Virtual Machine Relocation

Hello guys,

i am looking for some insight into a feasibility of removing 3 virtual servers from a customers site and bringing them into my test lab and once i have configured and installed the applications on them return to the customer after 2 months time.

Servers are 2 Application Servers (2012) and one Database Server (2012). and they are part of the customer's AD Domain, though not currently used.

Customer is running VMs in VMware Environment.

My question is if i run these VMs in my Test Environment and then return them to the customer will it be a seamless operation or do i have to tweak some settings. i do not have previous of doing this kind of activity, hence asking from people who have experience with it.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you shut them down, e.g. Power OFF, Export, you take them away, do work for two months, and Import this will work.

However, you will probably need to add the machines to the domain again, because the "secure token will have expired".

Do they need to be part of the domain at present ?

See my EE Article, step by step instructions on how to Export and Import.

Part 10: HOW TO: Backup (Export) and Restore (Import) virtual machines to VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 for FREE

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icdl101Author Commented:
Thanks for such great info.
By the way, does the ESXi version matter. Should both environments use the same version?

With regards to joining the Domain it would simply be matter of taking it off the Domain and rejoining it, correct.

It was joined to the Domain to make it easy to install the Application  with Domain Credentials.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The ESXi version does not matter, because the virtual hardware is the same!

The reason I mention the domain, because if the machine is joined to the domain, you will find if you take the machine away from the domain and not turn on for two months, the security token will expire, and when you return it to the domain, you will most likely have to add it to the domain again, because it's trust relationship has expired.

Also, if you do not have the domain controller as well, after several weeks, you will not be able to login with Domain Credentials because these would also have expired.

So, decision for you to make, do you need to install the applications with Domain Credentials, or Local Accounts, can these be changed afterwards?

It would be better to remove from the domain, export, then install your applications, Import, and then add to the domain, if this works for you....

also remember, if Domain Joined, if you try to remunerate the domain when installing applications, without having a domain controller, the install could fail because you do not have the DC.
icdl101Author Commented:
Thank you, will take it off  the domain  install and rejoin Domain afterwards.
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