Although F5 states that starting from version 11.5 it supports vMotion to move a BigIP LTM VE instance between physical hosts (K15003222) some times it still can cause issues even in the newer 12.x series software. To those that didn’t want to click on the link and read what F5 has to say about it here are their recommendations for using vMotion:
- You should perform a live migration of BIG-IP VE virtual machines on idle BIG-IP VE virtual machines. Performing a live migration of the BIG-IP VE system while the virtual machine is processing application traffic may produce unexpected results, such as dropped connections.
- Using the vMotion feature to migrate one member of a high availability (HA) pair should not cause a failover in most cases. However, F5 recommends that you thoroughly test vMotion migration for HA systems, as you may experience different results, depending on your environment.
Well having tested it I have to say that yes, moving an active member is a bad idea since it can have “nice” side effects in certain cases. I like their unexpected results statement, namely I have seen one BigIP LTM instance drop half it’s inbound connections after vMotion in a way that even after a reboot/upgrade to a newer patch level it still drops connections from certain IP addresses in a way that they don’t even show up in tcpdump and no half the connections don’t go to the standby node they just vanish.. and as soon as you force that device to standby on the other node they re-appear. So be very careful on what you migrate during the night, as unexpected things might happen…
But atleast in my case using vMotion on the BIG-IP VE virtual machine again, this time in standby mode and then making it active again got traffic flowing normally again.