XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions



  • Posting on behalf of @krisleslie

    We are a small non-profit and I have access to Tech Soup! I have a project in progress moving our VMWare ESXi 5.5 Dell Power Edge T110 (not the II) host to XenServer 7.0. It is our only server on premise. I have taken a fairly recent Dell Optiplex workstation and made it a XenServer 7.0 host in the interim. I have already purchased Windows 2012 R2 Data Center and plan on utilizing it moving forward.

    Will moving my VM's from one host to another cause licensing issues? I plan on having a separate VM for the following:

    • Active Directory (will have 2)
    • File Server
    • DNS
    • Quickbooks host

    I basically want to create my machines virtually from scratch on my makeshift server and move them over after tested to my Power Edge. I also plan on purchasing a different server since the Power Edge is not in warranty anymore and has limited options for upgrades. I will make it eventually a testing server and backup server should the need arise.



  • In your original post elsewhere you mentioned moving from XenServer to XenServer, if that is what you do only, nothing changes. VMs can move around a XenServer pool transparently. Often they do this just for load balancing or failover purposes.



  • If you are doing ESXi to XenServer migration, the VMs will see a hardware change under the hood and think that they are on new hardware, which they are. So they will want to be re-activated.



  • Are they asking that, or if they can run them both simultaneously.

    If that is the case, the answer is of course no, though many people would just cough and say "look a pigeon" and get it done.



  • So if you are creating the new "from scatch" on your interim XenServer then moving them to the new XenServer host, you'll have no issues. The new builds will be able to move from XS to XS transparently. You can add your two XS servers to the same pool, even, and the workloads can just be moved wherever you need. No need to even export and import again.



  • @scottalanmiller Would he need multiple Datacenter licenses, one for each server?



  • @Danp said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @scottalanmiller Would he need multiple Datacenter licenses, one for each server?

    No, put them in the same pool and do a migration. You are allowed to do a migration like that. It's momentary that they are in two places at once time and technically only run in one place. To be 100% compliant, you have to offline them during the migration, which speeds up the migration anyway. But I've never heard of MS caring that you left them on while they migrated. It's technically splitting the license, but literally only during the automated migration process.



  • So he only needs to license one of the servers even though there could be VMs running on both?



  • @Danp said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    So he only needs to license one of the servers even though there could be VMs running on both?

    It's only during the automated migration that they can temporarily live on both, they are actively moving during the process. MS would never ping you for that. But if you want to be absolutely compliant, you offline them during the move, so they are never on more than one at a time.



  • @scottalanmiller said

    But if you want to be absolutely compliant, you offline them during the move, so they are never on more than one at a time.

    "LOOK A PIGEON!!!!!!"



  • @Danp said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    So he only needs to license one of the servers even though there could be VMs running on both?

    Thats my biggest question because if I have two host, pretty much 99% of my VM's will be windows based and I leave that 1% for appliances or linux machines or testing.



  • Thanks everybody for responding I have my temporary host up and running however I had some questions still because I just had to use 1 SSD (sorry just used what I could to get her up and running). From what SAM's guide says, I don't need to worry about a USB drive for the hypervisor since it supports native software RAID. If so, whats the issue with doing that vs going with the usb? Is it that much harrder to install it to usb?



  • @scottalanmiller said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @Danp said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    So he only needs to license one of the servers even though there could be VMs running on both?

    It's only during the automated migration that they can temporarily live on both, they are actively moving during the process. MS would never ping you for that. But if you want to be absolutely compliant, you offline them during the move, so they are never on more than one at a time.

    No @scottalanmiller you cannot do this. He is building and running a Windows Server VM (based on his single DataCenter license) on two different physical servers. Each physical server will need a DataCenter license "assigned" to it for this to be legal.

    The hypervisor of choice (XenServer in this case) has nothing to do with the equation.



  • @JaredBusch said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @Danp said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    So he only needs to license one of the servers even though there could be VMs running on both?

