Manually Moving Virtual Servers

I need to move some servers from an ESX4 server to an ESXi4 server. The ESX4 server is connected to a SAN and the SAN is beginning to have some serious issues.  

I am trying to copy the virtual machines off the ESX4 sever.  I tried Fast SCP from Veem but whenever I try and view the volumes it generates an error and exits.  Using the VMWare client I browsed the datastore and started copying the server across.  

About halfway through I received an error and the copy failed.  I am trying to copy the the individual files one at a time now.   I have selected server_disk_2.vmdk in the datastore browser and selected it to download.  

However in the datastore browser the file size is 7,170,390 KB and I have already copied over 9,520,831 KB and it says I still have another 90 minutes to go.   I also selected server_disk_2.vmdk but what it is copying is server_disk_2-flat.vmdk.   which the datastore browser does not show.  

Is there a problem with the file?  With the Copy?  Or is this normal.  
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prak_seafarerConnect With a Mentor Commented:
one more option. if you have space on any windows server and if the troublesome vm is one then you can also use the OVF template.

procedure for vcenter managed vm's

1. select the vm
2. Shut if down if running
3. select file -> export -> export as OVF template.

in the new esxi server you can deploy this OVF template without issues.


Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Use VMware Converter Standalone 4.3 or 5.0. (is now released).

Download VMware vCenter Converter here

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.x Documentation

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 User Guide

If you have issues, you may want to consult the following guides

Read fellow Expert Bestway's article.

Best Practice Video Guide here

@paulsolov fellow EE Expert has suggested the following method:-

"If all else fails do the following as it has helped me over a hundred times when converter fails

1.  Download trial copy of Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery
2.  Install and take an image of the server
3.  Use VMware Converter to convert image (it knows it natively) to a VM"

Check the video here I created earlier, and you can see the process.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Why not connect the ESXi 4.0 Server to the SAN, and move the VM Servers from the SAN to the new ESXi 4.0 server?

(just make sure the VMs are OFF)

The Servers are on the SAN, not the ESX 4.0 server.
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qvfpsAuthor Commented:
I will try the VMWare converter and see if that works any better.   The last time I tried it I went back to downloading the files to temprary storage and loading them on to the new server.   However it has been a while since I tried it.    

Unfortunately the reasons we are moving off the SAN are that it is failing and  no one knows how to use it or maintain it so connecting the new VMWare box directly to the SAN is not an option.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Okay, try Vmware Converter Standalone 4.3 or 5.0.
is the esxi installed on local drive or SAN.

you can move the vm using the migrate option for datastore. but the vm must be in off state.

qvfpsAuthor Commented:
I tried the VMWare converter V5.0 on Thursday but it exited on both of the servers I tried to convert with an error hafway through each of them.   I had planned on trying to turn off unnecessary VMs on the ESX servers to see if that would help.  Unfortunately when I shut down one of the servers I was told was not used anymore I lost my remote connection.    I will try again monday. night.  

The current servers are stored on the SAN.  The new servers is using local storage.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Try VMware Converter Standalone 4.3, 5.0 is very new.

or, try the following options

1. Veeam FastSCP (

Fast Virtual Machine / File Transfer. Faster than WinSCP and other SCP-based tools as it uses full network capacity. The Veeam FastSCP engine also features traffic compression and empty block removal for best file copy performance.

You can use FastSCP to connect to the ESX/ESXi server, and download the entire virtual machine folder/directory to the current workstation or server, where yov've connected from. You must ensure that the virtual machines are powered off to complete this operation.

2. Datastore browser

The datastore browser is included in the vSphere GUI Client, and enables you access to the datastore, virtual machines are stored on. You can simple use the cut and paste, or download/upload options to backup and restore virtual machines. Again to copy a virtual machine, the virtual machine must be powered off.

Restoring with options 1 and 2, above, you must add the Virtual Machine manually to the inventory, by selecting the vmx file in the datastore browser, right click on the *.vmx file, and select "Add to Inventory".
qvfpsAuthor Commented:
I have already tried FastSCP and the Datastore browser and I have not been able to download the VMs with either one.   I will try the OVF option and the 4.3 version and see if they works any better.

Thanks for the suggestions.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
export ovf
qvfpsAuthor Commented:
I managed to get the first server transferred over by exporting it to an OVA file and then importing it to the new host.   I am working on the remaining servers now.  I will post the final results.  Thanks for all the suggestions.
qvfpsAuthor Commented:
The second server I was having problems with downloaded successfully as an OVA file.  
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Glad it's all woriking.
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