Zero downtime VM migrations are still magical to me

It has to be about 20 years since I first experienced vMotion and the technology still feels like magic. A few clicks of the mouse and the things I had running on this computer over here are running on that computer over there and nobody is the wiser.

A few years back I switched my virtualization hosts at home from VMware to Hyper-V and the tech geeks in my social circles always question why. It’s because Hyper-V frees me from having to run vCenter to get the magic — live migration is built-in and (mostly) Just Works™

Yesterday I needed to replace storage on the host that runs a couple bits of critical home infra that is still virtualized — Pi-hole, nginx, and Home Assistant — and was grateful that I could temporarily migrate it all to my other Hyper-V host instead of causing a prolonged outage.

Got a Home Assistant Yellow

Hi, my name is [redacted] and I’m a gadget-holic.

Home Assistant Yellow

I can’t make it make sense to me. I browsed mini PCs on Amazon for about a minute to find a J3455 8GB / 128GB micro PC for $120 before $30 off coupon. That’s cheaper than just the basic Yellow board and case, which still needs an impossible-to-obtain CM4 module and storage. This one is PoE and sports a $29 NVMe SSD and $80 CM4 w/ 8GB RAM and Wi-Fi, for a grand total of $243 before taxes and shipping. That’s J5005/J5105 money.

But, hey, it does have a Real Time Clock chip w/ a battery. That’s something that nearly all the little ARM SBCs and most of the CM4 carrier boards are lacking, a pain point that nobody notices until they do and then they can’t stop thinking about it.

I bought it ’cause I figure the HA people deserve my money, and I’d rather spend it on a gizmo than their cloud service. I’ll migrate one of my HA instances to it, to give it a proper chance, but I suspect it won’t be long before I want to migrate back to a proper PC that does everything faster and better.