Move VM's off a dying ESXi 5.1 machine

tmtminc
tmtminc used Ask the Experts™
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Hi
I have VmWare ESXi 5.1 that has a punctured RAID.  I need to salvage 7 vm's from the system before it dies.  I have an external passport USB drive but need help getting the drive recognized by ESXi and then how to get a copy onto that external drive.

Thanks,  Rod
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VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
You cannot attach an external USB drive to ESXi, it's not supported.

Do you have any servers you can make a temporary NFS server, or purchase a NAS with NFS (e.g. Synology, Western Digital MyBooks).

otherwise....starting exporting VMs to your workstation, with the USB external disk connected...

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

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

Do you not have any backups of the VMs ? e.g. using a Backup and Restore product ?

see here

http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/18442/12-commercial-software-backup-products-for-VMware-vSphere-Hypervisor-ESXi-you-should-be-evaluating-today.html

all these are available for testing for free, for 30 days at least....

Author

Commented:
Hi Andrew, thanks for responding.  I have a Synology diskstation which I have configured one NIC to the same network as the server.  How do I get access to that storage in the vSphere Client and direct the export to that location.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Firstly, your Synology must be configured for NFS.

and then select Add Storage, and enter the IP Address of NAS, NAS Export, name for datastore.
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Author

Commented:
I added the storage & path etc. to the NFS Shared folder.  It failed to connect saying the connection was closed by Synology. Any ideas? Thanks
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
have you configured the NFS storage and added the IP Address of the VMKernel Portgroup ? (on the synology!)

have you added a VMKernel Portgroup ?

Author

Commented:
I deleted the NAS datastore, adjusted the permissions on the Synology and re-added.  It appears to recognize the be OK with correct size & NFS type.  When I try to export the OVF template I have two issues:
1. When I browse to a directory I only get local workstation drives & folders
2. I get an error "Request failed because server 10.10.20.10 (the ESXi host) closed the connection. The connection was expected to stay open. The in a box below it says: Call "PropertyCollector.CreateFilter" for object ha.-property-collector" on ESXi 10.10.20.10 failed
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
1. Correct, you  an only Export to local disks, on your workstation. To move the VMs to the NFS datastore, you would need to migrate, or manually cut and paste, or copy.

2. When does this occur ?

Author

Commented:
Andrew, I think my RAID systems is too sick.  I'm starting to get error when I do just about anything, like opening the OVF export template. Is there any other way like maybe a WinSCP to the datastore?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
if the datastore is compromised, nothing will be able to read/write the contents of the datastore.

WinSCP, datastore browser, OVF Export, manual move or copy

Why is the RAID not working ?

You could try dropping to the console, and trying copy, if you get any error messages the datastore, is compromised.

Author

Commented:
The RAID is "punctured". It rebuild one drive but will not rebuild the second one that needs it. The whole this is running in "degraded state".  I'm just trying to salvage the vm's before rebuilding a new RAID with new drives. It keeps dropping connection to vSphere as well and rejected a WinSCP connection.

What do you mean by "dropping to the console"?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
login at the console (physical keyboard, mouse and monitor), or remotely via SSH

You need to enable SSH

Part 5: HOW TO: Enable SSH Remote Access on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Author

Commented:
OK, I can putty in and see my vm's in the data store. Is it a matter of moving them to some other storage?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Yes, copy them to the NFS datastore.

Author

Commented:
It is not looking good, Andrew.  The server keeps dropping the Putty connection.  I just can't believe it will manage to copy the whole datastore of the system.  I'm about to give up unless you have some magic for me?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
try it at the actual console and not remote.

but if the RAID is broken, the OS will not be able to read it.

Author

Commented:
Thanks, Andrew
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
No problems.

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