Clone a VM with existing snapshots

There is a VM that I would like to use for a specific function.  However, it's in use with another system and has an extremely sensitive configuration, but has all of the exact specs I am looking for but many snapshots.  Can I clone the VM without deleting the snapshots?  And will all of the snapshots be cloned as well or just the existing state it was cloned in?
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amazon4lifeAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Backup and Restore, or CLONEs would be better.

Zero Snapshots.

and cascaded snapshots are even worse.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
When you CLONE the VM with existing snapshots, the existing VM (source) will remain "as is".

The resulting CLONED VM, will be a new VM, with NO SNAPSHOTS.

As an aside!

For you information, a VM running on a snapshot is dangerous, not supported, and also performance of the VM will be poor. Running VMs on Snapshots for longer periods of time, is NOT what snapshots are designed for.

Have a read of my EE Article

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient
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amazon4lifeAuthor Commented:
Thanks Andrew!  What would be the recommended best practice for environments that have constant software revisions for testing?  This is why they run the VM on snapshots, but you are right on, the performance is extremely poor.
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amazon4lifeAuthor Commented:
They probably take up the same amount of disk space correct?  But the performance of the CLONE would be a major improvement over the Snapshot.  Are those both correct statements?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Always less storage space, because no snapshots, snapshots take up storage space.

CLONE has no snapshots. (quick for making backups)
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amazon4lifeAuthor Commented:
Makes perfect sense Andrew.  I appreciate your valuable feedback!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
not a problem
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amazon4lifeAuthor Commented:
Andrew, do you have an article that you can direct me to with regards to snapshots vs. cloning?  Clong being the better option with regards to performance?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It's not really about Snapshot versus CLONE. VMs running on a snapshot perform badly, VMs with no snapshots do not have this issue. A CLONE-ed VM has zero snapshots.

CLONE-ing a VM, is a quick method of obtaining a backup.

A VM which is NOT running on a snapshot WILL always have better performance, because it's not writing to a differencing disk.

No article needed, it's a fact.

I think you have already acknowledge that performance is poor, when VMs are running on a snapshot disk.

so CLONE the VM, it will have zero snapshots, and then check performance, I think you will find it's better WITHOUT snapshots, and the more snapshots, you have the worse.

So in a testing environment

1. create a VM as required for testing, this is your golden master.
2. Backup VM.
3. Install applications or software....
4. Test...
5. when finished.
6. Delete VM
7. Restore old VM.

OR...

you could use Templates, and Deploy from Template...
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