How to migrate VMware VM?

This is using VMWare ESXi 4.1host. There are few VMs created in this host, and all VMs are in production. Now, my management wants us to move one VM to a newly-deployed also ESXi 4.1 host on the remote site. The VM that going to move is 46GB, and further check on the ESXi Host console, we found that the whole VM folder is total up more than 100GB. Does this means snapshots? All the network infra are new with gigabit switch, just wonder how much time we need for the downtime to migrate this VM to the new host? Shall we purge the snapshot and down the VM for migrating? Will doing this make the migration faster?

Thanks in advance.
MezzutOzilAsked:
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latheefConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you have a fast network and vmotion enabled on both the hosts you can just migrate to the other server on the other location.

Otherwise I suggest to copy the files to a HD and restore on the other host on the other location and connect on your virtual center.



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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It's possible that if the virtual disk size of the VM is 46GB, but the total folder size is 100GB, you've got Snapshots. Check Snapshot Manager, are there any VMs.

I would recommend and use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 or 4.3. If you use this method to convert your existing VM to a new VM, by completing a V2V, virtual 2 virtual conversion, you will not have to worry, about the snapshots, the converted new machine will not have any snapshots, and will be the normal 46GB size. Also if will give you a rollback procedure, as the original machine will not be changed. I would think that copy/conversion time could take approx 2-3 hours. (if you do decide to use Veeam FastSCP or Datastore browser, make sure you Consolidate ALL the Snapshots before the copy/move)

Download VMware vCenter Converter 5.0 here
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 Documentation
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 User Guide


Download VMware vCenter Converter 4.3 here
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 Documentation
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 User Guide


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


Read fellow Expert Bestway's article.

Best Practice Video Guide here


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A Tutorial video by me:- Restore a Virtual Machine using the FREE VMware vCenter Converter to VMware vSphere 4.x, 5.0 ESXi 4.x, ESXi 5.0, ESX 4.0

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MezzutOzilAuthor Commented:
Hi Latheef,

I preferred the method of copying, but, vcenter and vmotion is currently out of the picture and my management got not intentions to deploy it. Does the following method work?

                   1. Open ESXi Host
                   2. Open snapshot manager, and check for any snapshot for the vm
                   3. If snapshot found, choose to delete it
                   4. power down the vm
                   5. using ESXi console, and export the vm to a temporary storage
                   6. copy the vm to the destination ESXi Host
                   7 Select to create a new VM
                   8. Power up the vm

Does the above method work? How much is needed for 46GB VM?


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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, that method can also work as an alternative.

I would ensure you have approx 50 to 60gb for export.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
if you use Export to OVF, you must use Import on the Destination.
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MezzutOzilAuthor Commented:
Hi Hanccocka,

What is mean by OVF?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Virtualization_Format

OVF is a format which makes virtual machines portable.

So youbcan Export as OVF, and then Import again.

Machine VM must be off.
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