12 Replies Latest reply on May 29, 2018 6:26 AM by continuum

    Can a VM with Snapshots be Uploaded from Workstation Pro to vSphere ? If yes, then how ?

    HJLBX Novice

      I have spent countless hours looking for answers to these two questions:

       

      1. Can a VM with snapshots be uploaded from Workstation Pro to vSphere ?

       

      2. If yes, then how ?

       

      No matter what I have tried, uploading a VM with snapshots from Workstation Pro to vSphere produces an error. Only if the snapshots are deleted can the VM be uploaded.

       

      Uploading the VM along with the snapshots as snapshots is absolutely mandatory.

       

      I am not interested in consolidation as all my work will be lost.

        • 1. Re: Can a VM with Snapshots be Uploaded from Workstation Pro to vSphere ? If yes, then how ?
          daphnissov Guru
          vExpertCommunity Warriors

          There's not going to be any easy, built-in way to do that. You will be forced to manually pick up and move those files to vSphere and reconfigure them, and even then I'm not entirely certain it'll continue to work. Why can you not commit your snapshot prior to uploading? Committing a snapshot does not lose the current state of your work, it only removes the snapshot point as a possible reversion point. Are you reverting to your snapshot on a constant basis within Workstation?

          • 2. Re: Can a VM with Snapshots be Uploaded from Workstation Pro to vSphere ? If yes, then how ?
            HJLBX Novice

            I work in software testing and the snapshots are used to revert to prior system states for a whole range of testing purposes and scenarios. Snapshots are vital to our work. It is constant, everyday practice in software testing. There are a bunch of us that need to upload the VMs along with all of our snapshots.

             

            Anyone who has links to step-by-step, "How Tos", it would be greatly appreciated.

             

            So do I have to physically move the VMs - meaning I must have direct access to the ESXi machine ? I cannot do this as I work remotely.

             

            Is\are there links to reconfigure the VMs and snapshots ?

             

            ELI5 = explain it like I am 5 years old, please...

            • 3. Re: Can a VM with Snapshots be Uploaded from Workstation Pro to vSphere ? If yes, then how ?
              continuum Guru
              vExpertCommunity WarriorsUser Moderators

              Workstation can handle ESXi-snapshots but ESXi can NOT handle Workstation-snapshots.
              That means that you could create a complex snapshot tree in ESXi and use that in Workstation and ESXi.
              But that does not sound very comfortable ...  but it is possible.
              Please explain how you work with snapshots.
              It may be possible to use a bunch of linked clones instead.

              • 4. Re: Can a VM with Snapshots be Uploaded from Workstation Pro to vSphere ? If yes, then how ?
                HJLBX Novice

                1. We need to upload the VMs and all snapshots from real systems to vSphere - and not create or re-create VMs in vSphere from scratch. The second way will result in countless 100s of hours of work having to be recreated.

                 

                2. I converted the Workstation Pro VM\snapshots using the Workstation Pro GUI - Change Hardware Compatibility from 14.X to ESXi. The upload from Workstation Pro to vSphere still throws an "Unknown Error."

                 

                3. We use snapshots to revert to prior states for various reasons. Sometimes it is simply to start with a clean state (to create a new VM branch with a specific configuration). Other times a rollback is done to revert to Windows with a specific set of Microsoft updates or a specific configuration. Other times we switch between snapshots to make comparisons between two system states. We need to save individual Windows builds and security updates for testing in snapshots. The progression of Windows builds is important for product testing. We need to install different programs and then take snapshots. The needs and test scenarios are wide-ranging and dynamic. We have to test on Windows 7 thru 10 - Home, Pro and other versions - including multiple localizations and including the Windows Insider Program for Windows 10. Not to mention Windows Server editions. With that, I regularly have many VMs with numerous snapshots. And I am just a single Test Engineer; there are others.

                 

                What we cannot do is delete snapshots and have to rebuild VMs. If we have to do that, then we might as well close-up shop and everybody go home for good. The productivity hit would send us into a black hole.

                 

                4. I'd really... really...  appreciate step-by-step, "How To" instructions like I am 5 years old. None of us are experienced VMware\vSphere administrators.

                • 5. Re: Can a VM with Snapshots be Uploaded from Workstation Pro to vSphere ? If yes, then how ?
                  continuum Guru
                  User ModeratorsCommunity WarriorsvExpert

                  I think that you should forget it and stick with using Workstation only.
                  The procedures I had in mind require indepth ESXi-skills and there are no howtos on the topic available.
                  Sorry

                  • 6. Re: Can a VM with Snapshots be Uploaded from Workstation Pro to vSphere ? If yes, then how ?
                    daphnissov Guru
                    vExpertCommunity Warriors

                    I would agree with continuum here in that this isn't going to work out for you and you're best left with developing on Workstation. You may want to start the process to re-create your developing environment in vSphere but continue to use Workstation until you have it fully brought up. At least that way you can work towards migrating dev to vSphere while retaining the investment you've made in Workstation.

                    • 7. Re: Can a VM with Snapshots be Uploaded from Workstation Pro to vSphere ? If yes, then how ?
                      HJLBX Novice

                      So you are saying to abandon the large investment we have made in vSphere ?

                       

                      We also need to share VMs. And doing it remotely via other means isn't working out for a number of reasons.

                       

                      At least do the right thing and provide me with the general ESXi procedures so that we can at least try.

