Migrating vm in esxi to new datastore

  • Hello. I wanted to know if anyone had any tips on migrating pfsense vm from a datasstore to another without losing connectivity. I currently use pfsense to handle all IP leases and flow of data so I'm worried when I shut down the vm to move it to another datastore I will also lose internet and not be able to get back into vsphere to add the vm on the new datastore and power on.

    Any help would be appreciated.


  • I'm guessing you don't have a license that allows for vMotion?  No matter what happens you can always use your vi-client or web client to connect to the specific host that pfSense is running on and start it up.  Downtime should be very minor since pfSense isn't that big.  vMotion would make it seamless.

  • no I just had the free license for 5. It ended up being a pain to move everything. Well the move was not that bad. I had a problem with getting the server to boot another array which required me to find/use the disc with advanced features to then make the array I wanted bootable. Basically i was working on getting rid of an array that was only like 74gb and moving esxi install and the vm's to a larger array.

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    moving a vm to a different datastore is quite simple.  While you could do it live with vmotion..  With the free version you just shutdown the vm, move it to whatever datastore you want and then restart the vm.

    Sounds like your problem was with esxi seeing the datastore in the first place which has nothing to do with pfsense or movement of vms even.

    When you say 5 I hope you mean 5.5u2 at min - since current version of pfsense 2.2.x which runs on freebsd 10.1 is not support on any version of esxi below that.

  • Install a vcenter server and run it in eval mode. Remove the free license from your ESXi server so that you have full features for 30 days. Add it to your vcenter. Do storage migration. Remove ESXi server from vcenter, add free license back, decommission temp vcenter server.

    Easy, if not trivial.

    That's the only way (that I know of) to get a zero downtime storage migration.

    Without vcenter, the next best option for low downtime is to use something like ghettoVCB to create a snapshot and copy the vmdk to the new location. Create the new virtual using the copied disk, power down the old virtual, and bring up the new. Probably less than a minute of downtime.

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