vSphere Console Stays Connected During VMotion

Open VM ConsoleVMware administrators may not have much day-to-day need for a virtual machine console, but when it is needed — it is needed.

You can think of the VM console like a remote KVM for virtual machines  — similar to HP iLO on a physical machine.  Most of the time there are more efficient network-based remote access techniques like RDP or SSH.  However, there are some circumstances — like network misconfiguration — that absolutely require the use of a remote console.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you were connected to a VM console while it automatically migrated with VMotion to another physical host?  If you are a long-time VMware admin, you would probably expect things to keep on working.  And that is exactly right — the console connection is seamlessly transferred to the new VMware ESX host.  This behavior is especially important when VMware DRS is dynamically moving virtual machines to optimize cluster resources.

Need to check the network settings of a VM?  No problem — you may not even notice if that VM migrates to another host while you are connected.

Here is a quick video of the situation in action:

Does Microsoft Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 handle this scenario the same way?  Not exactly.

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5 comments

  1. Vladan’s avatar

    I tried this already on our infrastructure. Just great.

    The same happens when you RDP to vCenter server VM being vmotioned…

    It just works…. That’s the way we want Virtualization systems being designed. Thanks to point this out Eric.

  2. RobSF’s avatar

    Back when we first rolled out our Virtual Infrastructure, I did a live demo for most of my co-workers. Part of my demo was VMotion. I connected to a VM via RDP, VMotioned it to another ESX host, and showed everyone how it stayed connected.

    In my demo, I made a point of telling everyone how boring VMotion is. And then I made the point that we WANT it to be boring. “It just works,” right? When features “just work,” they aren’t very exciting to watch … but that’s okay. Boring can be a good thing, if it means that the technology is solid, stable, and mature. 🙂

    1. Eric Gray’s avatar

      Yep, it just works and it’s quite boring. Thanks for reading, gentlemen.

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