Run multiple VMs from one VMDK file

Posted on 2011-05-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I'm running a VMware ESXi server, with vCenter, and I'm wondering if its possible to run multiple copies of a VM without taking additional disk space.

My setup:
ESXi (trial version, fully unlocked)
vCenter (trial version, fully unlocked)
SSD drive 128GB only (application requires this)
VM is Windows7, approximately 45gb
I need to run 8 copies of this VM (RAM and other requirements are met) but only need to launch and demo the 6 applications installed on the VM, no changes need to be saved, and it should revert to snapshot when shutdown.

Is it possible for all 8 VMs to run concurrently with one disk file, or at least use this disk file with their own snapshots each?
Question by:bV_
  • 5
LVL 124
ID: 35692018
You could investigate the use of Linked Clones using VMware View 4.5/4.6, because this is the technlogy we use to reduce disk space in VMware View 4.5.

A Parent VM, and a LInked Snapshot. (but not available to Servers yet!).

VMware Workstation also supports Linked Clones.
LVL 124

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 35692037
LVL 124
ID: 35692063
I would recommend for what you are wanting to do, research VMware View 4.5/4.6.

See a quick guide here to deployment, available as a trial as well, you should be up and running in 4 hours.


VMware View Docs


VMware View downloads

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LVL 124
ID: 35692099
So, what you describe is similar, if not Linked Clones - Linked clones, uses the base disk for an OS, makes a snapshot, and then other virtual machines are based off just the snapshot data, which of course saves disk space, gives you one place to do updates, etc.
LVL 124
ID: 35692112
Any questions, please let me know, and I'll do my best to answer them.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35695171
looks like this is the only way to do it other than a view server

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