VMware and Cisco working on long-distance VMotion

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It’s not a secret that virtual machines live migration is perceived by most virtualization professionals as a must-have feature.
After trying to dismiss its value for months, even Microsoft is putting a major effort in promoting it now that its upcoming Hyper-V R2 finally offers it.

The problem with VM live migration is that it doesn’t work beyond a single network segment where two or more virtualization hosts share the same SAN space.
The first vendor that will be able to offer such feature over a WAN link will change forever the way we think disaster recovery.

VMware is working on long-distance VMotion since a while now, but the last time we checked (at the VMworld 2008 analyst briefing) the company was skeptical about delivering the technology in a short timeframe (like 12-18 months) because of complex technical issues.
Nonetheless a long-distance VMotion was demonstrated just last week with the help of Cisco.

The two companies showed how a VM live migration is possible between two data centers away 80km (50 miles) from each other, “fighting” against a 400us latency for each fibre cable.


A long time may pass before this technology reaches the production stage, but VMware and Cisco are really innovating here and deserve maximum attention.