ESXi 4.x to 5 VM Migrations Come With Possible HA Protection Issues

In setting up a new ESXi 5 cluster of hosts, I naturally enabled the High Availability feature before moving or creating any VM’s on it. I had a ESXi 4.1 cluster that this ESXi 5 was replacing, so I started to vMotion machines once I had the storage shared between the two. I moved about 10 machines when I started to notce that on the machine summaries, under “VShpere HA Protection”, they were all showing as “Unprotected”. Hmm. I checked the HA datastores and sure enough, it showed that there were no Protected VM’s, and 10 Unprotected VM’s. So, I did what every good admin does, I started Googling.

VMware calls this out in their new vSphere Online documentation, but is of course in true VMware fashion, very cryptic in how to resolve it. Nothing they had really pertained to my situation, so I decided to try the obvious option, disable HA and then re-enable it. It worked. All the machines then showed as “Protected”. So, I moved on and migrated a few more. Low and behold, they showed as “Unprotected”. move a few more, disable HA, re-enable HA, and they are now “Protected”.

I feel kinda bad for folks that may have hundreds or even thousands of VM’s they have to migrate, as this process will be a royal PITA.

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