3 hosts in the vcenter software. Is it possible to temporary disable on of these, add the temporary ESXi server migrate my machines and remove it form the venter server and reinstate the one i disabled.

    If i remove a host from the vCenter and add the temporary one and then remove it and add the original one back would the orignal one loose any config?

    Thanks

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    hi @FN-GM

    I believe the esx licences and esxi licences are different. If i remember correctly the esx licences would need to be upgraded to work with esxi.

    nick

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    jonny_2010 (6th May 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bart21 View Post
    hi @FN-GM

    I believe the esx licences and esxi licences are different. If i remember correctly the esx licences would need to be upgraded to work with esxi.

    nick
    @bart21 Sorry there is a small typo there. All boxes are ESXi.

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    jonny_2010 (6th May 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    Definitely possible - we used to have several ESXi clusters managed through vSphere at a previous job of mine. I thought VMWare were planning to kill off ESX at some point and replace it with ESXi anyway?
    I just meant the free version of ESXi. You can obviously have the paid-for/licensed version of ESXi working with vCenter (that's what I've got here), and you're right about ESX now being end-of-life and ESXi will soon be the only option.

    I agree with Domino about Converter being the safest option - it's a really great product considering it's free (you can also get a version that integrates with vCenter).

    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur
    The 60-day trial version of vSphere would work wouldn't it?
    I got the (possibly incorrect) impression that FN-GM wanted a longer-term solution, as building the new servers, going into production with them and then permanently archiving the old servers could take a while. As such, a solution that requires temporary access to the features in the trial version might not be ideal.

    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM
    Is it possible to temporary disable on of these, add the temporary ESXi server migrate my machines and remove it form the venter server and reinstate the one i disabled.
    VMware KB: Adding an ESXi host to vCenter Server 4.x fails with the error: Host cannot be added to the VCenter as there are not enough Virtual Center Agent Licenses

    You can't manage the free version of ESXi from a vCenter server, regardless of what your vCenter licences allow - you need the vCenter Agent on the ESXi host itself, and the free version won't have this. If you can use a trial fully-featured version of ESXi this would (I think) work, but you'd have to plan the whole project into 60-days and not need to rely on the features after that date.

    Chris

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    I got the (possibly incorrect) impression that FN-GM wanted a longer-term solution, as building the new servers, going into production with them and then permanently archiving the old servers could take a while. As such, a solution that requires temporary access to the features in the trial version might not be ideal.
    Once they are archived they dont need to be under Vcenter but the server can be standalone

    You can't manage the free version of ESXi from a vCenter server, regardless of what your vCenter licences allow - you need the vCenter Agent on the ESXi host itself, and the free version won't have this. If you can use a trial fully-featured version of ESXi this would (I think) work, but you'd have to plan the whole project into 60-days and not need to rely on the features after that date.
    Ah thanks, for what i want it sounds like to much work. Would be easier doing manual imports and exports.

    Thanks allot

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