Jan 222013
 

A step by step guide to moving a virtual machine from one datastore to another in VMware ESXi 5.1 (probably applies to earlier versions too)

I had been running my VMware host with two small physical hard drives, but added a new SATA III 2TB drive which should be a bit faster and give me space for more images. I needed to migrate my existing guests to the new datastore.

In the vSphere Client, expand the host in the left window of the inventory screen and highlight the guest you want to migrate. Click the ‘Summary’ tab in the right pane.

Under ‘Resources’, right-click on the datastore and choose ‘Browse Datastore…’

Browse Datastore...

Browse Datastore…

In the Datastore Browser, click the folder in the left window which contains your guest OS files. Click the ‘Move a file…’ button on the menu bar.

Move a file

Move a file…

Click ‘Yes’ on the Confirm Move pop-up window.

Confirm move

Confirm move

In the ‘Move Items To…’ dialog, choose the new Datastore (and a directory if you like) and click the ‘Move’ button.

Move To...

Move To…

The directory will be moved – the progress bar shows how long remains.

Moving progress bar

Moving progress bar

Once the move is complete, the virtual machine will still be listed in the inventory, but it still links to the old location, so if you try to power it on you will get an error message.

Error message

Error message

To resolve this, right-click the guest in the inventory and choose ‘Remove from Inventory’

Remove from Inventory

Remove from Inventory

Highlight the host at the top of the inventory list, then click the ‘Configuration’ tab. You should see all your datastores listed. Right-click the datastore you moved the guest to and choose ‘Browse Datastore…’, open the directory which you moved in the earlier step and locate the .vmx file. Right click it and choose ‘Add to Inventory…’

Add to inventory

Add to inventory

Choose a new name for the image if appropriate.

Choose a name

Choose a name

Click ‘Next’ on the Resource Pool Screen.

Resource pool

Resource pool

Click ‘Finish’ on the Ready to Complete screen.

Ready to complete

Ready to complete

Your guest will now appear in the inventory list again. When you power the guest on, you will be asked whether you moved or copied the machine. Choose ‘I moved it’ .

Virtual Machine Question

Virtual Machine Question

Your guest OS should now boot from the new datastore.

Guest Booting

Guest Booting

Let me know in the comments how you get on, or if any of the instructions above are unclear.

 

 

 

Sep 252010
 

VMWare make their vSphere Hypervisor free to download and use which is an amazing deal, they also offer a free evaluation of VMWare vSphere which adds extra bells and whistles for enterprise level virtualisation. If you take the evaluation version, you have 60 days until the vSphere client locks down and stops you powering on your virtual machines. At that point, you will either have to pay for a full vSphere licence, or downgrade to the free version again. Of course, they haven’t made it very easy to find out how to do the downgrade!

If your evaluation has expired, your vSphere client should look something like this.

vSphere Client showing expired license

vSphere Client showing expired license

To downgrade to the free version and regain control of your virtual machines, you need to get a new licence number – its free. I have heard reports that the licence key would have been sent to you in the initial email which you received from VMWare when you registered for the evaluation, but I couldn’t find it in any of the emails I had received. The best bet is probably to go ahead and reregister at the download page for ESXi – From the VMWare home page, open the ‘Products’ menu and choose VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) then click the download button on the left side. Login, or hit the continue button and fill out your information. Once you have completed the registration process you should receive an email with an ‘Activate your VMware ESXi 4.1 License’ link. Click that and you should be presented with your new license number.

New VmWare license number

New VmWare license number

Copy the license number and go into your vSphere client. At the top of the list of virtual machines, highlight your host machine. Go to the configuration tab and choose ‘Licensed Features’ under the software section. Click the small ‘edit’ link at the top right corner.

You should now see your current evaluation license with no license key. Click the ‘Assign a new license to this host’ radio button, click the ‘Enter Key’ button and paste in your new license number. Click ‘OK’

New License entered

New License entered

Check that the new licence key is valid and shows ‘Expires: Never’

You’re done. You should now be able to administer your virtual servers as before. I’m yet to find out what features are missing from the free version compared to the full vSphere version.

Let me know if this works for you!