VMware ESXI 5.5 - converting thick to thin virtual servers

I have purchased a newer more powerful server which i am in the process of reinstalling the vm's from the old server.

Could you provide me a method of copying the vm and changing it from thick to thin.

Thanks
KoolandrewAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The quickest method of transferring VMs from one server to another, is to Export and Import.

see my EE Article, step by step instructions, with screenshots

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

but if you want to change from thick to thin, that requires a conversion, and you will have to do it using VMware Converter, and create a V2V.

HOW TO: Shrink or Reduce a VMware Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone v5.5.2

HOW TO: FAQ VMware P2V Troubleshooting

http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/18433/HOW-TO-P2V-V2V-for-FREE-VMware-vCenter-Converter-Standalone-6-0.html
KoolandrewAuthor Commented:
Hi Thanks for the info,

However, there are a couple of issues.

1. i am converting a linux machine, and there was no agent pop up like in your instructions.
2. How do you make sure it becomes a think client server afterwards, as we dont want a thick server when we export it to the new machine.
3. A few of the linux machines are live and we really cannot afford to have them offline for any period of time, so what can we do about this as we moving them over to the new machine and converting from thick to thin.

Thanks
jmcgOwnerCommented:
If you have sufficient licensing for vCenter and Storage vMotion,  according to this VMware KB article -- Changing the thick or thin provisioning of a virtual disk (2014832) [http://kb.vmware.com] -- it looks like you can achieve much of what you want with a Migrate operation. Still seems to require powering off the VM for the duration of the copy, though.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
@jmcg - Storage vMotion does not require a power off of the VM. A vMotion by definition is the Live Migration of a virtual machine between hosts. and Storage vMotion between datastores.

You did not state in your requirements, Linux, not wanting to shutdown the VM, your options are limited I'm afraid.

Do you have licenses for vCenter Server, and Storage vMotion ?

VMware Converter, will change it from thick to thin as part of the conversion, but as you are using LInux, do not want to shutdown the VM - I'm afraid there is no solution, other than using Storage vMotion.

You could sign-up for 60 evaluations of ESXi and vCenter Server, to do this.

You could try 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
KoolandrewAuthor Commented:
Hi, i wiill power off the machine, as i am too green to introduce storage vmotion at this stage.

Therefore my other questions remain.

1. i am converting a linux machine, and there was no agent pop up like in your instructions.
2. How do you make sure it becomes a think client server afterwards, as we dont want a thick server when we export it to the new machine.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
1. not applicable.

Do you have vCenter Server and required licenses to proceed ?

2. see below - Cold MIgrate then, Right Click VM, when OFF, and Click Migrate, follow the wizard, and select the datastore

When you migrate from one datastore to another, you get an option, to select which format, same as source, thick lazy, thick eager, or thin.

select what you need, and it's converted on the fly.

(but there is no need to leave on!).

Otherwise it's just a cold migration.

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KoolandrewAuthor Commented:
Fantastic response and detail!!
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Many Thanks, for your kinds words, glad to help you.
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