    It's only during the automated migration that they can temporarily live on both, they are actively moving during the process. MS would never ping you for that. But if you want to be absolutely compliant, you offline them during the move, so they are never on more than one at a time.

    No @scottalanmiller you cannot do this. He is building and running a Windows Server VM (based on his single DataCenter license) on two different physical servers. Each physical server will need a DataCenter license "assigned" to it for this to be legal.

    The hypervisor of choice (XenServer in this case) has nothing to do with the equation.

    That's what I said. It's not technically illegal during the migration if they are live, but MS would never ping you for it even though it isn't technically legal. So if you want to be totally technically legal, you have to power them down first, which I mentioned.



  • @scottalanmiller said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @JaredBusch said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @Danp said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    So he only needs to license one of the servers even though there could be VMs running on both?

    It's only during the automated migration that they can temporarily live on both, they are actively moving during the process. MS would never ping you for that. But if you want to be absolutely compliant, you offline them during the move, so they are never on more than one at a time.

    No @scottalanmiller you cannot do this. He is building and running a Windows Server VM (based on his single DataCenter license) on two different physical servers. Each physical server will need a DataCenter license "assigned" to it for this to be legal.

    The hypervisor of choice (XenServer in this case) has nothing to do with the equation.

    That's what I said. It's not technically illegal during the migration if they are live, but MS would never ping you for it even though it isn't technically legal. So if you want to be totally technically legal, you have to power them down first, which I mentioned.

    You are talking about migrating. I am talking about the fact that you have two different physical server with VMs running. No matter how temporary.



  • @JaredBusch said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @JaredBusch said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @Danp said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    So he only needs to license one of the servers even though there could be VMs running on both?

    It's only during the automated migration that they can temporarily live on both, they are actively moving during the process. MS would never ping you for that. But if you want to be absolutely compliant, you offline them during the move, so they are never on more than one at a time.

    No @scottalanmiller you cannot do this. He is building and running a Windows Server VM (based on his single DataCenter license) on two different physical servers. Each physical server will need a DataCenter license "assigned" to it for this to be legal.

    The hypervisor of choice (XenServer in this case) has nothing to do with the equation.

    That's what I said. It's not technically illegal during the migration if they are live, but MS would never ping you for it even though it isn't technically legal. So if you want to be totally technically legal, you have to power them down first, which I mentioned.

    You are talking about migrating. I am talking about the fact that you have two different physical server with VMs running. No matter how temporary.

    This is where Scott is agreeing with you, it's not strictly legal, but if they were audited in the middle of the migration, it's very unlikely MS would ding them for being on two pieces of hardware when it's clear the plan is to decom the old server.

    Sure to be completely legal, they would have to shut down all VMs, migrate them, then start them all up on the new server, which is where you would be "assigning" the license at that time.



  • @Dashrender said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @JaredBusch said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @JaredBusch said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @Danp said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    So he only needs to license one of the servers even though there could be VMs running on both?

    It's only during the automated migration that they can temporarily live on both, they are actively moving during the process. MS would never ping you for that. But if you want to be absolutely compliant, you offline them during the move, so they are never on more than one at a time.

    No @scottalanmiller you cannot do this. He is building and running a Windows Server VM (based on his single DataCenter license) on two different physical servers. Each physical server will need a DataCenter license "assigned" to it for this to be legal.

    The hypervisor of choice (XenServer in this case) has nothing to do with the equation.

    That's what I said. It's not technically illegal during the migration if they are live, but MS would never ping you for it even though it isn't technically legal. So if you want to be totally technically legal, you have to power them down first, which I mentioned.

    You are talking about migrating. I am talking about the fact that you have two different physical server with VMs running. No matter how temporary.

    This is where Scott is agreeing with you, it's not strictly legal, but if they were audited in the middle of the migration, it's very unlikely MS would ding them for being on two pieces of hardware when it's clear the plan is to decom the old server.

