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Posts Tagged ‘VMware’

When VMware Snapshots go wrong - Snapshot Hell!

Friday, October 12th, 2012

this is the worst case of Snapshot Hell, I’ve ever seen! It’s not the largest snapshot, the total is only approx 83GB in snapshots, but the number of snapshot files!

A Total of 79 snapshots per virtual machine disk, see screenshots (I’ve obscured the server name for privacy!)

According to this VMware Knowledge Base article the maximum number of snapshots is 32 in a snapshot chain.


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HOW TO: “Live Migrate” VMware Virtual Machines between ESX/ESXi hosts and/or datastores for FREE without licenses for vMotion or Storage vMotion

Monday, September 24th, 2012
Migrate VMs between hosts and/or datastores for FREE without vMotion/Storage vMotion or Shared Storage

Not all organisation have access to VMware’s vMotion or VMware’s Storage vMotion technology because of budgetry constraints. I’ve written this article because it’s a question which appears on Experts Exchange at least every few weeks, and now there is an easy solution to the problem.

Scenario 1
First implementation of VMware vSphere Essentials without shared storage, later the organisation purchases shared storage (iSCSI or Fibre Channel SAN or NFS NAS), and then needs to migrate existing virtual machines with little downtime to the shared storage platform.

Scenario 2
Organisation purchases a second newer replacement VMware vSphere host, needs to migrate existing virtual machines with little downtime to new VMware vSphere host.

Traditionally we would use ESXi/ESX Backup and Restore techniques, VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0, or Datastore browser to clone or copy see my previous Experts Exchange articles below, to address the above scenarios, (remember here that VMware’s vMotion or VMware’s Storage vMotion is NOT available, because it’s not available in our licensed version of VMware vSphere).

VMware ESX/ESXi Backup Guide

HOW TO: Clone or Copy a virtual machine in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESX/ESXi 4.x or ESXi 5.0

HOW TO: Improve the transfer rate of a Physical to Virtual (P2V), Virtual to Virtual Conversion (V2V) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

Software Technology has improved and using Veeam Quick Migration, we can migrate Live VMs between hosts and datastores for FREE!

In the latest version of Veeam Backup Free Edition, there is a new function called Quick Migration. Veeam Backup Free Edition is the same download as Veeam Backup and Replication v6.1, but a Veeam license is not applied at installation time.

The Quick Migration utility in Veeam Backup Free Edition lets you migrate a live VM to any host or datastore—even if you don’t use clusters or shared storage.

Quick Migration leverages native VMware technology, as well as exclusive Veeam technology, to accommodate any migration scenario, including:

Migrating a VM from a local datastore to shared storage
Migrating a VM between 2 separate hosts and datastores

With Quick Migration’s point-and-click interface, you can easily move a live VM from any source to any destination, even if vMotion and vStorage Motion are not available. And with Veeam’s SmartSwitch technology, downtime is reduced to mere seconds.


In the following steps, I will demonstrate, how a Live virtual machine can be migrated from a Local Datastore attached to a VMware vSphere ESXi host, to an iSCSI LUN on a SAN and different VMware vSphere ESXi host. - this demonstrates a vMotion (migrate from one host to another host) and Storage vMotion. (from one datastore to new datastore) - using Veeam Quick Migration.


1. VMware vCenter Server for Windows or VMware vCenter Appliance installed and configured with one or more VMware vSphere ESXi/ESX hosts. So you would need to have purchased at least VMware vSphere Essentials.

2. Veeam Backup Free Edition for VMware and Hyper-V installed on a virtual or physical server. We often install Veeam Backup and Replication v6.1 (same product) on a Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, with 2 vCPU and 8GB RAM. I’m not going to document the installation of Veeam Backup Free Edition, because it is simply, point and click; download the software, extract the software from the ZIP archive, Run the setup program, and Click Next…Next…Next…Finish.

Click the Veeam Backup & Replication icon to start the backup application.

The application will start and display the following banner
the following configuration screen will be displayed
  • Configuration Screen

Configuration Screen


Add VMware vSphere vCenter Server

Before using Veeam Backup Free Edition, you must register your virtual infrastructure. To start this process, Click the Add Server button in the ribbon, the following Add Server Dialogue box will be displayed.