                      • 8. Re: Can a VM with Snapshots be Uploaded from Workstation Pro to vSphere ? If yes, then how ?
                        HJLBX Novice

                        Re-creating VMs in vSphere would involve thousands of man-hours and expense.

                         

                        We have two options: try or dump vSphere and have the bank back-charge VMWare for the vSphere contract.

                        • 9. Re: Can a VM with Snapshots be Uploaded from Workstation Pro to vSphere ? If yes, then how ?
                          daphnissov Guru
                          vExpertCommunity Warriors

                          Perhaps you should have checked before making a sizable investment in vSphere that what you intended to accomplish was indeed feasible. Did you? If so, with whom and how? If you were given incorrect information, that's one thing; but if you made the assumption that this was supported and easy, then that's on you.

                           

                          At least do the right thing and provide me with the general ESXi procedures so that we can at least try.

                          I will not attempt to speak for continuum as he is perfectly capable, but regardless of whether you think it's the "right thing" or not, keep in mind one thing: You've come here with your hat in your hand asking for assistance from a group of volunteers in a community. You've paid nothing for our time or expertise. This space is not an extension of your support contract with VMware (if extant) nor are we (all) VMware employees. You have no entitlement to that time or expertise and all help is done so voluntarily and at the sole discretion of those providing their willful assistance.

                           

                          Re-creating VMs in vSphere would involve thousands of man-hours and expense.

                          And at the risk of sounding impertinent, if this is truly the case, perhaps you're developing wrong to begin with. If the delta in time and effort between these snapshots is actually "thousands" of hours, then something is not right here. I don't know what you're developing, how, with what tooling and processes, but it stands to reason that it's worth a look and re-work if this is really the case.

                           

                          To state plainly: What you're attempting to do is not supported nor is it standard operating procedure. It is therefore a corner use case which may or may not be possible. The ability to move workloads from desktop products, namely Workstation and Fusion, are provided as conveniences and not implicit, supported workflows of cycling between two completely different sets of products with completely different use cases and goals.

                          • 10. Re: Can a VM with Snapshots be Uploaded from Workstation Pro to vSphere ? If yes, then how ?
                            HJLBX Novice

                            Thanks once again for showing what the VMWare communities are really like...

                             

                            1. We did our due diligence, but you can keep trying to make us look like idiots.

                            2. Really ? I thought these communities were supposed to embrace the general spirit of helping others with products. What we asked for is not unreasonable by any means, but you can make it out all you like to be that we asked for something to which we are not entitled.

                            3. At first I asked for detailed instructions, but since there are none I asked for a generalized procedure. Cannot even get that. Hmm...

                            4. You're correct... you don't know a thing about what we do and on what scale, but I see you just couldn't help yourself and made it personal by criticizing our methodology and work.

                             

                            Thanks bro...

                            • 11. Re: Can a VM with Snapshots be Uploaded from Workstation Pro to vSphere ? If yes, then how ?
                              daphnissov Guru
                              Community WarriorsvExpert

                              1. We did our due diligence, but you can keep trying to make us look like idiots.

                              You did your due diligence and came to the conclusion that moving entire VMs from Workstation to vSphere preserving the snapshot chain was supported and possible? If so, may I ask how you arrived at this conclusion?

                               

                              2. Really ? I thought these communities were supposed to embrace the general spirit of helping others with products. What we asked for is not unreasonable by any means, but you can make it out all you like to be that we asked for something to which we are not entitled.

                              They most certainly are, but you've made it clear that you're not willing to accept any other suggestions other than what you want even though it's been stated it isn't supported and, as you've discovered for yourself, does not come out-of-the-box. By asking someone to "do what's right" and provide you with information seems like a demand. If I had the information, I would give it to you, but as I've never attempted this and I can offer nothing without further testing.

                               

                              3. At first I asked for detailed instructions, but since there are none I asked for a generalized procedure. Cannot even get that. Hmm...

                              Continuum may be able to provide you something, or perhaps others in the community have done this very thing.

                               

                              If you would like to provide details on a sample VM, its configuration with regard to the virtual hardware and snapshots, version of Workstation, and other relevant details, it may aid those in attempting to provide you with help.

                              • 12. Re: Can a VM with Snapshots be Uploaded from Workstation Pro to vSphere ? If yes, then how ?
                                continuum Guru
                                vExpertUser ModeratorsCommunity Warriors

                                > 4. I'd really... really...  appreciate step-by-step, "How To" instructions like I am 5 years old. None of us are experienced VMware\vSphere administrators.


                                As far as I know the vSphere documentation in no place claims that VMs with snapshots can be exchanged between both platforms.
                                If you actually know a document that claims so please tell us about it so that we can alert the documentation department.
                                Other than that I never said that it cant be done - it is just something that requires a lot of experience as you can not use the UI to acchieve something like that.
                                Instead it requires a lot of manual config-file edits and you can not learn this in a week or two.
                                That being said and given your own requirement for "How To" instructions like I am 5 years old. " leaves us with no other option than to say what we already said.


                                > 1. We did our due diligence, but you can keep trying to make us look like idiots.


                                I sincerely apologize to you if feel like that. That was not my intention at all.
                                But as I said before this use-case is highly advanced stuff and if you ask for instructions suitable for a 5 years old I simply have to give up.
                                Regards Ulli