We've bought VI3 Standard Edition and I'm at the stage where I'd like to clone VMs etc. I understand I can only do that from within VirtualCenter (?), but we don't have a Virtual Cenetr Management Server license. Do I need one to be able to do clones etc?
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Yes the Clone function is part of VC. There are alternate Clone methods if you do not have VC. You can use VMware Converter, you can use vmkfstools to make a copy of a existing disk file and then create a new VM and tell it to use an existing file or you can use the Perl script a user created below...
Dave has some steps for using the vmkfstools method documented here...
More methods here...
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I posted this in another thread (really should add these instructions to vmclone) - but this works well in cloning VMs with or without snapshots. Ideally you would use it on a powered down VM, sysprepped, etc, but you don't have to - it'll even clone a running VM.
Ok, this may seem weird but I believe it will work (actually I just tried it on a live production server and it worked without having to shutdown the server).
To do this you will need my vmclone.pl script from http://www.pgregg.com/projects/vmclone/ and root access on the ESX CLI.
1. Install vmclone as per instructions in the above url.
2. On the running "Gold" master, take a snapshot at the point where you want your GOLD master.
3. Now in the CLI, cd /vmfs/volumes/storage1
4. Type: vmclone "sourcevm" "newclonevm"
(obviously change the names of the machines to what you have and want).
5. Wait till it finishes - It will display errors as it tries to clone the memory swap file and the "current" disk - but that is ok because we don't care about the current state of the machine.
6. Open up "storage1" in the VI client, browse to the new VM folder and add it to the Inventory.
7. Open up the Snapshot Manager for this VM, and click on the snapshot you took in the source and click GOTO.
8. Voila - your clone just came up in the exact state where you left off (powered up, I might add).
On my test, I tried powering up before the GOTO snapshot and was asked to Keep/Create a new UUID - you should click Create. But note that when you revert to the snapshot the machine will power up with the same network/ip settings (if they are set) on the same box, so you might confuse the original source VM with a network conflict.
Hope this is helpful.