Migrating a virtual machine from one standalone ESX host's local storage to another standalone ESX host's local storage


Two standalone ESX Hosts – say ESX1 and ESX2
Both hosts use local storage and there is no shared storage and no option for this provision
There is network connectivity between the hosts

Question: How to move a VM from ESX1 to ESX2 other?

Some possible solutions:

1: Download from local datastore of ESX1 using WinSCP (or similar,) or the VI/vSphere Client, and upload to ESX2 using the same method
2: Use VMware converter to V2V the virtual machine
3: Linux route – via the service console, configure the local storage on ESX2 to allow mounting to ESX1, configure the ESX firewall on both ESX1 and ESX2 to allow local datastore to local datastore transfer, mount ESX2's local datastore to ESX1 and do a mv (move)

The above were put in order of most simple to most difficult to achieve. The problem with option 1 is that there is a download process followed by an upload process, so the move would take at least twice as long as doing a straight move. So onto solution 2 as the preferred solution, and this is pretty simple to achive too. Below is a walkthrough of how to do this.
I choose a cold clone as being the better option since no need to install extra software on the VM to be moved.

Walkthrough – Using VMware converter to V2V from one standalone ESX host local storage to another ESX host local storage

1: Download the VMware-convertercd from VMware
2: Mount coldclone.iso in the virtual CD drive of the VM to be moved
3: Configure the Boot Options of the VM to 'Boot to BIOS' so it can be configured to boot from CD-ROM
4: Reboot the VM, configure the BIOS to boot from CD-ROM, and boot into coldclone.iso (will prompt for press any key to boot from CD)
5: VMware vCenter Converter will run through 4 actions, wait for these to complete, then accept the License Agreement and click OK

6: Would you like to update network parameters at this time? No

7: When the VMware vCenter Converter window loads, select 'Import Machine'

Import Wizard

8: Welcome to vCenter Converter Import Wizard > Click Next
9: Step 1: Choose a source for import > Click Next
     Choose the disks to import and specify their size > Click Next

10: Step 2: Choose a destination for the new virtual machine > Click Next
     Select the destination type: vSphere Virtual Machine > Click Next

     ESX or vCenter Server Login – enter relevant details > Click Next

     Virtual Machine name: <> > Click Next
     Select host or resource pool > Click Next
     Choose a datastore > Click Next
     Choose number of NICs and the network > Click Next

11: Step 3: Customization – leave checkboxes unticked > Click Next

12: Ready to Complete > Click Finish

And wait for the job to complete

Note: VMware Converter requires at least 264MB Memory in order to run

Author: V. Cosonok


  1. Okay, there is a better way; use Veeam Fast SCP to transfer from one host to the other - very quick.



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