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best way to import vmdk in esxi 6?

Posted on 2016-09-22
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Last Modified: 2016-10-17
I was expecting an ova but someone gave me a vmdk.  What's the best way to import this?  And/or should I request an OVA instead?
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Question by:Xetroximyn
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 41811417
Yes, request an OVA/OVF, because a VMDK on it's own, has no VM configuration with it!

you also do not know, what virtualisation application it's come from or if it's compatible with ESXi.

As for importing it, if you just have a VMDK, all you can do is COPY IT to the datastore!

or see 4. and 5. in my EE Article here, under FREE apps!

12 commercial software backup products for VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) you should be evaluating today
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by:Xetroximyn
ID: 41811626
So it's a 400GB unzipped file.... If possible I'd like to make use of what was already zipped and transferred, etc so I dont have to wait again.

What all VM settings would i need to handle manually?

And what would I do?  Create the VM, and then copy the vmdk I got to replace the one for the vm while it's powered off?
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LVL 119
ID: 41811723
The VMX file which contains, what OS, CPU, Memory, Network Interface etc

The configuration of the VMware virtual machine.

Biggest issue, is the VMDK may not be compatible, and may need to be converted.

So uploading it, may waste your time!

Upload the VM, and then create a custom VM, based on what configuration is required to match the OS on the VMDK, of what you've been verbally told.

and then add a hard disk, and select existing....disk (you've uploaded).

and if it does not appear......in the datastore when your browse, you then know it's WRONG!

Back to the start again!
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Author Comment

by:Xetroximyn
ID: 41824349
They say they can't export an OVA.... They confirmed they ran it on esxi 6.0.0 (what I have) and it's FreePBX which is based on 64bit CentOS, and I selected Centos 4/5/6/7 64bit as my VM type.  

But vmdk does not show in dialog..... any ideas?  

Thanks!
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LVL 119
ID: 41824575
in that case you need ALL the files, and you also need to understand, what application it came from.

VMDK is not compatible in it's present state with ESXi, which is what I wrote previously.
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Author Comment

by:Xetroximyn
ID: 41827330
Apologies to be dense here but what to you mean
you also need to understand, what application it came from

I know what OS is on the disk, I know it was running on ESXI 6.0.0.  What part do I not know that I need to ask them about?  

When you say "All the files" what do you mean?  Like what extensions should I be asking for?

Thanks!
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LVL 119
ID: 41827543
If it was copied correctly with all the file required from and ESXi 6.0 server, it should work without issue.

I'm also puzzled that the easiest method is to Export to OVF/OVA to move any VM from ESXi 6.0 which is supported and easy, not sure why they cannot do this.

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

(this also works for ESXi 6.0 as well!).

Maybe you should show them my article, maybe they don't know how!

Ask them to Export it, so you can Import it.

otherwise, screenshot what files you have, AT THE CONSOLE, not via datastore browser, or what files you have at a command prompt on Windows.
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Author Comment

by:Xetroximyn
ID: 41827562
Thanks! - I am pushing them for OVA - in the meantime - sorry to be dense again.... what do you mean screenshot files at console and command prompt on windows.  I mean I know what SSH into esxi is and command prompt on windows but what files do you want me to show?  I have a vmdk right now - that is all.
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LVL 119
ID: 41827670
You ONLY have a single VMDK file ?

this is incorrect, there should be at least TWO, look at your current VMs, and you will see how many files you need.

so where are all the other files?

*.VMX

Are the people you are dealing with dense and stupid, and novices ?
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Author Comment

by:Xetroximyn
ID: 41831096
the people I am dealing with don't do this much I don't think.... he's a tech at a phone company.... they set up a FreePBX box to meet one of our needs.   Apparently he doesn't know what he's doing when it comes to exporting a VM for use to run......  Still waiting on a reply.... but in the meantime... Im just trying to understand.... I thought a vmdk file was like a disk.... If I took a physical disk out of PC, I'd expect to be able to put it in any similar model PC and get it to boot up.   So I guess conceptually I'm trying to understand why all the other files are needed?   I created a vm on my side.  I have vmx and vmsd files.  Why can't I just pop my "physical" disk into this machine and boot it like I could with an actual physical machine?
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LVL 119
ID: 41831250
If they give you ALL the files in the folder, then there cannot be any mistakes.

They have not done this and give you a VMDK file, there should be at least two VMDK files.

Two VMDK files make up a disk.

without the VMX file, there is no way of knowing how the disk is setup, and what type of controller is required.

Send them my EE Article.

As for your question, all you can do with a vmdk file, is copy it to a datastore, which you have done, and it does not work.

You would be better asking of an OVA.

Summary

1. Get them to send you ALL the files from the VM Folder.
2. Tell them how to Export it as an OVA/OVF.
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Author Comment

by:Xetroximyn
ID: 41835987
Thanks!   I am pushing them for OVA/OVF and it looks like they are going to do it.
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LVL 119
ID: 41836626
Very good the best and recommend method.
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