  • Add Server

Add Server

Select VMware vSphere, the following dialogue box will be displayed, add the DNS name or IP Address of your VMware vCenter Server. We always prefer to use DNS names, and to ensure that DNS is working correctly.
  • Enter DNS Name or IP Address

Enter DNS Name or IP Address

in this tutorial the vCenter Server for Windows we will be using is called Enter the FQDN of the vCenter Server and Click Next
  • Enter vCenter Server DNS Name

Enter vCenter Server DNS Name

Enter an Administrator account and password which has access to vCenter Server, followed by Next.
  • Enter Administrator username and password

Enter Administrator username and password

the following dialogue boxes will appear in turn
  • Detecting server type

Detecting server type

  • Saving server to configuration

Saving server to configuration

after a few seconds the final Summary dialogue appears, confirming Successful addition of the vCenter Server. Click Finish.
  • Successful Configuration

Successful Configuration

Click the “+” sign next to VMware vSphere, and expand, this will show the list of Virtual Machines registered on VMware vSphere vCenter.
  • Show Virtual Machines registered on vCenter Server

Show Virtual Machines registered on vCenter Server


Using the Veeam QuickMigration function

In this tutorial, we will Quick Migrate a Live virtual machine called “Cyrus Time NTP Appliance“, although this is a small virtual machine appliance it’s very important because this single appliance is responsible for providing correct time synchronisation for all servers, workstations, routers, switches and printers in our offices.

This virtual machine is currently hosted on an VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0 host called -, and is stored on the hosts local datastore called esxdev005_local_vmfs5.

  • Virtual Machine to be Quick Migrated

Virtual Machine to be Quick Migrated

and in this tutorial we will Quick Migrate the Live virtual machine to a host called - and a shared storage iSCSI LUN, formatted VMFS5 datastore called lun26_filer03. This is an iSCSI LUN, on a NetApp filer.

Right Click the Virtual Machine to be QuickMigrated and select Quick Migration

  • Select the Virtual Machine

Select the Virtual Machine

the following screen confirms the virtual machine you would like to Quick Migrate, Click Next to confirm
  • Confirm virtual machine for quick migration

Confirm virtual machine for quick migration

Select Destination host, resource pool, VM folder and datastore. In this tutorial the screeenshot shows the selection we have selected, followed by Next.
  • Select Destination host, resource pool, VM folder and datastore.

Select Destination host, resource pool, VM folder and datastore.

The next screen asks which proxy to use, with the Free Edition, there is only one Backup Proxy installed on the default server, so select Automatic, and click Next. In the licensed version of Veeam Backup & Replication, multiple Backup Proxys can increase transfer times.
  • Select Backup Proxy - leave as Automatic

Select Backup Proxy - leave as Automatic

The following diaglogue boxes appears that
  • Checks the possibility of migration

Checks the possibility of migration

this ensures ESX/ESXi hosts are reachable, datastores, and networks are correct.

A confirmation screen is displayed which summarises the Migration, Click Finish to start the Quick Migration. You can also select that the source VM is deleted after a successful migration. (tick box)

  • Ready for Quick Migration

Ready for Quick Migration

The Quick Migration in Progress
  • Quick Migration in Progress

Quick Migration in Progress

Quick Migration Completed successfully
  • Quick Migration Completed successfully

Quick Migration Completed successfully

The following screenshot shows the Quick Migrated machine, on the correct host and datastore.
  • Quick Migrated Virtual Machine

Quick Migrated Virtual Machine

Finally, on inspection in the vSphere Client, you will find, you have a backup of the original VM called <vm name>_migrated and the migrated virtual machine on the host and datastore selected.

  • Quick Migrated Virtual Machines

Quick Migrated Virtual Machines

BUT, both VMs are Suspended, so just issue a Power-On Request to your original VM to resume service! (that’s CTRL+B)

I suspect there is a little bugget here with VMware vSphere Client because both VMs are suspended and should have Pause Symbols, but there is a Pause Symbol missing from the Migrated VM, I suspect it’s not refreshing after being Registered with vCenter Server, if you watch carefully, you will see a Pause symbol shortly after a Power-On is issued, and then changes to a Green Powered On Symbol.

In this tutorial article we have shown How To Migrate a Live Virtual Machine from an ESX/ESXi host, to another ESXi/ESX host, and migrate from local storage to shared storage for FREE using the Quick Migrate function in the latest version of Veeam Backup Free Edition.

Try it today, it’s free, and much easier than alternative methods.

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Building End - User Computing Solutions with VMware View

Friday, August 3rd, 2012


Barry Coombs and Mike Laverick’s new book Building End - User Computing Solutions with VMware View has just been published. It’s available here as an eBook.

