Hope someone can help me here.
I am running a whitebox esxi 5 (free) and am wanting to move my existing vm's and reinstall esxi 5.
Due to a power cut and my ups not working as I expected I think I'm having many issues with my host now and requires a rebuild. Some of the issues include errors when trying to putty ssh into the box, ntp client not working, cannot view each vm via the console, health status is unknown. All these issues and others previously worked before my power cut. Over the years I've upgraded this box from esxi 4.0 to 5. So am thinking about time now to start from scratch esxi 5 installation wise. Each vm is working fine and accessible but it looks like the host is just starting to play up.
I've been reading many pages, blogs etc and am getting a little turned around in deciding what I want will work or not?
I've only got the capacity/hardware for 1 esxi host so I cannot create a 2nd. The vm's I am running are 1 2008 r2 DC (2nd in the domain), 1 2008 r2 Exchange 2010 and 1 2003 Mcafee EPO server.
My plan is:
Shutdown each vm.
Through vsphere client browse to the datastore and copy/download to a fileserver on my network the vmx and vmdk files for each vm.
Blank the esxi host and reinstall esxi 5
Setup the host (nics, patches etc) exactly the same as before. (no hardware will change at all)
Copy my vmx and vmdk back to the new esxi 5 host datastore.
Now form here I'm not sure how I can get the host to recongnise or re-attahced the vms?
Or is the plan fatally flawed?
Or any better solution?
Thank you all very in advance for any help and advice you can give.
I would suggest to download vSphere vCenter to use 60 days Evaluation and add your host into a new datacenter.
Add your file server as an ESXi datastore (I hope your file server supports NFS)
Migrate your VM to the new datastore (hot or cold is up to you) this way is much faster than move across datastore by using "Browse Datastore".
Power off - reinstall your ESX, (move VM form the file server to the local storage)
To re-inventory your VMs, browse your datastore, open VMs Folders point to vmx file and press the icon "add to inventory" (should be the first upper left in the dialog), just follow the wizard.
Power on your VM
Both concepts are sound and essentially similar.
Once you have the server rebuilt, browse the datastore and right click on the vm file and "add to inventory" and you are done.
Same is true if you copy the data off the machine and back on to it, browse datastore, "add to inventory".
Works great done it many times for different reasons.
Just for an update I followed samcers advice.
The only "issue" I had that copying the vm's (all thick and approx 230Gb in total) took nearly 10 hours to migrate to a 2008 r2 nfs share over a gig switch.
After rebuilding, the migration back only took approx 2 hours?? I was happy about that but migrating down to the nfs was a lot slower than I expected.
But at least I'm up and runnig again.