VM Delta Migration Procedure

A while back we were charged with moving VMs to a new data center while also keeping downtime to a minimum.  My team and I came up with a VM Delta Migration process to move a delta of the VM (basically the snapshot) so that we could keep the downtime short.  The basic process was to take a snapshot, copy the VM to external media, and power it on.  Then that media was shipped to the new DC to import.  Once imported and ready, we shut down the VM again, SFTP the snapshot files, imported those into the new VM folder and powered on the VM.  Once the VM was powered on and verified working, we were able to remove the snapshot.  I’ve documented the process below for anyone that may be wanting to do something similar.

This article details the steps taken to perform the migration of a large VM in multiple parts – Part 1 is a bulk data copy, sent via physical media for large files. Part 2 is an incremental copy, to allow us to keep the VM available during this window. When the VM is imported at its new home, both parts should be combined.

Step 1:

Power off the VM, and create a snapshot.

Create Snapshot

Step 2:

Browse to the datastore that the VM is located in, and copy all files in the folder to the bulk storage destination. – Delete the VMWare.log files from the destination.

Browse Datastore

Step 3:

Power the VM back on, and ship the physical media over to the new location.

Step 4:

Once the media has been received, power the VM off again, and copy the following files over to the SFTP server:

  • The VMX file
  • The NVRAM file
  • The 000001.vmdk – Snapshot file
  • The –delta.vmdk – Snapshot deltas

Step 5:

At the new data center, copy the files from step 4 to the physical media from step 2. Overwrite any files that are duplicates.

Step 6:

Add all files from the physical media to a datastore, and import the VM using “Add to Inventory” on the .VMX file.

Step 7:

Power the VM online, and once everything is confirmed working, delete the snapshot.

 

I hope this helps anyone else needing a process to perform a migration of VMs between data centers while keeping downtime to a minimum.

First vSphere Client (HTML5) update in vSphere…

First vSphere Client (HTML5) update in vSphere 6.5.0b! [VMware vSphere Blog]

First vSphere Client (HTML5) update in vSphere…

With the release of vSphere 6.5.0b, we are proud to announce the first update to the vSphere Client!


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What It Means to Be a VMware vExpert

What It Means to Be a VMware vExpert [rubrik.com]

What It Means to Be a VMware vExpert

Being a technical professional often results in no one knowing about the work being done–if things go according to plan. Our focus is on being invisible. We set up complicated servers, hook them all together, and offer up resources for virtual machines and data repositories. And in the end, an application is given a home, where visibility of the world is often abstracted from view.


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Released: vCenter and ESXi 6.0 Update 3 –…

Released: vCenter and ESXi 6.0 Update 3 – What’s in It for Service Providers — via VIRTUALIZATION IS LIFE!

Released: vCenter and ESXi 6.0 Update 3 –…

Last month I wrote a blog post on upgrading vCenter 5.5 to 6.0 Update 2 and during the course of writing that blog post I conducted a survey on which version of vSphere most people where seeing out in the wild…overwhelmingly vSphere 6.0 was the most popular version with 5.5 second and 6.5 lagging in adoption for the moment.


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vRealize Automation 7.2 Detailed Implementation…

vRealize Automation 7.2 Detailed Implementation Video Guide — via VMware Cloud Mgmnt Blog

vRealize Automation 7.2 Detailed Implementation…

Welcome to the vRealize Automation 7.2 Detailed Implementation VIDEO Guide. This is a collection of all the videos making up the full vRealize Automation 7.2 Detailed Implementation Guide.


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VCP6-DCV Delta Exam Experience

VCP6-DCVI recently took and passed the VCP6-DCV Delta Exam (2V0-621D), so I thought I’d share my test and study experience.  I also hold a VCP5-DCV but this test was different.  The VCP5 test had a lot more situational knowledge questions where I felt the VCP6 exam was more book knowledge questions.

Questions

A good portion of the questions on the exam are around permissions.  Things like how they are applied, what permissions allow what as well as how permissions flow by level (global, local).  There are also questions regarding limits and reservations on VMs.  An image was shown with VMs given a set memory allocation but some had a high share value and others a normal value.  You are asked which VM is given priority.

Study

My study suggestion would be to make sure you’re comfortable with permissions, new features in 6 and limits in 6, as well as shares.  As always, the VCP is best taken after you’ve worked in an environment previously.  If you are unable to play in an environment at work, build up a quick lab at home.  There are dozens of articles out there that show you how to create a small lab with very minimal hardware. Finally, make sure to go over the blueprint that VMware has for the exam.  Make sure you are comfortable with everything in it and if you’re not, then you know what you need to study.  Blueprint can be found here.

VMware also provides a practice test for you to take.  You can take it up to 100 times.  I found that several of the questions on the practice test were very close to questions on the actual test.  The wording may have been different but the format and complexity of the question were very similar.  The practice test can be found here.

Best of luck on your exam!

vExpert 2017 Award Announcement

Honored to be selected for my 3rd year in the vExpert program.

vExpert 2017 Award Announcement

First we would like to say thank you to everyone who applied for the 2017 vExpert program. I’m pleased to announce the list 2017 vExperts. Each of these vExperts have demonstrated significant contributions to the community and a willingness to share their expertise with others. Contributing is not always blogging or Twitter as there are many public speakers, book authors, CloudCred task writing, script writers, VMUG leaders, VMTN community moderators and internal champions among this group.


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New vCenter Server Appliance Deployment…

New vCenter Server Appliance Deployment Walkthroughs – via VMware vSphere Blog

New vCenter Server Appliance Deployment…

vSphere 6.5 takes the VCSA deployment experience to the next level. The VCSA 6.5 installer no longer requires a plugin, making it browser agnostic. If that wasn’t enough, the VCSA installer now supports use on macOS, Linux, and Window. The VMware Feature Walkthrough site has two new VCSA 6.5 deployment walkthroughs. These two step-by-step guides cover the VCSA 6.5 embedded and external deployments.


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New vCenter Server Appliance File-Based Backup…

New vCenter Server Appliance File-Based Backup / Restore Walkthroughs

New vCenter Server Appliance File-Based Backup…

The vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) 6.5 is full of new and exclusive features. One of which is the native file-based backup and restore. I’m happy to announce two new guided walkthroughs on the VMware Feature Walkthrough site.


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