Migrate VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.0 to different hardware

I am looking for a solid, easy way to migrate my single vSphere Hypervisor 5.0 installation from a Dell PE2950 chassis to a 1950 Chassis. I only have the free vSpere Client and the free hypervisor. vSphere is installed on the local RAID 1, and my single VM in on my iSCSI SAN. Can I just pull the disks and move them to the new hardware? Will I need to redo my networking? Am I better off reinstalling VMware on the new hardware, reconfigure all of the networking, and then reattaching to the new VM? My VM is a Linux appliance, so I probably need to make sure that the MAC address on the VM doesn't change.

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Jaroslav MrazCTOCommented:
yes moust of time you just plug disk to new hw and its works =)

If not you can just download VM from datastore with console if its on local hdd.
Instal vSphere on new HW
Upload VM back to new datastore and tab buutton add to inventory
and you are finish

on vm it will have no dependence.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
A number of "unsupported" options, you can just pull the disks from the 2950 and insert in the 1950, ESXi re-configuration will occur automatically, so VMNICs are likely to change and be re-assigned.

You could use Ghost 4 Linux and clone your installation, again, unsupported, but does work.

But to be honest for the sake of a new ESXi 5.0 installation which takes only 5-10 minutes to re-install, to hard drive, or you may want to consider installing to USB or SD card (which makes it far more portable!).

You could also backup configuration of existing install, uysing esxcli, and restoring configuration, but vmnic, are likely to be renumbered, due to PCI BUS locations.

I would go with re-install, which is SUPPORTED.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The VM's MAC address is always stored in the VMX file,. so it will not change.

Installing a new ESXi 5.0 server, adding the iSCSI LUN, you'll just need to add the new initiator name, to existing LUN, if you are using selective presentation of the LUN.

30 minute job in total.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Why not just install ESXi 5.0 on a USB or Flash drive on the 1950, and no need to move the disks, if you are using shared storage, no need for any drives.

Here is the VMware KB on installing on USB/SD:

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
New kb for ESXi 5.0

Installing ESXi 5.0 on a supported USB flash drive or SD flash card

You can backup/restore ESXi Configs via the vCLI (see: http://www.vmware.com/support/developer/vcli/vcli41/doc/reference/vicfg-cfgbackup.html and http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp4_41_vcli_inst_script.pdf, pg. 28). That's for 4.1, but the cmds are still in v5, tho VMware is going to the new ESXCLI cmds.

If your configs are not too intricate/complicated, I concur with @hanccocka...perform install on USB, then reconfigure. Just document your host configs (should be done just as a precaution best practice). You can use Veeam FastSCP or Datastore Browser or WinSCP to copy the VM to the new host's datastore. You just need to power down the VM is all. Once copied, go into the new host datastore (Datastore Browser using vSPhere Client), go into VM's folder, rt-click on the VM's .vmx file and select Add to Inventory. Once added, you can upgrade VMware Tools on the VM.

kevinhsiehAuthor Commented:
When I first did the install, I couldn't find any internal USB ports. Now that I have found the internal USB port underneath the cooling shroud, I am going to give that a shot.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:

Glad you found it!!!

we've not done an ESXi install to disk since 2004!
Not sure why those slots are hidden so bad? Gggrrr :)
kevinhsiehAuthor Commented:
Okay, I have installed on the USB key and attached the iSCSI datastore. How do I get my VM configuration back into the host?
And, you've got your host configured as well?

To transfer your whole VM to your new host, my recommendation is to download Veeam FastSCP (http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esxi-fastscp.html) on your workstation. Once installed, in the left tree/pane on the bottom half, you'll notice a 'server' heading. Rt-click on it and choose to 'add host/server'. Enter the IP of your source ESXi host and supply the root credentials. Do the same for your destination ESXi host (add it). Expand the source host folder tree to vmfs -> volumes -> the datastore your VM is on (disregard the long string named datastore. That is just a UUID mapping to the friendly name of your datastore). Rt-click on the VM folder and select Copy. Expand the folder tree of the destination ESXi host to vmfs -> volumes, then the datastore you want to place the VM. Rt-click in the datastore and select Paste. Depending on the size of the VM, it could take a little while to copy. Once copied, log onto the destination ESXi host with vSphere Client. Go into VM's folder by rt-clicking on the datastore and select Browse Datastore; go into the VM's folder, then rt-click on the VM's .vmx file and select Add to Inventory. Once added, you can upgrade VMware Tools on the VM.
Another option is to download vCenter Converter Standalone (http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/infrastructure_operations_management/vmware_vcenter_converter_standalone/5_0), and install it on your workstation. Do a V2V of your VM from the source ESXi host to the destination ESXi host. The VM can actually be running while doing the V2V. And, you don't have to 'add it to inventory'...it'll be added by Converter. Once it's on the dest host, it will be powered off. Power off the source VM, then power the destination VM on.

Here is also the User Guide for Converter to help:
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/convsa_50_guide.pdf; pg. 39 begins the Conversion steps.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Browse the datastore which should now be visible, when you ReScan the iSCSI HBA.

and browse the VM Folder, and Right Click VMX file, and Add to Inventory.

That's all there is to it.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
As you have a single VM on shared iSCSI storage the VM is not going anywhere, so no need to migrate, and no config change to the VM.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Does your existing datastore appear?

If not check you've added a VMKernel Interface.

Check you've added the Initiator name to LUN on the iSCSI SAN, if using selecting presentation views.

otherwise vmkping is your friend here at the console to check you can vmkping the iSCSI SAN.
Ah...do you have the SAN also attached to the destination host? My assumption was the VM would be on separate storage...apologies. A HBA rescan on our new/destination host should be all you need as mentioned by @hanccocka.
kevinhsiehAuthor Commented:
Way too many comments for such a simple issue... ;-)

I was able to install on USB and reattach to my SAN. I managed to find the datastore and browse it to find the .vmx file...still not sure how I found the datastore to browse, but that's another issue with me and the vSphere client UI. Once I found the .vmx file, I added the VM and it was easy from there.
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