ElGarufo
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Clonning Virtual Machines fastest?

Hi people,

We want the possibility to clone virtual machines from virtual center fastest and easiest, that is, if we want to creat 100 or more virtual machines for classrooms, its so slowest the way to Clone Virtual Machine for a hundred times...

Does anyone know any application/script that can help us?

thanks a lot

0 Kudos
12 Replies
RParker
Immortal
Immortal

The speed is only as fast as the slowest link. So it doesn't matter how fast you can clone, if the destination for the drives are slow, then the cloning process will only go as fast the the datastore where the VM's will be located.

The most efficient, expedient method I found is to use NAS devices for storage, it's a little faster. But since we use Fibre, it has to deploy to the SAN devices, but at least I don't occupy precious SAN space by taking up room with templates.

ElGarufo
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Sorry, wrong explication mines....

If you want to clone 100 virtual machines, you have each time to select the template and select the costumization....its a slow way....its there any way with scripts or third application to integrate this?, so with only one step, you can clone the 100 virtual machines?

thanks

0 Kudos
BigHug
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Clone moe than 100 vm's. You will probably need to do it from the storage side. Netapp had demo'ed to clone 200 vm's in 15 minutes by using Flexvol. Basically, you can put 20 sysprep'ed vm's in a lun and then clone this lun 5 times. Add these vm's to the inventory. And then power on these 100 vm's.

azn2kew
Champion
Champion

Like RPaker has mentioned, there are always limitation to everything, so it really depends on your storage systems and protocol and also network bandwidth and threshold limitation within ESX/VC product themselves. There is a script that does virtual machine cloning vmclone.pl you can check it out here. but I'm not sure if its any faster than VC method. Would be interesting to see 3rd party tools that can expedite bulk VM clones that would be valuable.

If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!!

Regards,

Stefan Nguyen

iGeek Systems LLC.

VMware, Citrix, Microsoft Consultant

If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!! Regards, Stefan Nguyen VMware vExpert 2009 iGeek Systems Inc. VMware vExpert, VCP 3 & 4, VSP, VTSP, CCA, CCEA, CCNA, MCSA, EMCSE, EMCISA
0 Kudos
azn2kew
Champion
Champion

The these bulk virtual machine clones, it should depends on your storage systems, protocol used, and network bandwidth. It would be nice to see 3rd party tools that can expedite bulk vm clone procedures besides SAN clone solution such as Flexvol. There is another script that does VM clone via vmclone.pl but I don't think its any faster than VC method.

If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!!

Regards,

Stefan Nguyen

iGeek Systems LLC.

VMware, Citrix, Microsoft Consultant

If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!! Regards, Stefan Nguyen VMware vExpert 2009 iGeek Systems Inc. VMware vExpert, VCP 3 & 4, VSP, VTSP, CCA, CCEA, CCNA, MCSA, EMCSE, EMCISA
0 Kudos
azn2kew
Champion
Champion

It all depends on your network bandwidth, storage systems and protocol being used. Everything has its limitation but there is a script you can use vmclone.pl but I'm not sure if its any faster.

If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!!

Regards,

Stefan Nguyen

iGeek Systems LLC.

VMware, Citrix, Microsoft Consultant

If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!! Regards, Stefan Nguyen VMware vExpert 2009 iGeek Systems Inc. VMware vExpert, VCP 3 & 4, VSP, VTSP, CCA, CCEA, CCNA, MCSA, EMCSE, EMCISA
0 Kudos
spex
Expert
Expert

For that task I would also think about a shared winpe iso or pxe for booting classroom vms.

Depends on needed functionality.

I would try to avoid using expensive san storage for hundreds of classroom vms.

Regards

Spex

0 Kudos
ElGarufo
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I´ve been thinking of connection broker like VDM, for example LeoStream, but this application doesnt permit to clone that way

0 Kudos
pgregg
Contributor
Contributor

I think a viable method would be to generate your guest/template with a snapshot on a unix based system (e.g. ESX).

The "clone" then involves making a copy of all of the files except the fixed / snapshotted disk (i.e. the big disk eating file) - instead you make a hard-link for that file.

In this way you could theoretically create 100 (or 1000) VM clones with only a minimal increase in disk space usage - all clones would share the same base (snapshotted) hard disk and would each generate their own deltas.

The cloning would be super-fast - i.e. <1-5 seconds per VM. The one downside to this is that none of the clones could ever collapse the snapshots into one big file or it would trash every other VM.

PG

0 Kudos
Matt_Wilson
Contributor
Contributor

Anyone know the max number of VM's that can be cloned at once. e.g we are doing a clone from esx 2.5 to esx 3.02 & the most we can get to clone at once is 8 the rest are qued up in virtual center.

0 Kudos
mcowger
Immortal
Immortal

I think thats teh max # of clones it will do per host.

--Matt

--Matt VCDX #52 blog.cowger.us
0 Kudos
Matt_Wilson
Contributor
Contributor

Cloning only appears to allow me to select the Cluster not ESX Hosts, and by default it seems the cluster is only using 1st host and ignoring the other 11 hosts.

any tricks to forcing the other Hosts to be available for Cloning.

0 Kudos