Enhanced vMotion / X-vMotion / shared nothing vMotion live demo [video]

I was looking for a live video demonstration of the new and improved vMotion in vSphere 5.1 the other day but could not come across one at the time. I therefore decided to get it set up in my lab and record a demo of the new vMotion in action.

This improved version of vMotion doesn’t really have a new name, but some people are calling it: Enhanced vMotion, x-vMotion, or “shared nothing” vMotion amongst other names. I am happy to just call it vMotion for now, with the knowledge that it can now live migrate (powered on) VMs across from local storage on hosts (non-shared) to other hosts with shared or local storage.

You can initiate the migration using the vSphere Web Client. Here is a live demo I recorded using my home lab system with two 1Gbit vMotion interfaces. The VM is small for demo purposes – just 512MB RAM and a very small virtual disk. It was powered up for this demo.




The background music for this demo is licensed as per the following link:

Distributed Virtual Switch 5.1 Health Check for VLAN configuration issues

With the announcement of vSphere 5.1, one of the new features announced was the network health check feature now available for Distributed Virtual Switches (version 5.1 of the switch). This area has already been covered in detail by two bloggers I know of, namely Chris Wahl at Wahlnetwork, and Rickard Nobel.

However, this is one feature I was really looking forward to testing out myself, and had been preparing for by getting some physical Microserver Hosts up and running in my home lab with multiple NICs and VLAN support. The other day I had a chance to play around with the Network health check functionality with one of my hosts uplinked to a DVS I had created in vCenter.

This evening I was reminded of how useful this feature actually is. I had plugged one uplink from my Dell PowerConnect 5324 switch into the dual port NIC in the host and left the other NIC disconnected as I was short one cable. Tonight (a day later) I connected this up and was immediately notified of an issue on the uplink with the VLAN health status! I had of course, forgotten to setup the port trunking on the Dell switch (VLANs 8 and 10) after having set this up yesterday for just the one port that was connected.


Here is a breakdown of what I saw using the vSphere Web Client after selecting my DVS and then choosing the Health tab under “Monitor”. (vCenter also has alarms set up when you enable the feature that show to alert you of the issue).



A quick change on my switch to set the VLANs up on this particular uplink port meant I was soon up and running again.


As you can see the Health Check feature is really useful, providing vSphere admins with an easy way to check network port configurations on the networking hardware without having to login to another interface and check themselves, or rely on another team to do this for them. For more detail, or instructions on how to set this up, I recommend checking out the two blog posts I linked to above by Chris Wahl and Rickard Nobel.


Getting up and running with the vSphere 5.1 Web Client

Getting up and running with the vSphere 5.1 Web Client and vCenter 5.1 is now easier than before. The steps to follow are listed below, along with the steps you should use if you also have vCenter 5.0 instances to manage with the 5.1 Web Client.


  • If you have a vCenter 5.1 Server instance, you’ll just need to install the Web Client using standard installer from the vCenter autorun.
  • Don’t forget to install the latest Adobe Flash too.
  • With vSphere 5.1 you now have integration with the vCenter Single Sign on (SSO) service. If your vCenter server uses the same vCenter Single Sign On server as that which the Web Client uses, then you do not need to manually register vCenter 5.1 instances with the Web Client Server. Instead, just install the Web Client server as normal, and then sign in to it from the local machine at https://localhostl:9443/vsphere-client or remotely from another management machine at https://remotemachine:9443/vsphere-client. The vSphere Web Client can now locate these vCenter Server 5.1 systems by using the VMware Lookup Service.
  • If you run into any errors when you try to access the web client via the URL (local or remote), give it a few more minutes if you have just finished the installation. I found that it took my system up to 3 minutes before I could login. This must be due to automatic registration with the Lookup Service taking place in the background.

This definitely makes life a bit easier when setting up a vCenter 5.1 and the Web client, and makes complete sense as VMware have announced that the standard vSphere Client 5.1 (Windows application) is their final release of the vSphere Client software. From then on, everything will be managed via the Web Client!

Also remember that when you are setting up the vSphere web client, you are asked for the IP or FQDN of your vCenter server. If it uses IPv6 and you want to enter the IP address instead of using the FQDN, you must enter it in IPv6 format (ie. enclosing this address in square brackets).


If you are still using vCenter 5.0 or have vCenter 5.0 instances, you are still required to use the machine that the Web Client was installed on, and browse to https://localhost:9443/admin-app and then register these vCenter 5.0 instances as per the screenshots below. You do of course also have a couple of options depending on which vCenter Server 5.0 type you are using (Windows or the Appliance).


For vSphere vCenter 5.0 Windows instances you’ll still need to register these with the Web Client, login to the Web client on the machine it was installed on using the localhost address:

Register your vCenter Server 5.0 instance by using the IP or FQDN and correct credentials.

Accept and install the security certificate if applicable.


If you are using the vCenter 5.0 appliance, then you’ll need to register these instances using the command-line on the appliance. Use the following script to register your vCenter instance:

/usr/lib/vmware-vsphere-client/scripts/admin-cmd.sh register https://[IP or FQDN of the Web Client]:[HTTPS Port Number]/vsphere-client [VC IP Address] [VC Admin username] [VC Admin password]

If you have any special characters in your password, don’t forget to enclose this in single quote marks ( ‘ ).