P2V into host is quick, but export out (to .ovf) is 4 x slower?

I'm in the process of migrating from a physical datacentre in one location to a Virtual one 100 miles away without a decent comms link between them.

My plan was to P2V into a "staging" server at the original location, then export those VMs & import them at the final location (obviously requiring some downtime during the transport at least).

Initial tests of P2V are pretty positive, one example being a P2V copy time of 10 mins to do a 31Gb physical machine. However, exporting that machine afterwards is dog slow by comparision (test of this one machine show it taking around 4x longer) which worries me for when I'm doing the larger machines.

What's the quickest way of getting VMs physically out of a host?

One idea I had as an alternative (because they have more hardware than they know what to do with in this org) is to build an ESXi box at the old DC on a DL380 G5 with 8 x 146Gb disks. Fill it up with P2V'd VMs, then ship the disks to the new site, stick 'em in another DL380 G5 and move them locally.

Would that be considered workable? How fussy will ESXi be about shifting it's OS? Alternatively I could install the ESXi to USB (at both ends) so the disks just contain a VMFS which gets transported.

(I have licenses I can temporarily assign/switch to various hosts as required)

Any pointers appreciated...


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