I have a VM that I started on my desktop, did the OS install, installed Oracle DB, configured everything and spent a few weeks working with it. I have a few snapshots along the way. I now want to put this on the ESX server.
I tried the Converter, but that doesn't support snapshots, so after hours of convertering and copying, I get a VM that boots up to the base image with a fresh OS install and nothing else. Totally useless.
So I tweaked the vmx file and then used the upload folder function of the datastore browser. It took a few hours, but maybe half the time of the converter to do the upload. Why this is so miserably slow over a gigabit network is beyond me. Once all was copied, I did the add to inventory, started up the VM and almost everything worked.
I had one error in the vmx file, networking mode was set wrong. So I edited the vmx file on my desktop to fix that, and then used the upload file function in datastore browser to replace the vmx file on the ESX server. Except, the update wasn't reflected, so I figured it has to reread that file and isn't smart enough to do so when the timestamp changes. So, I removed that VM from the inventory, and then tried to add it back but now the add to inventory option is grayed out. I re-uploaded the file, same thing. I deleted the vmx file, uploaded it yet again, still add to inventory is grayed out.
WTF vmware!? Why are basic operations so difficult? Why can't I just add this to the inventory already?
Why can't I just add this to the inventory already?
VMware does not only rely on the file extension, it also performs a consistency check on the file. So I assume there's either a typo in the file or an unsupported entry.
What were your latest changes?
If you want, attach the vmx file to your next post and I will take a look at it.
I changed the network type to bridged and added the networkname to the ethernet adapter, straight copy and paste from another vmx file on the server. So, nothing that should cause a validation problem. Though I notice that having run it once, ESX server added a bunch of other stuff and changed the order of some things.
So, in case there was some validation problem, I uploaded the original vmx file again. Now it accepts that one. Then in the configuration interface, I completely removed the ethernet adapter and then added a new one with the correct configuration. This causes the mac address to change, but that should be fine. I would just reconfigure it, except VMware graciously decided to completely disable configuring any devices that are at all configured in an 'incompatible' way, which apparently incldes a netwrok adapter set to nat mode. Editing the vmx file shold be the quick solution to fix the configuration since their inteface won't touch it, but the surprise validation check with no error displayed anywhere to indicate what minor rule is violated in the file prevents this. Oh whee, I love big enterprisey products...
After a little more thought, I realize where the big problem is....
With the other products, like Workstation and Fusion, I can edit the vmx files all I ant and I can always ask it to execute the VM. I am never prevented from at least trying to run it. If the vmx file has minor errors, I might get or warning or it might not exhibit any strange behavior, but the inconsistency will be noted in the log file. If I make a really badf error, then the VM won't start and I'll get an error, which may or may not point me to the problem in my edit, but again, looking at the log file where tell me exactly waht I messed up. With ESX server, I can't get to the point of telling it to execute the VM so I have nothing in the log file to hint at the problem. I can't tell it to execute the VM because I can't add it to the inventory.
But why should I havef to add to inventory in the first place? Why not just let me directlty execute any vmx file in the datastore? Better, why do I have to use this the datastore browser in this stupid tool on windows to copy files at a glacially slow pace? Why can't I just copy files to an ESXi server with something standard and well supported, like scp,m sftp, ftp, or anything else in common use? I can understand the notion of creating centralized management tools for idiots, but making that the only way to mianipulate the system is rather cumbersome for those of us who are perfectly competent to hop in and do things the quick and easy way. It also prevents a lot of automation. I don't care about the need to sell 'solutions', I just want products that work.
I don't know if it was getting bought my a corporate giant or turning into a big corporation with the entry to the enterprise market, but I can't help but notice that VMware is not the nice, nuimble and approachable little company they used to be. Now they must over complicate everything. Its not just ESX saving me from myself, preventing me from running a VM several steps ahead such that I can't even see at a glance what is wrong. The process to get an answer was overly complicated. User community, great, let's create an account. Ok, fill out the registration form, nope, password too weak, pick something more assinine. Nope, community name violates rules, pick another. Nope, junk address isn't valid, pick something real (ok, you get your own address). Of course, on every attempt, the password is blanked out, so I had ample opportunity to determine that the only way to clear the 'mistach error' from the password entry, which appears after typing the first and moving focus to the second, is to go retype the first password after the second is entered so that when focus changes they match, because when focus moves off the second it doesn't recheck against the first as the error was always set when leaving the first and the second was empty. Oh for fucks sake... Anyway, after maybe 5 tries at this stupid form, when there address is valid and name fits the rules and password fits the rules and all that other crap, oh Error, user not created. Not created why!? ahh, fuck it, Google. Oh look, I forund a login and password to the forums so I can post my question in mere seconds, after wasting 10 minutes trying to create an account. So, I'm posting on someone else's account. Why? Because the process to create one myself is too damn compicated. If I didn't have a pressing issue, I would have stopped long ago. I can only imagine that this account I'm using was publicly shared by someone else at least as frustrated as I am now. So this rant is a little bit of feedback to VMware. Stop making life so difficult for your users. I will probably keep using VMware Workstation and Fusion for the time being, but for server deployments I won't just default to ESX and will take a serious lok at Xen and other options when it comes time to move beyond just testing virtualization on servers.