Cloning a virtual machine creates a duplicate of the virtual machine with the same configuration and installed software as the original.

Before you begin

About this task

Optionally, you can customize the guest operating system of the clone to change the virtual machine name, network settings, and other properties. This prevents conflicts that can occur if a virtual machine and a clone with identical guest operating system settings are deployed simultaneously.

Procedure

  1. Right-click the virtual machine and select Clone.
  2. Enter a virtual machine name, select a location, and click Next.
  3. Select a host or cluster on which to run the new virtual machine.

    Option

    Action

    Run the virtual machine on a standalone host.

    Select the host and click Next.

    Run the virtual machine in a cluster with DRS automatic placement.

    Select the cluster and click Next.

    Run the virtual machine in a cluster without DRS automatic placement.

    1. Select the cluster and click Next.

    2. Select a host within the cluster and click Next.

  4. Select a resource pool in which to run the virtual machine and click Next.
  5. 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.

    1. Apply a virtual machine storage policy for the virtual machine home files and the virtual disks from the VM storage policy drop-down menu.

      The list shows which datastores are compatible and which are incompatible with the selected virtual machine storage policy.

    2. Select a datastore and click Next.

    Store all virtual machine files in the same datastore cluster.

    1. Apply a virtual machine storage policy for the virtual machine home files and the virtual disks from the VM storage policy drop-down menu.

      The list shows which datastores are compatible and which are incompatible with the selected virtual machine storage policy.

    2. Select a datastore and click Next.

    Store virtual machine configuration files and disk in separate locations.

    1. Click Advanced.

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

    3. Click Next.

  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, but is zeroed out on demand at a later time 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 grow to the maximum capacity allocated to it.

  7. Select a guest operating system customization option.

    Option

    Description

    Do not customize

    Select Do not customize and click Next.

    Does not customize any of the guest operating system settings. All settings remain identical to those of the source virtual machine.

    Customize using the Customization Wizard

    Opens the Customization Wizard so that you can select customization options for the guest operating system.

    Select this option and click Next to launch the Customization Wizard.

    Customize using an existing customization specification

    Uses the settings in a saved customization specification to customize the guest operating system.

    1. Select Customize using an existing customization specification.

    2. Select the customization specification that you want to use.

    3. Select Use the Customization Wizard to temporarily adjust the specification before deployment if you want to make changes to the specification for this deployment only.

    4. Click Next.

  8. Review your selections and select whether to power on the virtual machine or edit virtual machine settings.

    Option

    Action

    Power on this virtual machine after creation.

    Select this option and click Finish.

    The virtual machine powers on after the deployment task completes.

    Edit virtual hardware.

    1. Select this option and click Continue.

    2. Make any changes and click OK.

Results

The cloned virtual machine is deployed. You cannot use or edit the virtual machine until the cloning is complete. This might take several minutes if the cloning involves creating a virtual disk. You can cancel the cloning at any point before the customization stage.