Live migration is an essential technology for an agile, dynamic data center environment based on server virtualization. Until now, it has not been possible, however, to perform successful live migration between servers based on different generations of processors, each with different instruction sets - this limited our ability to implement large resource pools, creating islands of servers and hindering the implementation of advanced data center capabilities.
Combined, Intel VT FlexMigration assist and Enhanced VMotion are designed to overcome this limitation by enabling all servers to expose the same instruction set to applications, even if they are based on different processor generations from a single CPU supplier.
Intel IT and Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group, End User Platform Integration, conducted proof-of-concept (PoC) testing of live migration using Intel® Virtualization Technology FlexMigration (Intel® VT FlexMigration) assist and the Enhanced VMotion feature of VMware ESX 3.5U2*. All migrations completed without problems and our testing demonstrated that we can use Intel VT FlexMigration assist for live migration of Intel IT business applications in a mixed production environment. As a result, we can create resource pools that combine servers from multiple generations, eliminating incompatible islands of servers and allowing full implementation of advanced data center capabilities. Accordingly, we expect to standardize on systems with Intel VT FlexMigration assist in the future.
Our recently published IT@Intel white paper: Testing Live Migration with Intel® Virtualization Technology FlexMigration' documents the details pertaining to our tests – the types of systems tested, the workloads used, different scenarios examined and the results.
On behalf of our team, I’d like to invite you to view this whitepaper and comment about how you are using or intending to use these technologies in your datacenters and your experiences to-date with these capabilities.