Vmware Esxi 6.0 download/upload VM

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  • #16061
    kev2021
    Participant
    • Posts 184
    • Regular

    Hi all,

    I’ve been copying my Vms by browsing the data store from the Windows VSphere client but it is taking quiet a long time. maybe couple  hours each BUT yesterday it literally must of took 10+ hours… and I have discovered why I think..

    So most of my VMs are set as thin provisioning and this one for example was size: 79GB, Provisioned size: 209gb so effectively it is taking up 79GB of space (used) and is allowed to grow up to 209GB if required.  However, when I copy the folder over, it seems to take the full 209GB of space (hence the looong time to copy)

    So I’ve now discovered the little download/upload icons… and when i chose download on a different VM, it seems to be quicker but also creates a file called <filename>-flat.vmdk, whch I don’t have on any of my VM folders.  Now upon a quick look online, it seems the <filename>.vmdk is a pointe to the flat file which is elsewhere.

    So my question is, how do I re-mount the VM?  I can upload it via the upload button but how do I then re-mount the VM?  I still have the <fiename>.vmdk but also now have a <filename>-flat.vmdk

    Effectively due to this, the 1TB drive is not big enough and only way round it would be to run the VM, run the VM converter program which would then copy it and I get the option to re-size the drive etc, doesn’t seem to be a easy way to re-size existing as I cant’ make the disk space any smaller, only bigger.

    Thanks

    Kev

    #16063
    UK Sentinel
    Moderator
    • Posts 3990
    • Skipper

    Can I ask, is the data you are copying ‘customer data’ or it it your own data  (this could effect advise given) ?

    FWIW: (you probably know this already)

    VMDK files. All virtual disks are made up of two files, a large data file equal to the size of the virtual disk and a small text disk descriptor file.

     

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

    #16066
    kev2021
    Participant
    • Posts 184
    • Regular

    Hi,

    This is my data, its my own VMs.  Its a mixture of my main VMs to run my network and also some Testing VMs when i;m testing out apps or OS’s etc i.e. one is SCCM which I’ve added into my main domain now.

    Yes, aware of the 2 files and usually i don’t see the -flat.vmdk file so hence i’m wondering if I “upload” the folder back to the new drive, does the -flat.vmdk get hidden by default and i just see the normal vmdk file or will they both be visible and do i simply just point to the vmdk to add it back into vsphere or is there some other process?

    If i copy from one drive to another within esxi (same server) i don’t see the -flat file and i just re-add the vmdk file and its all good.  At worst it asks if i copy/moved it and i choose copy and that it, it just boots up.

    Thanks

    Kev

    #16067
    UK Sentinel
    Moderator
    • Posts 3990
    • Skipper

    Glad to hear your data, no come back on me then ;-0

    Forgot to ask, are you using full version of VMware ESXi Server – and have you seen the VMware ESXi hidden console a handy tool to have at your side.

    I believe the  -flat.vmdk is hidden, or created at the point of backup, as it is the virtual equivalent of a physical hard drive, this is where raw data is written to.

    As for copying it across I would say yes as it can always be removed if any problems

     

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

    #16075
    kev2021
    Participant
    • Posts 184
    • Regular

    Hi,

    Wouldn’t be too sure on the no come back lol ;)

    I’m running esxi 6.0.0.xxxxxxx, the license is: “Product: VMware vSphere 6 Enterprise Plus Licensed for 1 physical CPUs (unlimited cores per CPU)”

    My Esxi consists of 4 HDs, 2  in raid 1(mirrored) for esxi only and some iso file and 2 in raid 1 (mirrored) for the VM’s so I copy from VM mirror to the esxi mirror using the browser data store via vsphere console and copy the folder for 1 VM and paste into the esxi mirror – it works fine BUT on 200Gb file takes literally 10hrs plus…

    IF however from the datastore window i use the download button and save to my local desktop PC, it takes around 40mins-1hr tops BUT i get the flat.vmdk file.

    I not seen the esxi hidden console,in the browse datastore window it doesn’t show the -file.vmdk file but I’ve read it exists and the vmdk is a pointer to it but I’m concerned incase it goes wrong when i re-upload it.  Would the -flat.vmdk go back to be hidden or just be visible all the time?  Biggest confirm its a main VM i have so not a test one i can afford to loose if it goes wrong.  i’m thinking I’m gonna have to take the hit and copy it wait 10+hrs for it to copy – effectively a whole day.

    Copying in between datastores seems to work ok BUT can takes ages to do.. even a 30GB file takes 2hrs or there about’s… its pretty slow…. unsure why as if i download 200GB it 40mins .

    Kev

    #16076
    UK Sentinel
    Moderator
    • Posts 3990
    • Skipper

    Just a thought, if possible try backing up when all the Virtual services (instances) are off ? may speed up the process a little.

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

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