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sbrooks15
Contributor
Contributor

Virtual Machine VMDK Archive Decommission Best Practice

Running VMware vSphere 4 Virtual Center on a Windows 2008 x64 Server with ESX hosts. All Virtual machines are on a NetApp disk array.

I have two Virtual Servers that need to be decommission or archived. I cannot just do a full backup to tape because if we change out our backup software to another vendor someday, the tape would be useless. The vmdk files are large of course, so here is my plan...

Copy the files to an external hard drive and send the hard drive off site.

Does this work? What are others doing to archive machines that may need to come back online someday?

Any ideas?

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6 Replies
Kahonu84
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Aloha - I think that would be about your simplist option.

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

With large files, it could be important to off-load the copy operation on an external system.

Are you using NFS as datastore?

In this case you can deregister the VM and copy the file also with another system (that can see the NFS share).

If not you can consider to use VCB to copy the full image of a VM.

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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sbrooks15
Contributor
Contributor

When you say deregister you mean Remove from Inventory, Correct? We are using NFS, my plan would be to use WinSCP to copy the files to a local server and then attached the external hard drive to that server and copy the files.

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

When you say deregister you mean Remove from Inventory, Correct?

Right

I suggest to access to the share NFS directly, cause WinSCP (or FastSCP) are quite slow and use the Service Console resources.

If you use another machine you can offload the work, and also (for example) copy the file to a USB-HD.

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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sbrooks15
Contributor
Contributor

"use another machine you can offload the work"

Sorry sir, but I don't understand this, can you detail what you are talking about? Thank you very much!! New to VMware, so I am not sure of the easiest way to get data off a NetApp disk array.

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

If you use WinSCP you use the ESX Service Console... that means that you use CPU, Mem and Net of your ESX.

If you use a physical machine that is connected to the same NFS share thant you only use storage power (and the network).

But ESXs work without any other overhead.

And probably is much faster.

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro