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Move vmWare VM to a host at another site

Posted on 2013-11-04
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Last Modified: 2013-11-04
Hello,

I currently have a Windows Server 2003 VM hosted on an ESX 5.1 server in Baltimore, MD. It is a SQL Server for several warehouses. I need to find a way to move the VM to a new host in Cincinnati, OH with minimal downtime. The pipe between both sites is not that great so a live migration is not feasible. I had in mind to take a backup somehow of the guest then ship that backup to Cincinnati and restore it, then pipe the differential backup once it is up and running. Does anybody have any ideas?

Thanks
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Question by:mcdaddy513
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Minimal downtime....

without Minimal downtime...., your options are Storage vMotion, and by vCenter 5.1. If you do not have VMware vSphere vCenter Server you could download a 60 day trial to complete this, but you will also need Evaluation Hosts!

if you do not have licensed for Storage vMotion, you will have to accept some downtime.

you are rather limited by options for Minmal Downtime, I think you will need to schedule some downtime.....for this activity....

Are the VMs on Shared Storage e.g. SAN or NAS?

0. Storage vMotion - Zero Downtime - if available

Options:- with some downtime....

1. Backup and Restore using your existing Backup and Restore software.

2. Export and Import using vSphere Client

see my EE Article, Step by Step Tutorial Instructions with Screenshots

HOW TO: Backup (Export) and Restore (Import) virtual machines to VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 for FREE

3. VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5
(limited downtime if done correctly using SYNC option!)

see my EE Article, Step by Step Tutorial Instructions with Screenshots

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5

HOW TO:  Synchronize changes when completing a P2V or V2V with 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

4. Live Migrate, see my EE Article, Step by Step Tutorial Instructions with Screenshots

HOW TO: "Live Migrate" VMware Virtual Machines between ESX/ESXi hosts and/or datastores for FREE without licenses for vMotion or Storage vMotion

5. Remove from current Inventory (limited downtime!)

Power off VM
Remove from current Inventory
Browse SAN datastore and VM Folder
Add to current ESXi 5.1 inventory
Power On.
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by:mcdaddy513
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It is currently on a stand-alone host and local storage. I cannot vMotion it over the network as the link between the two sites is very slow. I need to find a way to move the VM from one site to another with the least amount of downtime. I understand that there will be downtime, but the goal is to find a way to move the entire VM over to the new site, then somehow sync any changes made since the copy was created.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
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Option 3, subject to bandwidth.

This can be used in Sync Mode, install Converter on the VM to be "MOVED" follow my instructions, it does not make any difference, how long the initial copy takes, because you can sync the changes afterwards.

At cut-over time, we generally sync the same day, and then, at the planned cut-over time, advise of planned outage, and "cut-over" and complete final sync. If you have synced earlier in the day, this should have little change.

other option, is, planned downtime, VM off, copy, move, import, VM on.

3. VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5
(limited downtime if done correctly using SYNC option!)

see my EE Article, Step by Step Tutorial Instructions with Screenshots

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5

HOW TO:  Synchronize changes when completing a P2V or V2V with 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
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by:mcdaddy513
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We currently have 5.1, is this feature only in 5.5?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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I assume you mean SYNC - It's in all versions, my article was written on 5.1
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