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howartp
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Restore VMDK thin?

Post by howartp » May 30, 2014 8:29 am

Hi,

This summer we'll be swapping to a new domain with new Domain Controllers etc. This domain exists now, completely isolated from the live domain.

To get the staff and student data onto the new VM servers my usual routine in this scenario is to restore a copy of the live VMDK and attach it to the new server as say a drive z: then I can use Windows to copy the data from the local Z: to local D: instead of copying across the network.

Looking at test restore today so I can plan how I'm going to do the work in summer, I can see restore 'VM Hard Disks' or 'VM Files'.

If I use VM Hard Disks (which I selected first, but then realised it shuts down the VM and restores it directly to it) I can choose to restore it THIN.

If I use VM Files, I can't see an option for thin.

Is there a way I can restore a VMDK from a backup, onto the ESX datastores, and make it THIN? (Powershell is acceptable if that's the way to do it)

We haven't enough disk space for both live full drives of all the servers, but there's enough if we do them thin. The new servers are all set up thin until we've got the data where we want it and working, then we'll inflate them.

Peter

foggy
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Re: Restore VMDK thin?

Post by foggy » May 30, 2014 11:23 am

Peter, in case of using VM Files option disks will be always restored as thick, since thin disks cannot exist without being attached to a VM. To keep the restored disks thin, you should use the VM Hard Disks option. Thanks.

howartp
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Re: Restore VMDK thin?

Post by howartp » May 30, 2014 11:29 am

Ah, that makes sense.

I've actually just been thinking out of the box - last time I did this scenario, I was upgrading from vSphere 3 (or whatever it was called) to vSphere 5, so the situation was actually different

This time, I should be able to just clone the VM in vSphere and tell it to create it as thin, then delete everything but the VMDK and re-attach it to the new server.

At least, in theory! I'm trying it now with a 40GB server that only has 22GB used.

Peter

foggy
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Re: Restore VMDK thin?

Post by foggy » May 30, 2014 11:38 am 1 person likes this post

Probably the more convenient way would be to restore the disk to some fake VM (using the VM Hard Disks option) and then re-attach it to the new server.

howartp
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Re: Restore VMDK thin?

Post by howartp » Jun 02, 2014 8:10 am

howartp wrote:This time, I should be able to just clone the VM in vSphere and tell it to create it as thin, then delete everything but the VMDK and re-attach it to the new server.
foggy wrote:Probably the more convenient way would be to restore the disk to some fake VM (using the VM Hard Disks option) and then re-attach it to the new server.
Is there any difference between these two approaches, other than the vSphere approach is a local copy on the SAN whereas Veeam is copying across the network? (Veeam isn't attached to the SAN yet)

Peter

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Restore VMDK thin?

Post by Vitaliy S. » Jun 02, 2014 8:22 am

Hi Peter,

Restoring a single VMDK to a fake VM will still be quicker even over the network.

Thanks!

howartp
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Re: Restore VMDK thin?

Post by howartp » Jun 02, 2014 8:38 am

Vitaliy S. wrote:Hi Peter,

Restoring a single VMDK to a fake VM will still be quicker even over the network.

Thanks!
That's an interesting comment - how do you work that out?

If I've got a VM with 30GB C_Drive and 1TB D_Drive to restore or clone, I would expect the LAN restore of 1TB to take longer than an on-disk clone of 1.03TB?

Peter

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Restore VMDK thin?

Post by Vitaliy S. » Jun 02, 2014 8:49 am

Well...I just assumed that restoring the entire VM as opposed to restoring only part of it, should be quicker, didn't notice you were referring to VM cloning that is going to be on the same storage device.

howartp
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Re: Restore VMDK thin?

Post by howartp » Jun 02, 2014 9:10 am

Ah right.

I'll see how it goes.

Peter

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