Scott Drummonds on Virtualization

Wireless vMotion Using Laptops


In June of 2011 I visited China as EMC’s vSpecialists kicked off a program of technical workshops for VMware enthusiasts. We invited pre-sales teams from VMware, Cisco, and EMC to gather for presentations, discussions, and labs all focused on EMC and VMware products and how they work together. We call this group the vAmbassadors. And we are building communities like this throughout the Asia Pacific region.

To kick off the Chinese vAmbassador program, we wanted to show everyone EMC and VMware configurations on very simple hardware. I suggested that we try and demonstrate vMotion using our laptops and wireless Ethernet with the Celerra VSA as the embedded host storage. While I was sure it was technically possible, I had never seen this before. As it turns out, it was pretty straight forward. And was also damn fun to watch. 🙂

I posted a video of our Shanghai vSpecialists and vAmbassadors with our home-brewed “enterprise” configuration running in a small conference room. We ran multiple ESXi instances in virtual machines on VMware’s hosted virtualization products, Fusion and Workstation. With one instance of vCenter also in a VM, we collected the ESXi VMs into a DRS cluster. We instantiated one tiny (256 MB) Windows XP VM in one of the ESXi VMs and tried to vMotion it to an ESXi VM on another laptop. The VM moved very quickly over wireless N (IEEE 802.11n-2009). Everyone was pretty impressed with how many cool things you can do with IT-issued equipment.

The above video was recorded in Shanghai with an Iomega PX6-300d providing NAS storage to the ESXi VMs. The week after in Chengdu we did it again but ran the embedded XP VM on Nick Weaver’s UBER Celerra VSA running on another laptop. While it was difficult for many of us to mentally disentangle the topology of our embedded VMs and embedded storage, the vMotion worked in Chengdu as well. Although in Chengdu we only had a wireless G (IEEE 802.11g-2003) router so the migration took a couple minutes.

I think those of us that spend every day working with VMware’s products forget how magical it is to see a vMotion the first time. It was a great pleasure to me to bring this magic to China in a live demonstration for an audience that included people that know virtualization only from presentations.

3 Responses

Wow man, this video is amazing. This way of vMotion VMs, is really like a magic. I liked it. Congrats.

  • I knew it would take a Scott to come up with something like this. vMotion is a common thing now, but wireless vMotion?! Now that’s magical and cool!

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