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Moving Large VMware VMs to a Different Submount on the Same VMstore

Applies To

Product(s): All

Product Version(s): 3.2 and above

Bug(s): N/A


Several use cases for the need to move large VMware VMs to a different submount on the same VMstore:

  • When configuring Site Recovery Manager (SRM) on the Tintri VMstore, a new subdirectory (/tintri/srm) is created of the root directory (/tintri) and a new subdirectory is mounted in vSphere. To incorporate existing virtual machines (VM) as part of SRM, migrated the VMs to the /tintri/srm subdirectory.
  • Storage vMotion (SVMotion) of live VMs is not offloaded via VAAI; to accomplish this, the vSphere host reads the entire VM vdisk data through the stack and writes the data back down to the target datastore. When the process is offloaded to VAAI the data copy is done on the VMstore and is not resource intensive.
  • A need to separate VMs for isolation.

How To


Note: Current with Tintri OS 4.3 this KB does not apply when moving VMs to a Tintri Synchronous Replication submount.


Larger VMs can take a long time to migrate using VMware Storage vMotion. It can also cause increased latency for the VM being migrated, with VMstore, network, and Esxi host resources being used for the migration. 


There are two methods you should consider


Method 1. (If the VAAI plugin is installed on your Esxi Servers)


Take a VMware Snapshot of the VM, you can uncheck the Memory and Quiesce option. Then use Storage vMotion to move the VM between submounts. The copy will get offloaded using the VAAI Full Copy NFS primitive. Ensure to remove the VMware Snapshot post migration.



Method 2 (If the VAAI plugin is not installed on your Esxi Servers)


If you can schedule s short down time, then the following procedure can be used with the vSphere Thick C# Client.

  1. Power off the VM.
  2. Right-click the VM and remove it from Inventory (unregister the VM).
  3. Use the vSphere Datastore Browser to find the VM.
  4. Right-click on the VM folder and select Move to ... When selecting the target, use the source datastore (/tintri) and navigate to the subdirectory, this initiates a move that quickly completes.
    Note: Do not use the target datastore as the target of the copy.  This method initiates a copy of the vDisk, which is the same as a cold migration and is resource expensive.
  5. Use the vSphere Datastore Browser to browse to the VMs directory on the new datatore (ie /tintri/srm).
  6. Right-click on the vmx file and add the VM back to inventory.

Note: there is a move option in the vSphere Web Client,  however this does a copy rather than a move.

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