VM with 20 snapshots. - some 30GB. Best way to backup the VM (not backup all snapshot files)

Hi - try to be clear here - I need an "Up to date" backup before I commit/delete the snapshots.

so Should I do a  v2v ? or a  simple clone - is a v2v safer bet and will it give me "just the one vmdk" or will it need to be "all 20" files.
when you clone a VM does it copy "all files" including all snapshots - or does it commit the deltas into the newly created clone?
i have this mess due to old symantec version not clearing the  snaps after backup

Backup is important as I worry about committing the snapshots - failing for whatever reason.
im running esx 5.1

Advice anyone ? - Hancock hope your out there :) - thanks
Who is Participating?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
As if by magic the shop keeper appears.....

where else would I be....

V2V or Clone, will create a single VMDK with all merged snapshots!

A CLONE function actually merges all the snapshots into the destination so you will have a single file e.g. one VMDK.

V2V occurs in the VM, at OS disk level, so the remaining VM is a single VMDK.

I would opt for a V2V using Converter, this is the recommended VMware Support option, when a VM has many snapshots.


Before you have a valid backup.

see my EE Article

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient

and once you have your final VM, without Snapshots, you have a choice....

either switch to this new VM...without snapshots, OR, then DELETE ALL, and BE PATIENT and WAIT!

some more EE Articles I've written around V2Vs etc

HOW TO:  Synchronize changes when completing a P2V or V2V with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1

HOW TO: Improve the transfer rate of a Physical to Virtual (P2V), Virtual to Virtual Conversion (V2V) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0
Randy DownsOWNERCommented:
Maybe this will help


VMware ESX 4.0 Update 2 or later

VMware ESX now incorporates improved consolidation procedures, which lessens the demand of free space. You are able to consolidate virtual machine delta disks even while minimal free space on your datastore is available.

To consolidate the snapshots for a virtual machine currently registered to an ESX 4.0 Update 2 or later host:
Power off the virtual machine.
Open the virtual machine's Snapshot Manager.
Remove one or more snapshots by click Delete or Delete All.
Allow time for the consolidation to complete. Larger snapshots and delta disks will take more time to complete.
philb19Author Commented:
Thanks - I think im going to opt for a v2v - and then power off original (with 20 snaps).
use the NEW VM as production 1.

My understanding is it has new MAC and GUID. - its just a web server though so I dont imagine any problems with application? - its win2008 IIS server
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Should not be any issue, just make sure IP Address is the same, DHCP reservations, etc

you could change, the MAC Address to match as well.
philb19Author Commented:
Thanks again Hancock
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