Hot Migration


Hot migration, also known as live migration, is a process in which a running virtual machine or application is moved from one physical server to another with minimal or no disruption to its operation. This is typically achieved by transferring the virtual machine’s memory, storage, and configuration information in real-time. Hot migration enables users to perform maintenance or upgrade tasks on servers without causing any downtime for users or applications.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Hot Migration” is:Hot – /hɒt/ (British English) or /hɑt/ (American English)Migration – /maɪˈɡreɪʃən/

Key Takeaways

  1. Hot migration allows you to move running virtual machines from one physical host to another without any downtime, enhancing flexibility and load-balancing of resources.
  2. It reduces application disruption during hardware maintenance and helps in avoiding downtimes, ensuring a better user experience and improved productivity.
  3. Hot migration requires shared storage and proper planning to ensure adequate resources and network configuration on both the source and destination hosts, to be effective.


Hot Migration is an important technology term because it enables seamless transfer of virtual machines or applications between different physical servers without causing any service disruption or downtime for users.

This is particularly essential in dynamic IT infrastructures, where resources need to be continually optimized and rebalanced for efficient performance, hardware maintenance, or during server upgrades.

With Hot Migration, businesses can ensure high availability and fault tolerance, keeping their services up and running, while minimizing costs and ensuring a better overall user experience.

This flexibility and agility not only improve operational efficiency but also support rapid growth and adaptability to changing market demands.


Hot migration is a vital technological feature that serves the purpose of maintaining system availability and minimizing disruptions during hardware maintenance or software upgrades in the realm of Virtual Machines (VMs) and data centers. It offers a seamless solution to relocating a running VM from one physical server to another, without any disruptions to the active services or applications.

This process ensures that businesses can continue to carry out their daily operations without experiencing downtime, loss of productivity, or any negative impact on their clients, as the migration occurs in the background. Hot migration’s value lies in its ability to transfer resources and applications without powering them off, thus allowing organizations to achieve more agile infrastructure management in data centers.

This is particularly useful in scenarios where physical servers need to be replaced or upgraded, load-balancing across multiple servers, or fault tolerance requirements due to infrastructure issues. By using hot migration, IT administrators can efficiently allocate resources based on real-time demands, create redundancy for critical applications, and ensure that performance and uptime expectations are met.

Ultimately, hot migration offers a valuable safety net for businesses, providing improved flexibility and minimal downtime in their virtualized environments.

Examples of Hot Migration

Hot migration, also known as live migration, refers to the process of moving a virtual machine or application from one physical host to another without disrupting its operations. Here are three real-world examples of companies that use hot migration:

Amazon Web Services (AWS): AWS offers a service called AWS Migration Hub, which provides live migration capabilities for various AWS resources, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances. This allows users to move running EC2 instances between hosts, perform maintenance on the underlying hardware, or scale up hosts with minimal downtime.

Microsoft Azure: Azure provides a live migration feature called Azure Site Recovery (ASR), which helps customers move running workloads from on-premises data centers to Azure with minimal downtime. ASR also allows users to migrate virtual machines between Azure cloud regions, offering options for businesses to scale their infrastructure and maintain high availability.

VMware vSphere: VMware is a well-known player in the field of virtualization, with its vSphere platform providing hot migration capabilities through a feature called vMotion. vMotion lets administrators move running virtual machines between ESXi hosts within the same data center or across data centers without disruption, streamlining the process of load balancing and infrastructure upgrades.

Hot Migration FAQ

1. What is Hot Migration?

Hot Migration is a process wherein running virtual machines or applications are moved from one physical host to another with minimal downtime. This migration method aims to achieve minimal disruption to the end users and maintain the continuity of running services.

2. Why is Hot Migration important?

Hot Migration enables organizations to perform hardware maintenance, load balancing, and resource optimization without disrupting the continuity of essential services. It helps in minimizing any downtime and ensures seamless operation and better performance of virtual machines and applications.

3. How does Hot Migration work?

Hot Migration works by transferring the virtual machine’s memory, storage, and configuration data from the source host to the destination host while the virtual machine continues to run. The process can be initiated manually or automatically by management tools and usually follows a predefined procedure.

4. What are the requirements for Hot Migration to work?

Hot Migration requires shared storage between the source and destination hosts, compatible hardware and software, efficient network connectivity, sufficient resources on the destination host, and virtual machine management tools for proper execution.

5. Are there any potential risks associated with Hot Migration?

Though Hot Migration is generally considered safe, some potential risks include network latency during the migration process, configuration issues, and compatibility issues between the source and destination hosts. Adequate planning and testing can help in mitigating these risks.

Related Technology Terms

  • Virtual Machine (VM)
  • Live Migration
  • Shared Storage
  • Dynamic Resource Allocation
  • Load Balancing

Sources for More Information


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