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NomadsGMan
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Copy a VMDK of a running server to a NAS share

Hi all

I have the following setup:

1 VM with 4 VMDKs (1 for OS, 3 for different Data)

I cannot shut down the VM to do what I have to do, else it would be a no-brainer.

I need to copy VMDK 2-4 to a NAS share, if possible while the VM is up and running.

I am using Veeam for backup, replicating doesn't work, already tried that, and Veeam support told me, they don't support this kind of feature. Taking a backup isn't the solution that I am looking for either, as I need the VMDK in its .VMDK format on the NAS share.

I saw a program VMPro would do exactly this, but this went EOL in 2016. I contacted the supplier, can't even get me an old license as it's EOL 2 years ago.

What other way is there to achieve this?

1 Solution

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a_p_
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What may be an option is to create a snapshot, copy the base disks (.vmdk files) to the NAS share, and then delete the snapshot.

With the snapshot in place, writes will go to the delta files, so that the base disk will not be modified while copying it.

To copy the disks to the NAS share run s.th. like:

vmkfstools -i /vmfs/volumes/sourceDS/vmname/disk_1.vmdk /vmfs/volumes/NasDS/vmname/disk_1.vmdk

Note that the folder on the target datastore has to be created manually prior to copying the virtual disks.

André

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9 Replies
daphnissov
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Is this NAS share an NFS mount which is accessible from an ESXi host?

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Rsahi
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There is option to do so , when you are doing storage vmotion, at the time of select data-store, there is advanced setting. which allows you to choose each individual disk settings

Steps, right click the vm> migrate > storage only> choose datastore

on this page there is advanced click that and then you should be able to move selective vmdks

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NomadsGMan
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Yes, standard NFS share, visible to the ESXi host.

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NomadsGMan
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But I don't want to move them, just create a copy on the NAS NFS share.

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BerndtSchumann
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Access your ESXi server using the web browser (e.g. https://192.168.13.182/folder ), browse to your VM folder and download the required VMDK files.

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a_p_
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What may be an option is to create a snapshot, copy the base disks (.vmdk files) to the NAS share, and then delete the snapshot.

With the snapshot in place, writes will go to the delta files, so that the base disk will not be modified while copying it.

To copy the disks to the NAS share run s.th. like:

vmkfstools -i /vmfs/volumes/sourceDS/vmname/disk_1.vmdk /vmfs/volumes/NasDS/vmname/disk_1.vmdk

Note that the folder on the target datastore has to be created manually prior to copying the virtual disks.

André

daphnissov
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This is exactly what I was going to recommend, but André beat me to it Smiley Happy

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continuum
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Actually it is indeed possible to copy a vmdk while it is in use - but the procedure to do that is really ugly and requires a lot of work.
And the results are dirty - so you really dont want to do this.
I recommend to use the approach that Andre has explained.


________________________________________________
Do you need support with a VMFS recovery problem ? - send a message via skype "sanbarrow"
I do not support Workstation 16 at this time ...

NomadsGMan
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Awesome.

Thanks Andre Smiley Happy

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