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VMWARE 4.1 ESXi Cloning process - issues

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  • VMWARE 4.1 ESXi Cloning process - issues

    Hello all, I am still fairly new to the VMware environment so please forgive me if I am not using some of these terms correctly. I inherited this system from our previous IT manager and we are just trying to get it under control.

    OS - VMware 4.1 ESXi

    We have a VM SQL server that has a few critical applications on it. I noticed that someone left a snapshot attached that has grown to 475GB while the VM itself is only 110 GB max.

    After doing a little research simply deleting the snapshot is no longer a viable option as per VMware's website and multiple online articles. Trying to delete a snapshot of this size could hang the system for a week or worse.

    The option we came up with is to try and clone the system without the snapshot attached. When we try this we get an error "insufficient disk space". We have almost 400GB available space for a 110GB VM. So I am assuming the host is seeing the snapshot and trying to do something with it.

    Is there a way to clone the VM an NOT have it take into account the attached snapshot?

    If so, how?
    If Not, does anyone have a good solution to get out of this mess?

  • #2
    Re: VMWARE 4.1 ESXi Cloning process - issues

    Oh dear, that's not a good situation...

    One option I've seen people take in that kind of situation is to transfer the software and data into a new VM, effectively performing a P2V operation. VMware Converter can be used to do this, make it think it's converting a physical machine - if you've used Converter before you should know the process to follow.

    I would definitely stop SQL services during that process, to ensure you can a consistent data transfer into the new VM. Once complete and tested, you simply delete the old VM.
    VCP2 / VCP3 / VCP4 / VCP 5 / VCAP-DCA4 / VCI / vExpert 2010-2012

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    • #3
      Re: VMWARE 4.1 ESXi Cloning process - issues

      The option Scott mentioned is the only option I could think of it as well.
      Marcel
      Technical Consultant
      Netherlands
      http://www.phetios.com
      http://blog.nessus.nl

      MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
      "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

      "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
      "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

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      • #4
        Re: VMWARE 4.1 ESXi Cloning process - issues

        Thanks guys we will be giving it a try this morning. I'll let you guys know how it works out.

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        • #5
          Re: VMWARE 4.1 ESXi Cloning process - issues

          The guy before me used snapshots as a backup strategy whereby he would take one every month just in case. When I took over I deleted then but the process failed / timed out after a while in the gui but the process still ran in the background. It wasn't the size that you have to deal with and the solution Scott put forward is definitely your best good.

          Good luck
          Michael Armstrong
          www.m80arm.co.uk
          MCITP: EA, MCTS, MCSE 2003, MCSA 2003: Messaging, CCA, VCP 3.5, 4, 5, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, ITIL, MCP, PGP Certified Technician

          ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

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          • #6
            Re: VMWARE 4.1 ESXi Cloning process - issues

            The only other thing I can think of - albeit not optimal is to mount put a desktop with a Linux distro with a big enough disk - and export an NFS share.

            Mount that NFS share to your ESX box - and clone the VM to there.
            Maish
            ----------------------------------------------------------
            Technodrone|@maishsk|Author of VMware vSphere Design
            VMware vExpert 2013-2010,VCAP5-DCA/DCD,VCP
            MSCA 2000/2003, MCSE 2000/2003
            A proud husband and father of 3 girls
            ----------------------------------------------------------
            If you find the information useful please don't forget to give reputation points sigpic.

            Have a good one!!

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            • #7
              Re: VMWARE 4.1 ESXi Cloning process - issues

              Originally posted by scott28tt View Post
              Oh dear, that's not a good situation...

              One option I've seen people take in that kind of situation is to transfer the software and data into a new VM, effectively performing a P2V operation. VMware Converter can be used to do this, make it think it's converting a physical machine - if you've used Converter before you should know the process to follow.

              I would definitely stop SQL services during that process, to ensure you can a consistent data transfer into the new VM. Once complete and tested, you simply delete the old VM.

              Worked like a charm, Thanks Scott. We scheduled some down time and shut down the server to be safe. Worked out nicely and we recovered all of the free space.

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              • #8
                Re: VMWARE 4.1 ESXi Cloning process - issues

                Originally posted by sharkitus View Post
                Worked like a charm, Thanks Scott. We scheduled some down time and shut down the server to be safe. Worked out nicely and we recovered all of the free space.
                That's great news
                VCP2 / VCP3 / VCP4 / VCP 5 / VCAP-DCA4 / VCI / vExpert 2010-2012

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                • #9
                  Re: VMWARE 4.1 ESXi Cloning process - issues

                  I would the last version of the VMWARE standalone converter and use it installing it directly on the server that you want to convert to virtual...

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