Home > Blogs > VMware vSphere Blog

VMware Virtual SAN: Cross Cluster Migrations

VSANI was recently involved in a conversations with regards to Virtual SAN and virtual machine migration capabilities. A few customers have been wondering about whether or not all of the vSphere migration operation and functions work with Virtual SAN due to the way the system works. One particular migration operation in question was around the ability to migrate virtual machines.

From a storage solution perspective, Virtual SAN delivers a distributed shared datastore that is presented to all members of a vSphere cluster. The Virtual SAN datastores are ONLY presented to the hosts that are members of a particular cluster. The fact that Virtual SAN datastore is shared amongst all the hosts in the cluster, it should be clear that virtual machine migration operations between hosts are possible. Apparently what didn’t seem to be clear was whether a vSphere Admins could migrate virtual machines across Virtual SAN clusters. In scenarios where there are multiple Virtual SAN clusters exist, and they are managed by the same vCenter Server, migrations of virtual machines between Virtual SAN clusters are possible even if the clusters can’t see or access each others datastores. Virtual SAN’s deep integration with vSphere features allows vSphere Admins to migrate virtual machines between Virtual SAN enabled clusters by leveraging XvMotion. XvMotion is a vSphere feature that provides the ability to migrate virtual machines files across hosts or clusters over the network without the need of shared storage.

VSAN - XvMotion

The demonstration below showcases the migration of virtual machines from a Virtual SAN enabled cluster named “VSAN Cluster Dev” onto a cluster named “VSAN Cluster Test”. This validates and should provide the answer to the questions around this topic.


For future updates, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds
This entry was posted in vSphere and tagged , on by .
Rawlinson Rivera

About Rawlinson Rivera

Rawlinson is a Principal Architect working in the Office of CTO for the Storage and Availability Business Unit at VMware. Focus on defining and communicating VMware’s product vision and strategy, and an active advisor for VMware's product roadmap and portfolio. Responsibilities revolved around connecting VMware's R&D team with customers, partners and the field. Serve as a partner and trusted adviser to VMware's customers primarily in the US. Rawlinson specialize on cloud enterprise architectures, software-defined storage, Hyper-converged Infrastructures and business continuity / disaster recovery solutions with focus on Virtual SAN, vSphere Virtual Volumes, as well as storage solutions and technologies for OpenStack and Cloud-Native Applications. Rawlinson is one of the few VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#86) and main author of the blog punchingclouds.com.

3 thoughts on “VMware Virtual SAN: Cross Cluster Migrations

  1. Justin

    Once the machine has been vMotioned to the new cluster, can the admin then also use Storage vMotion to migrate the VM files to the new vSAN cluster?

  2. vmorz

    Is it possible to do Cross Cluster Migrations under this scenario?
    One cluster is SRM and another is vMSC cluster. Both of them are managed by different vCenter Server?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *