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.

Before you begin

  • Make sure that you are familiar with the requirements for cold migration. See Cold Migration.

  • 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 Virtual SAN or Virtual Volumes datastores.

  7. 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 not use 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 Advanced.

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

    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.

  8. 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 networks to another distributed switch in the same or to another data center or vCenter Server.

  9. Review the information on the Review Selections page 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.