Make a copy of a vmw virtual machine

Have varios vmw machines in use and need to copy or make a copy of one in order to run a series of test while leaving it’s original running unbothered.  Wanted to know proper steps to go about it.  The virtual servers are VMwarez
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
What VMware Product VMware Workstation or vSphere?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If Workstation, the files are VMDK files (the big one). I usually just make a copy of the folder for the machine, paste it elsewhere as a different name and backup and then change the original machine. Restore the backup as you need to. You cannot run the same two machines at once (licensing issues).
rayluvsAuthor Commented:
Forgot to include that part, the one we want to clone or make copy of is the server (there various server and all are within a domain)
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If Workstation, you can copy the machine to make a backup. Making an operating clone involves licensing issues.
rayluvsAuthor Commented:
And for the servers in a domain? Any recommendations on cloning it?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Same issue of licensing. You can make a backup copy, work on the original and restore the backup as needed
rayluvsAuthor Commented:
The server we want to run tests on is the domain controller server.  We know that after cloning it, we have to configure it apart in another network or by itself; can’t be in the same network.

We haven’t proceeded to clone that server because a worry we have is that if we make a clone of the domain controller server, it will lose some of its configuration as the domain controller (since we have to turn it off).

Based on the above, is it that simple as just copying that folder to anothe destination?

Also, after shutting down and copying over, does the original domain controller server loses any configuration or stop working as it should?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
To make a copy and put it on a different domain and test it means running two machines with one license. Check this.

Also you cannot be using Workstation for this. You should be using VMware ESX.
rayluvsAuthor Commented:
Understood on the licence, all is in check.

Your answer on "You should be using VMware ESX", I am assuming you are answering my question "Based on the above, is it that simple as just copying that folder to anothe destination?" Correct?  -    In order to clone of the domain controller server, we should use VMware ESX?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
ESX needs Veeam or like for copying machines. My initial answer was for Workstation work because there was not sufficient initial information

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rayluvsAuthor Commented:
Actually, the question said "The virtual servers are VMware", but ok.

I just want to get your answer correctly, in order to clone the domain controller server vm, I must use VMware ESX
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Just copy the VM folder if using workstation
rayluvsAuthor Commented:
No workstation, the VM we want to clone to temporary testing is domain controller server.

How can we go about this?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You need Veeam or like as I suggested earlier and then be sure you have licenses to run the clone.
rayluvsAuthor Commented:
Understood - In order to clone a VM domain controller server, I need VMware ESX and Veeam (this is what we understand).

Prior closing  the question, the second part of my question in ID: 42548286:

Also, after shutting down and copying over (with ESX and Veeam), does the original domain controller server loses any configuration or stop working as it should?

(since the VM is the actual domain controller, we want to make sure Monday come, it's working as it should - the cloning didn't hurt it.)
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You can clone it but (a) the prime use for that is backup and (b) if you wish to run it check licensing and activation
rayluvsAuthor Commented:
Thank  you, that part is understood.  

You gave us VMware ESX and Veeam for our process of cloning the server, which is great.  My question is more directed on the effect cloning process we will do on the VM domain controller.  

In other words, after every steps required in order to clone the original VM domain controller correctly, will the cloning process in some way mess up the original VM domain controller?  (we are not talking about the copy here, we are referring to the original server))

Or do we have to consider additional steps on the original VM domain controller in order to have working as it was prior cloning it?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You should make sure the original is working before cloning. Cloning does not break the original
rayluvsAuthor Commented:
Thank you very much.

We will proceed to close the question.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thank you
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