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Advice for moving vm's to new standalone server (esxi 4.0.0 to 5.5.0)

Posted on 2015-02-17
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Last Modified: 2015-02-18
Hello all, looking for some advice on moving vm guests from standalone ESXi 4.0.0 host to a brand new ESXi 5.5.0 standalone server with much improved specs.  

I have tried to move them through vSphere client by going to data store and copying guest folder to local drive on physical server on same subnet. The copy works fine (time consuming, but I can live with that), but when I attempt to import to the datastore on the new host (browse datastore-->Upload Files to this datastore-->upload folder) it always errors with a generic "File operation failed" message.

Any idea what I might be missing? Are there better options to moving from one host to the new one?  Guests range in size from 100 to 200 gb, plenty of available space.

The network is a bottleneck, the host machines are next to each other on rack, but through switch have to travel to another location in (same subnet) building to a second switch and then back. Not ideal, but I would think it should work if the original  Download a file from this datastore to a local drive operation worked.

Thoughts/ideas greatly appreciated!  I have some vm experience, but not a great deal, so need some direction.
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Question by:bta-guy
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by:Aaron Tomosky
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Have you tried veeam? The free version does what you need
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by:Uni Kitty
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Aaron's suggestion is going to be your best option, since you don't have a vCenter server and you're dealing different underlying VMFS versions, so simply copying the files over will not work. ESXi 4.x had VMFS version 3 and you need to get your VMs to version 5. I would also recommend using a copy technique that will also upgrade the VM's files to be compatible with the new VMFS version.
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by:Aaron Tomosky
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If the network is slow, look at the connections you have available on the server. If you have esata on both hosts, get an external esata and use veeam to copy to/from that.
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by:bta-guy
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Downloading Veeam trial as we speak. I will give it a shot and see how it runs and will post an update later today. Thanks for the suggestion!
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by:bta-guy
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Well, running into a problem. Apparently Veeam does not support the free version of ESXi 5.5, so I am getting license errors when attempting to run the quick migration.  Going to look into upping the ESXi license, but any ideas in the meantime?
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by:Aaron Tomosky
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if you don't install a license key, it has full features for a bit. 60 days I think.
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by:bta-guy
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On the new host I went back to the evaluation license, which I would imagine should work for the migration. problem is with the old host, which is running free version esxi 4.0 with no option to go back to evaluation after all this time.  Any idea if an older version of veeam would work?
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Aaron Tomosky earned 500 total points
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vmware converter standalone. works with everything and it's free. Run it on your workstation.

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/evalcenter?p=converter
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by:bta-guy
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Thanks, will check it out tonight!
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by:bta-guy
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Thanks for the great advice! converter standalone worked fine. 135gb client moved to new server in just about an hour and a half, acceptable time.  Great job, much appreciated.
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by:bta-guy
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Thanks to Melanie too!
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by:Aaron Tomosky
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Sorry I didn't know you were unlicensed or I would have mentioned it earlier. It's also great for p2v, v2p, workstation to esxi, and all sorts of other moves.
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by:Uni Kitty
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converter is a always great option for v2v, I'm so glad you found a solution thanks to Aaron!
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