I was fortunate enough as one of the VMware vExperts in the Community to proof read the book before publication. You can see my name in print on Page 6!

Needless to say, it’s an excellent book, and should be on all VMware View Admin Bookshelves!

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Andy’s new gadget courtesy of VMware – A Kindle Fire

Monday, April 9th, 2012

On April 2nd, I blogged here about a mysterious parcel from VMware that arrived by FedEx.

The parcel contained an Amazon Kindle Fire, not available in the UK. To be released later this year. I’ve not done the Android experience, being strictly an Apple iOS, Microsoft Windows CE/Mobile, and Nokia nerd. So it will be interesting to checkout what Android 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’ has to offer, compared to Apple iOS 5.1.


The Amazon Kindle Fire is a Full Colour 7 inch, multi-touch display, tablet, with WiFi, web, movies, music, apps, games, reading & more, and it runs Android 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’.

VMware sent me the gift, as a Thank You for providing feedback in the My VMware Beta program.

Thank You VMware!

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FedEx delivers VMware vExpert swag and what’s in this other box from VMware?

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Got a surprise today when FedEx delivered not one, but two FedEx Boxes from VMware…A large box and a medium box. I happen to open the large box first!

The first large FedEx box contained my VMware vExpert swag, A VMware vExpert branded laptop bag, VMware vExpert luggage travel tag and my VMware vExpert Certificate.

Large and Medium Box from FedEx

Large and Medium Boxes from VMware, delivered by FedEx

Thanks to John and Alex that managed the VMware vExpert Program.

I’ll photograph, and blog tomorrow, what was in the other box!

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Andysworld! Advent Calendar - Dec 19 - My VMware Christmas Gifts - from the VMware Festive Journey to the your Cloud

Monday, December 19th, 2011

For the last two weeks, VMware have been running VMware Festive Journey to the your Cloud, a daily draw competition, where you could win, cameras, iPods, Gift Vouchers, and VMware Merchandise.

It finishes on the 23 December 2011, so you’ve got a few days left to register, answer the question, and be entered into the daily draw!

I’ve been lucky to win a few items



Some handy winter car items, an ice scraper, torch and travel mug!

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What to purchase a vEXPERT, VCP, VMware Admin, VMware Geek this Christmas?

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

If you wondering what to purchase a vEXPERT, VCP, VMware Admin, VMware Geek this Christmas, why not consider one of the best Technical books on VMware HA and DRS!

My Christmas Present from Secret Santa!

My Christmas Present from Secret Santa!

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Andysworld! Advent Calendar - Dec 13 - x10 Computer Controlled Outside Christmas Tree Lights using VMware ESXi 5.0, a Windows 2008 Virtual Server and Web Services

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

We’ve now also, added the Christmas Tree lights outside, in the Magnolia Tree.

I also got a little bored, and decided rather than using a traditional plug-in 240v 24 hour timer, I would add them to the X10 Computer Controlled System, so I can turn them off via a VMware Virtual Server, running Windows 2008 Web Services!

Lindsey asked “Why? - I replied, because I can do stuff like that!

So in thoery I could grant access to this Website, on the Internet to turn them off remotely, or let other people turn them on or off!


The website is basic, but it functions, just need some graphics and CSS!

Update: I’d already written this blog, and submitted for publishing, before catching an Episode of “The Big Bang Theory” - The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarisation (s1e9) - at this very start of the episode, Howard Wolowitz also demonstrates a light and stereo being power-on via x10, and enabling public access to do the same thing, which Penny also states “Why?” - you can get a really cheap wireless remote from Radio Shack!

Okay, so I’m a nerd! But we all knew that!

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Andysworld! Advent Calendar - Dec 5 - vExpert Spotlight: Andrew Hancock

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Just been published, Fame for 15 seconds?

VMware vExperts were asked the following three questions?

1.How did you get into IT?

2.How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?

3.What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?


Check out my answers, if you want at

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Still Numero Uno at Experts Exchange

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Still on top at Exchange Experts on 2 October 2011

Still on top at Exchange Experts on 2 October 2011

Still On top in October 2011 after approx 4 months, this Year! Can leakim971 catch up!

Experts Exchange (EE) is a membership-based online “ask an expert” site for computer and IT related questions that was founded in 1996. Experts Exchange (EE) enables people with technology problems to quickly and easily solve their problems by collaborating with experts from around the world. Experts Exchange (EE) is the #1 resource on the web for solving IT related problems, pop over and take a test drive, and meet the Experts.

Checkout How it Works.

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