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As you know, with ELM, you can see all vCenter servers in one location, and you can manage the whole infrastructure from a single browser window even if your infrastructure has many vCenter servers. If you have separate SSOs in your environment, they are pretty much isolated and do not share anything, so any migration isn't possible unless you use this tool.
You can find the Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility at the VMware Labs website as a Fling. The tool allows users to migrate VMs in bulk easily from a graphical user interface between vCenter servers using the Cross-vCenter vMotion feature.
In fact, the application gives you the possibility to choose between migrate and clone options. The clone option might be useful for some scenarios as well.
It's a perfect tool for batch vMotion or migration tasks.
System requirements ^
You should make sure you have a few things before starting:
- vCenter Server 6.0 or above
- Java Runtime Environment 1.8-10
- A web browser
- Please review https://kb.vmware.com/kb/2106952 for Cross-vCenter vMotion requirements
The "bad news" is that you'll need to install Java, but that's the only downside. Other than that, the utility installs via a single command window.
First, download and install Java Runtime Environment 1.8-10. Then download the Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility .jar file from the VMware Fling site here.
After that, open a cmd window, change the directory to the place where you downloaded the tool, and type this command:
java -jar xvm-2.6.jar
Once you see the message that XVMotion app initialized successfully, you can go and launch your browser to this address:
It is a default port, which you can change by specifying an additional flag. Follow the instructions, which you can find on the VMware Flings site.
Register the vCenter servers ^
You can only operate the application from a web browser. Once you have the default web page, click on the Migrate button.
The window will change. You'll have the possibility to click on Register and provide the details of your vCenter servers. You'll need to register all of your vCenter servers with their credentials.
Repeat this for the second vCenter server and for all other vCenter servers you want to use for your migration tasks.
You'll end up with as many vCenter servers in the list as you have in your environment. They'll be registered in the system when you do your migrations. If you restart the utility, you'll just need to re-enter passwords and re-establish a connection for previously registered sites. The application stores the migration task state in memory. Restarting the app will lose the tasks.
Migrate VMs ^
You have registered all sites with credentials now. So after this, simply hit the Migrate button to change the view. From the drop-down list, select the source, destination, destination cluster (or individual host), network mapping, and so on—simple and efficient.
When it comes to selecting VMs, you can tick several VMs at once. You don't have to create a new task for each VM individually each time.
Once you've selected all options, just hit the Submit button and watch the progress bar.
If you need to access application logs, they're stored in the xvm.log file.
Final words ^
The Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility is nice to work with; previously these migration tasks were only possible via API calls or PowerCLI, which both weren't very user friendly.
VMware Labs has a variety of different tools that they first test in the lab and proof-of-concept (POC) environments, and then the best ones make it to production.
VMware only integrates the best ideas and utilities into their products. This was already the case for many utilities, for example, the VMware ESXi host client or the VMware HTML 5 web client. Both products still exist as applications, and VMware tests, improves, and updates them with new features and enhancements.
The Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility has also a help section online at the tool's webpage where you can have a look in case you have problems or ask for help from the VMware community.