HCI – The Move (Part 3)

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By David Horth

As covered in the previous blog post, we have implemented a Lenovo HX Nutanix Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) in our datacentres. We have also tested Nutanix AHV and want to migrate to that platform. So how do we do that?

The Move

Nutanix Move is a Nutanix product that assists in moving workloads between disparate hypervisors. Which is lucky as we must migrate from both VMWare and Hyper-V. So we installed the product and planned out our first “Moves”.

We have five different hypervisor clusters that we need to migrate into our Nutanix clusters and the first one we picked was a Hyper-V cluster. So we installed the Move VM in AHV. Then we picked a couple of VMs that had zero impact and started our testing.

Sounds simple huh? Well here’s Nutanix’s architecture for Move:

It looks complex but in reality, Move takes care of just about everything. It will install any agents onto the hypervisor source (if you put in the correct credentials of course). Schedule and migrate the VMs, even shutting down and cleaning up the old source VMs.

Move performs an initial seed of the VM to migrate and then will use Change Block Tracking to update the seed with the latest snapshot. When you are ready to cut across, it will configure the target VM with a final snapshot, shut down the source VM and start up the target.

We found that the Hyper-V VMs can take a while to cut over but VMWare source VMs cut over very quickly. Most cut-overs take 2-4min with the longest taking an hour. If it fails or there are any issues with the target, just shut it down and start the source up again. We had to do this a few times until we understood what was happening.

So since then, we have been happily migrating across VMs from both the Hyper-V and VMWare clusters with little or no downtime or impact!

The Final Part

So the final part of the puzzle is Backup and Disaster Recovery. We a long time Veeam partner so naturally we looked to their AHV product for backups. Now I must admit, the Veeam 9.5 AHV version was bare-bones at best. It gave us backups but we could not do a lot more.

Luckily version 10 of Veeam has launched and as part of that, the AHV client has been greatly improved. Now we have our backup infrastructure sorted, our workloads moving to AHV, maybe its time to look at what else it can do for us…

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