    Sure to be completely legal, they would have to shut down all VMs, migrate them, then start them all up on the new server, which is where you would be "assigning" the license at that time.

    It is not a migration at all is my point. He is building them on a separate server for his own reasons.



  • @JaredBusch I may redo my post so I can provide additional detail to avoid the scrolling to get caught up.

    My VMWare ESXi is live its 5.5. My XenServer is live its 7.0 But there are 0 of the machines from my VMWare coming over for longer term purposes. They are just windows 2008 servers and being decommissioned. I technically only have one server that I care about and thats my security system / access badge server but since my vendor finally (after a lonnnnnng call) gave me the software, I can install it , and install my backups to get my system going on my new hypervisor.

    My new environment is going to be Windows 2012 R2 Data Center but push comes to shove I can buy an additional license because this existing server is basically End of Warranty. I'll keep adding parts as necessary but its there basically to be backup should I need one and also a test server. I plan on buying either a used server (thanks Slava) or getting a new server. I'm leaning toward used.



  • @JaredBusch said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @Dashrender said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @JaredBusch said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @JaredBusch said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @scottalanmiller said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @Danp said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    So he only needs to license one of the servers even though there could be VMs running on both?

    It's only during the automated migration that they can temporarily live on both, they are actively moving during the process. MS would never ping you for that. But if you want to be absolutely compliant, you offline them during the move, so they are never on more than one at a time.

    No @scottalanmiller you cannot do this. He is building and running a Windows Server VM (based on his single DataCenter license) on two different physical servers. Each physical server will need a DataCenter license "assigned" to it for this to be legal.

    The hypervisor of choice (XenServer in this case) has nothing to do with the equation.

    That's what I said. It's not technically illegal during the migration if they are live, but MS would never ping you for it even though it isn't technically legal. So if you want to be totally technically legal, you have to power them down first, which I mentioned.

    You are talking about migrating. I am talking about the fact that you have two different physical server with VMs running. No matter how temporary.

    This is where Scott is agreeing with you, it's not strictly legal, but if they were audited in the middle of the migration, it's very unlikely MS would ding them for being on two pieces of hardware when it's clear the plan is to decom the old server.

    Sure to be completely legal, they would have to shut down all VMs, migrate them, then start them all up on the new server, which is where you would be "assigning" the license at that time.

    It is not a migration at all is my point. He is building them on a separate server for his own reasons.

    OH! Not at all what I was responding to. The original title was "XS to XS Migration".... I thought that it was one XS machine to another, same pool (by matter of the recommended method) so all one cluster just re-balancing. Still not allowed, but even if an MS auditor was standing there I bet they'd look the other way and whistle while it rebalanced one time during the migration.

    Built building separately like this, definitely not a migration in that sense. I see now.



  • @krisleslie said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    My new environment is going to be Windows 2012 R2 Data Center but push comes to shove I can buy an additional license because this existing server is basically End of Warranty. I'll keep adding parts as necessary but its there basically to be backup should I need one and also a test server. I plan on buying either a used server (thanks Slava) or getting a new server. I'm leaning toward used.

    Tagging @slava for you 🙂



  • @scottalanmiller

    I mean I still would want to follow the 1 SMB Server principle, but I find it getting harder to do considering I need a video monitoring host 😞
    Last but not least, getting sorda into VDI but the baby stuff, using Windows Multipoint Server.



  • @krisleslie said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    Last but not least, getting sorda into VDI but the baby stuff, using Windows Multipoint Server.

    That's not VDI at all. That's just multiple monitors on a single OS. That's related to RDS without remote access. Not related to VDI.



  • @krisleslie said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    @scottalanmiller

    I mean I still would want to follow the 1 SMB Server principle, but I find it getting harder to do considering I need a video monitoring host 😞

    What does that host do?



  • @scottalanmiller said in XenServer Host to Host Migration Questions:

    nciple, but I find it getting harder to do conside

    Well since this will be my first venture into using a video server, not sure how much system to give something like that.