You can use cold migration to move a virtual machine and its associated disks from one datastore to another. The virtual machines are not required to be on shared storage.

Prerequisites

  • Required privilege: Resource > Migrate powered off virtual machine

Procedure

  1. Power off or suspend the virtual machine.
  2. Right-click the virtual machine and select Migrate.
    1. To locate a virtual machine, select a data center, folder, cluster, resource pool, host, or vApp.
    2. Click the Virtual Machines tab.
  3. Select the migration type and click Next.

    Option

    Description

    Change compute resource only

    Move the virtual machine to another host.

    Change storage only

    Move the virtual machine’s configuration file and virtual disks.

    Change both compute resource and storage

    Move the virtual machine to another host and move its configuration file and virtual disks.

    Migrate virtual machine(s) to a specific datacenter

    Move the virtual machine to a virtual data center, where you can assign policies to VMs.

  4. If you change the compute resource of the virtual machine, select the destination compute resource for this virtual machine migration and click Next.

    Any compatibility problem appears in the Compatibility panel. Fix the problem, or select another host or cluster.

    Possible targets include hosts and DRS clusters with any level of automation. If a cluster has no DRS enabled, select a specific host in the cluster rather than selecting the cluster.

    Important:

    If the virtual machine that you migrate has an NVDIMM device and virtual PMem hard disks, the destination host or cluster must have available PMem resource. Otherwise, the compatibility check fails and you cannot proceed further with the migration.

    If the virtual machine that you migrate does not have an NVDIMM device, but it has virtual PMem hard disks, the destination host or cluster must have available PMem resource, so that all PMem hard disks remain stored on a PMem datastore. Otherwise, all the hard disks will use the storage policy and datastore selected for the configuration files of the virtual machine.

    Important:

    Migrating a virtual machine that has an NVDIMM device or a vPMem disk to a host that does not have the proper license fails and leaves the virtual machine in an unmanageable state for 90 seconds. You can afterwards retry the migration and choose a destination host that is licensed to use PMem devices.

  5. On the Select storage page, select the storage type for the virtual machine configuration files and all the hard disks.
    • If you select the Standard mode, all virtual disks are stored on a standard datastore.

    • If you select the PMem mode, all virtual disks are stored on the host-local PMem datastore. Configuration files cannot be stored on a PMem datastore and you must additionally select a regular datastore for the configuration files of the virtual machine.

    • If you select the Hybrid mode, all PMem virtual disks remain stored on a PMem datastore. Non-PMem disks are affected by your choice of a VM storage policy and datastore or datastore cluster.

  6. Select the format for the virtual machine's disks.

    Option

    Action

    Same format as source

    Use the same format as the source virtual machine.

    Thick Provision Lazy Zeroed

    Create a virtual disk in a default thick format. Space required for the virtual disk is allocated during creation. Any data remaining on the physical device is not erased during creation. Instead, it is zeroed out on demand on first write from the virtual machine.

    Thick Provision Eager Zeroed

    Create a thick disk that supports clustering features such as Fault Tolerance. Space required for the virtual disk is allocated at creation time. In contrast to the thick provision lazy zeroed format, the data remaining on the physical device is zeroed out during creation. It might take longer to create disks in this format than to create other types of disks.

    Thin Provision

    Use the thin provisioned format. At first, a thin provisioned disk uses only as much datastore space as the disk initially needs. If the thin disk needs more space later, it can expand to the maximum capacity allocated to it.

  7. Select a virtual machine storage policy from the VM Storage Policy drop-down menu.

    Storage policies specify storage requirements for applications that run on the virtual machine. You can also select the default policy for vSAN or Virtual Volumes datastores.

    Important:

    If the virtual machine hard disks use different storage policies, the new policy that you select only applies to non-PMem hard disks. PMem hard disks are migrated to the host-local PMem datastore of the destination host.

  8. Select the datastore location where you want to store the virtual machine files.

    Option

    Action

    Store all virtual machine files in the same location on a datastore.

    Select a datastore and click Next.

    Store all virtual machine files in the same Storage DRS cluster.

    1. Select a Storage DRS cluster.

    2. To disable Storage DRS with this virtual machine, select Disable Storage DRS for this virtual machine and select a datastore within the Storage DRS cluster.

    3. Click Next.

    Store virtual machine configuration files and disks in separate locations.

    1. Click Configure per disk.

      Note:

      You can use the Configure per disk option to dowgrade from or upgrade to PMem storage.

    2. For the virtual machine configuration file and for each virtual disk, select Browse, and select a datastore or Storage DRS cluster.

      Note:

      Configuration files cannot be stored on a PMem datastore.

    3. If you selected a Storage DRS cluster and do not want to use Storage DRS with this virtual machine, select Disable Storage DRS for this virtual machine and select a datastore within the Storage DRS cluster.

    4. Click Next.

  9. Select a destination network for all VM network adapters connected to a valid source network and click Next.

    You can click Advanced to select a new destination network for each VM network adapter connected to a valid source network.

    You can migrate a virtual machine network to another distributed switch in the same or to another data center or vCenter Server.

  10. On the Ready to complete page, review the details and click Finish.

Results

vCenter Server moves the virtual machine to the new host or storage location.

Event messages appear in the Events tab. The data displayed on the Summary tab shows the status and state throughout the migration. If errors occur during migration, the virtual machines revert to their original states and locations.