Travis_1983
Contributor
Contributor

File Server Migrate Data Hard Disks: Advice

Hi guys,

I have a project to move a bunch of thin provisioned (attached) hard disks part of 6 or 7 VMs (file servers) across to another VM or set of VMs with the idea to have less VMs.

Each hard disk is dedicated to a single client and has its own set of NTFS/Share permissions.

I'd like some options in terms of the best/easiest way to transfer disks to another VM whilst retaining perms. The server it will be transferred too will have a different name.

Options I've thought of:

1. Vice Versa data from one share to another. (smaller shares)

2. De-tach disk and re-attach disk from within vSphere.

3. vMotion

- Some of the disks contain close to 1 TB of data so I'm looking for the best way say with largest disks.

- The data must reside on different datastores provisioned for this specific purpose.

If you have done similar or know of some articles that may help.

Kind regards,

Travis

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5 Replies
pwolf
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

So you want to consolidate hard disks for Windows VMs to other Windows VMs.

If you want to retain permissions, this can be very easily done in a domain environment. You just shutdown all VMs with these disks. Then you remove those disks from the old VMs and add them to the new VMs. Windows will simply load the newly attached disks and you are up and running. There is no copy operation involved, so it's just a question of your typing speed.

If you are outside of a domain then retaining permissions is quite complicated - but that is a Windows problem and has nothing to do with Vmware.

If you are using bitlocker encrypted disks, then I would at first decrypt the whole disks from within Windows and perform the change afterwards.

Regards

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Travis_1983
Contributor
Contributor

Hi,

It's a domain environment.

I mentioned - The data must reside on different datastores provisioned for this specific purpose so I think detaching and re-attaching wouldn't do it.

Thanks.

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a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

The datastore on which a virtual disk is stored, doesn't change with detaching it from one VM, and attaching it to another one.

Ensure that the VMs do not have active snapshots when you do this, or be very, very careful with attaching the correct .vmdk. Otherwise you'll risk data loss!

André

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Travis_1983
Contributor
Contributor

Hi ap,

The disks are actually on the same drive datastores so i was incorrect.

i dont really want to detach a production drive, could i clone the disk in question and attach that?

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a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

.. the best/easiest way to transfer disks to another VM ...

From what you wrote I did assume that you wanted to use the same virtual disk, i.e. detach/attach it.

Anyway, you can certainly clone an individual disk using e.g. the vmkfstools command line utility. However, keep in mind that the virtual disk must not be in R/W access while cloning it (i.e. do it with the VM being powered off, or clone the based disk while the VM runs on an active snapshot). Also make sure that the users have access to only one of the disks (original disk, or clone) to avoid data mismatches!

André

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