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Best/Fastest Way to move VMs from one ESXi 5 host to another - Local storage Only

Posted on 2014-10-23
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Last Modified: 2014-10-24
Vsphere Essentials 5.1 - I need to decommission one of my ESXi servers.  All storage is local.  What is is the best/fastest way to get the data moved from one server to another.  

Currently I am trying to "Export to OVF" from my laptop while connected to vCenter, but it estimates that export a 100GB VM will take 16 hours.

Is this the best method - Export to OVF and the Import the OVF on the new server?  Is there a faster was to do the export/import?

Thanks for your help!
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Question by:CipherUser
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by:Haris Djulic
Haris Djulic earned 150 total points
ID: 40400453
is the usage of the converter an option? then you can directly migrate the vm from one ESXi to another ..
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by:CipherUser
ID: 40400455
Additional Info with regards to the 16 hour export estimate.- Provisioned storage on the VM is 850GB.  Used storage is 100GB.  Export is running so I can't see if it is thick or thin provisioned (Edit Settings is Grayed out).
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Author Comment

by:CipherUser
ID: 40400458
samo4fun - How would I use converter to accomplish this?
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Expert Comment

by:Haris Djulic
ID: 40400468
You use the option to convert the machine (process is called like that) and then you choose existing virtual infrastructure and then you enter current ESXi host credential choose machine to migrate and then enter new ESXi credentials adjust VM settings and then the process starts.

THe copying is done directly from one ESXi host to another no need fro intermediate machine.
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by:Haris Djulic
ID: 40400472
More details can be found here : https://www.vmware.com/pdf/convsa_55_guide.pdf from page 42 onward..
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 350 total points
ID: 40400475
Is the VM 100GB in size, or have a 100GB  of data, because Exporting does NOT export 100GB! It just exports the data!

(EDIT just seen this!).

100GB is 100GB, it will take time, using any method....based on network speed, source datastore speed, and target speed.....

There is NO real fast way, but Exporting to a Laptop is going to be slow, unless you laptop is superfast!

have a look at this method ?

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

Do you have access to a NFS server you can bring online  and connect the ESXi servers to, and Migrate the VM to NFS storage, and then migrate later to ESXi server.

There are many methods...

1. Export/Import OVF

2. VMware Converter....V2V

3. Download using Datastore btowser

4. WinSCP or Veeam FastSCP

BUT they all take time!

HOW TO: FAQ VMware P2V Troubleshooting

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

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

Are you in a hurry ?

Be Patient, Export to OVF and Import from OVF is the EASIEST! and SIMPLE!
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40400624
What network you have? Can it be better? i.e can you drop cross-over cable between open gigabit ports?
You must shut down VM, then use veeam scp to make direct host to host transfer without messing with workstation disk, then start vm in new location and delete in old.

Rotational disks do ~50MB/s which means 3GB/min or 100GB in half hour.
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