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Windows 7: Running ESXi 5 Enterprise Plus with HA + vMotion + Failover?

06 Dec 2011   #1

W7x64 Pro
 
 
Running ESXi 5 Enterprise Plus with HA + vMotion + Failover?

I know that cross-posting is frowned upon so I'll be delicate. I started a thread in the Activation & Updates section because it looked like most of the members in this section were not running enterprise-level HV.

I want to convert from VM's running on a single ESXi 5 Host to 8-node Clusters with HA (high availability) as well as use VMware's automated solutions for vMotion & Failover.

I am having a problem with licenses getting deactivated when they are migrated and a few other instances which I have more clearly outlined in my thread here:

Virtual Environment: Reactivation Required?

If anyone else is running vSphere & ESXi 5 and using vMotion & Failover in HA clusters could you please post what your Windows 7 setup is?

I am running mostly W7x64 Professional with individual (retail) activation keys. I believe this is the root of the problem but I'm not able to switch over to a locally controlled Volume Licensing program for a variety of reasons.

Thanks for any comments or feedback.

Mods & Admins: Sorry about this semi-cross-post... if you need/want to delete this please feel free to. Thx!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Dec 2011   #2

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
I'm not an expert on running this type of stuff -- just a single Esxi server for me --however when I converted VM's running from vmware workstation to Esxi server the vm's DID require re-activation -- the Virtual Bios is significantly different as is the Virtual hardware hence Windows 7 (and W2003 server / XP ) VM's wanted re-activating -- no problem with that.

I suspect that in converting the VM's to your 8-node clusters with vMotion the VM's see different "virtual" hardware and the retail versions will then require re-activation --shouldn't be a problem for s single migration - don't do it every week however.

Note also depending on your setups you can enable "PCI passthru" so the vm's can access some hardware directly. In certain cases this can also cause a re-activation to be required.

Normally a Volume or Site License is what is needed but in your case not applicable as you have stated.

I think once you've done the migration and re-activated the VM's it should all be fine.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

From what I can gather from your previous post...you were taking OEM machines (Dell, HP, Gateway) and running the conversion against them and turning them into VM's. Technically, this isn't allowable as the underlying hardware is changing and OEM licenses cannot be moved.

Later, you mentioned that you had Windows 7 VM's running on 1 node of the cluster and then they failed to the other node and they had to be reactivated. Once again, it seems you are using OEM licensing on these Windows 7 nodes.

Where I work, we use vSphere 4 with Vmotion and HA. Our 2003 nodes are VLK and stay activated. Our Server 2008 R2 boxes are using a MAK key and we can vmotion these around within our cluster without having to reactivate. I really think the use of the OEM keys which are tied to the hardware is the root of the problem. <--- I don't have any machines in this boat.

With all this said, I'm shocked that this company is at this licensing crossroads though. vSphere licenses with Enterprise plus are very expensive. And if you are using vmotion you likely have some sort of enterprise class SAN providing the shared storage. It really seems like having a MAK key and volume licensing would be a given. Something seems really strange there to me.

I would expect that any machine, once it's running on the VMWare ESXi hypervisors and activated should be able to move between those hosts without an issue. The hardware is masked to the guest, so it should not be triggering a reactivation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Dec 2011   #4

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi pparks1

I think the OP did mention he was using RETAIL licenses - although in a corporate type of environment I'm surprised why standard corporate or volume licensing isn't being used rather than RETAIL. (Ebay ?? perhaps !!!!).

......I am running mostly W7x64 Professional with individual (retail) activation keys. ......

These SHOULD be allowed to be moved between different hardware provided ONE license per Machine (Real OR Virtual).

Other than that I don't have a clue myself about Large scale enterprise activations -- but the OP doesn't want Enterprise type Windows 7 licensing (not sure why not however).

OEM licensing when these are moved WILL cause problems since you are not allowed to move an OEM Windows 7 to different hardware (Real or Virtual) but RETAIL activations should be fine -- these can be moved at will within the standard rules of only 1 copy per machine (real or virtual).

Once activated these can be moved between clusters without activations since the "Virtual" hardware won't have changed anymore.

I'm sure phone activation will work --although if you've got a whole slew of these it could be a bit tedious.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi pparks1

I think the OP did mention he was using RETAIL licenses - although in a corporate type of environment I'm surprised why standard corporate or volume licensing isn't being used rather than RETAIL. (Ebay ?? perhaps !!!!).

......I am running mostly W7x64 Professional with individual (retail) activation keys. ......
That's what I thought as well, but I read the following; and I now suspect that buying a retail copy of an OEM key is what he is saying.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by winstontj View Post

Three Windows 7 VM's were running on the node that died - all three were from an OEM System Builder's 3-pack that I purchased from NewEgg
and
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by winstontj View Post
Each OS has a valid key, etc. They were ALL purchased from NewEgg.com and all were paid for at the same rate/price that any other normal retail individual would pay.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Running ESXi 5 Enterprise Plus with HA + vMotion + Failover?




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