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 Best way to upload VM's? 
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:44 am
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 Best way to upload VM's?
I've been testing different ways to upload a VM to a ESXi 3.5 host, but I'm getting very slow upload speeds. For a 250GB VM it's taking 24 hours.
From what I've read online ESX isn't any faster. Without having to setup HA how can I get fast upload speeds for my DR site?


Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:55 am
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:51 am
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Location: Columbus, Ohio
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Post Re: Best way to upload VM's?
The management console is speed limited by VMWare to, I believe, 5MB max.

Depending on how your DR site is implemented, you may want to consider running a backup/restore from within each VM. Those speeds are not throttled.

What I do is use VMX (from Veam) to do baseline emergency backups every once in a while at night. But for my normal backup, I'll use something like Norton Ghost to ghost the machine to an external server. Ghosting at 40gig machine doesn't take much time at all.

So I'd use normal backups and restores as if the machines were real machines.

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Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:53 am
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Post Re: Best way to upload VM's?
Are you using the datastore browser or Converter? You can get some better speeds with ssh / ftp (although both are not supported). Or if you have an NFS server around you can setup that as a datastore and then copy the files to the NFS server directly.

What sort of hardware are you using? When copying to a datastore, ESXi has to wait for reads to be commited so you can see a big difference between a storage controller with and without battery backed write cache.

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Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:56 am
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:44 am
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Post Re: Best way to upload VM's?
Dave,
I'm running my ESXi host on a Dell 2950 with PERC 3i RAID controller. I've tried WinSCP, FastSCP and copying directly from Datastore view. WinSCP seems to be the fastest, but I'm still getting upload speeds of only 3.3MB/sec.
Reason why I ask is that I'd like to build in some check DR for my ESXi hosts. My plan is to build a backup ESXi host in one of our remote offices and backup my VMs to that host or a USB drive weekly. In the event of a DR at our main office I can upload the VMs from a USB drive and have it running in hours instead of days.


Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:02 am
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Post Re: Best way to upload VM's?
What sort of performance do you get within a VM on the host? You can get a bit of a boost by changing the cypher used with the WinSCP (try blowfish), but the dropbear server used in ESXi for SSH has some inherent performance issues). Are you using vCenter? There's a new backup module that might be a good fit in that it can do differentials after the initial full backup. You could also run an iSCSI / NFS VM and then backup the VMs into that. You'll see better peformance than trying to go via the console.


Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:14 pm
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Post Re: Best way to upload VM's?
Dave,
I have an Openfiler iSCSI SAN attached to my ESXi host and I'm using the Vmware Infrastructure Client to manage the VMs from my PC. I can't add an NFS directly to the host because I'm already at 2TB limit (I have a lot of local disk space for my backup server).
What if I attach NFS to an XP Pro Vm running inside this host? If that works what is the fastest backup/restore mechanism should I use within the XP vm?


Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:28 am
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Post Re: Best way to upload VM's?
Is the openfiler host for your production host or the backup? You can share an iSCSI LUN (or NFS or FC SAN LUN) with more than one host. For example, the backup host could access the iSCSI LUN as a datastore, and then run a script which would snapshot the VMs on production and then copy the VMDK files from the iSCSI datastore to datastore locally on the backup host).

> What if I attach NFS to an XP Pro Vm running inside this host? If that works what is the fastest backup/restore mechanism should I use within the XP vm?

Which host were you thinking doing this on?


Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:27 am
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:44 am
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Post Re: Best way to upload VM's?
Dave,
The Openfiler SAN is for the production ESXi Host. The backup server is actually a VM on the ESXi host and the backup server is using local disks on that ESXi host for disk-to-disk backups of flat files. (nightly backup of physical servers)
Unfortunately ESXi sees local and SAN storage as the same when it comes to the total storage so I'm limited on this ESXi host.
I'd like to get live backups (without having to buy Veeam or ESXRanger), from the ESXi host to either a USB drive attached to my PC or to another Openfiler NFS SAN.


Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:09 pm
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Post Re: Best way to upload VM's?
Going to the another openfiler NFS share mounted as a datastore would potentially be the fastest.

With ESXi you can have up to 256 VMFS datastores (i.e. 512 TB of storage).


Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:59 pm
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:44 am
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Post Re: Best way to upload VM's?
Dave,
I was able to mount 600GB NFS, but when I had this server setup as iSCSI it wouldn't mount. What triggers the 2TB limit?


Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:47 pm
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