Cloning a virtual machine creates a virtual machine that is a copy of the original. The new virtual machine is configured with the same virtual hardware, installed software, and other properties that were configured for the original virtual machine.

Note:

When heavily loaded applications, such as load generators, are running in the guest operating system during a clone operation, the virtual machine quiesce operation can fail and VMware Tools might be denied CPU resources and time out. It is recommended that you quiesce the virtual machines running lower I/O disk operation.

Prerequisites

If a load generator is running in the virtual machine, stop it before you perform the clone operation.

You must have the following privileges to clone a virtual machine:

  • Virtual machine > Provisioning > Clone virtual machine on the virtual machine you are cloning.

  • Virtual machine > Inventory > Create from existing on the datacenter or virtual machine folder.

  • Virtual machine > Configuration > Add new disk on the datacenter or virtual machine folder.

  • Resource > Assign virtual machine to resource pool on the destination host, cluster, or resource pool.

  • Datastore > Allocate space on the destination datastore or datastore folder.

  • Network > Assign network on the network to which the virtual machine will be assigned.

  • Virtual machine > Provisioning > Customize on the virtual machine or virtual machine folder if you are customizing the guest operating system.

  • Virtual machine > Provisioning > Read customization specifications on the root vCenter Server if you are customizing the guest operating system.

Procedure

  1. Start the Clone Existing Virtual Machine wizard.

    Option

    Description

    Open the Clone Existing Virtual Machine wizard from any object in the inventory

    1. Right-click any inventory object that is a valid parent object of a virtual machine, such as a data center, folder, cluster, resource pool, or host, and select New Virtual Machine.

    2. On the Select a creation type page, select Clone an existing virtual machine and click Next.

    3. On the Select a virtual machine page, select the virtual machine that you want to clone.

    Open the Clone Existing Virtual Machine wizard from a virtual machine

    Right-click a virtual machine and select Clone > Clone to Virtual Machine.

  2. On the Select a name and folder page, enter a unique name for the new virtual machine and select a deployment location.

    The template name determines the name of the files and folder on the disk. For example, if you name the template win8tmp, the template files are named win8tmp.vmdk, win8tmp.nvram, and so on. If you change the template name, the names of the files on the datastore do not change.

    Folders provide a way to store virtual machines and templates for different groups in an organization and you can set permissions on them. If you prefer a flatter hierarchy, you can put all virtual machines and templates in a datacenter and organize them in a different way.

  3. On the Select a compute resource page, select the host, cluster, resource pool, or vApp where the virtual machine will run and click Next.

    The Compatibility pane shows the result from the compatibility checks.

    Important:

    If the virtual machine that you clone has an NVDIMM device and virtual PMem hard disks, the destination host or cluster must have available PMem resource. Otherwise, you cannot proceed with the task.

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

  4. On the Select storage page, select the datastore or datastore cluster in which to store the template configuration files and all of the virtual disks. Click Next.

    Option

    Description

    Clone a virtual machine that has vPMem hard disks

    1. Choose the type of storage for the template by selecting the Standard, the PMem, or the Hybrid radio button.

      If you select the Standard mode, all virtual disks will be stored on a standard datastore.

      If you select the PMem mode, all virtual disks will be stored on the host-local PMem datastore. Configuration files cannot be stored ona 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 will remain stored on a PMem datastore. Non-PMem disks are affected by your choice of a VM storage policy and datastore or datastore cluster.

      For more information about persistent memory and PMem storage, see the vSphere Resource Management guide.

    2. From the Select virtual disk format drop-down menu, select a new virtual disk format for the template or keep the same format as the source virtual machine.

    3. From the VM Storage Policy drop-down menu, select a virtual machine storage policy or leave the default one.

    4. Select a datastore or a datastore cluster.

    5. Select the Disable Storage DRS for this virtual machine check box if you do not want to use storage DRS with the virtual machine.

    6. Turn on the Configure per disk option to select a separate datastore or a datastore cluster for the template configuration file and for each virtual disk.

      Note:

      You can use the Configure per disk option to convert a PMem hard disk to a regular one, but that change might cause performance problems. You can also convert a standard hard disk to a PMem hard disk.

    Clone a virtual machine that does not have vPMem hard disks

    1. Select the disk format for the virtual machine virtual disks.

      Same format as source uses the same disk format as the source virtual machine.

      The Thick Provision Lazy Zeroed format creates a virtual disk in a default thick format. Space required for the virtual disk is allocated when the virtual disk is created. Data remaining on the physical device is not erased during creation, but is zeroed out later, on demand, on first write from the virtual machine.

      Thick Provision Eager Zeroed is a type of thick virtual disk that supports clustering features such as Fault tolerance. Space required for the virtual disk is allocated at creation time. In contrast to the flat format, the data remaining on the physical device is zeroed out when the virtual disk is created. It might take much longer to create disks in this format than to create other types o disks.

      The Thin Provision format saves storage space. 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.

    2. Select a VM storage policy or leave the default one.

    3. Select a datastore or a datastore cluster.

    4. Turn on the Configure per disk option to select a separate datastore or a datastore cluster for the template configuration file and for each virtual disk.

      Note:

      You can use the Configure per disk option to convert a PMem hard disk to a regular one, but that change might cause performance problems. You can also convert a standard hard disk to a PMem hard disk.

    Important:

    You cannot change the storage policy if you clone an encrypted virtual machine. For information about cloning an encrypted virtual machine, see vSphere Security.

  5. On the Select clone options, select additional customization options for the new virtual machine.

    You can choose to customize the guest operating system or the virtual machine hardware. You can also choose to power on the virtual machine after its creation.

  6. (Optional) On the Customize guest OS page, apply a customization specification to the virtual machine.

    Customizing the guest OS prevents from conflicts that might occur if you deploy virtual machines with identical settings, such as duplicate computer names.

    Note:

    To access customization options for Windows guest operating systems, Microsoft Sysprep tools must be installed on the vCenter Server system. The Sysprep Tool is built into the Windows Vista and Windows 2008 and later operating systems. For details about this and other customization requirements, see Guest Operating System Customization Requirements.

    Option

    Description

    Select an existing specification

    Select a customization specification from the list.

    Create a specification

    Click the Create a new specification icon, and complete the steps in the wizard.

    Create a specification from an existing specification

    1. Select a customization specification from the list.

    2. Click the Create a spec from an existing spec icon, and complete the steps in the wizard.

  7. (Optional) On the Customize hardware page, configure the virtual machine hardware and options and click Next.

    You can leave the defaults and configure the virtual machine hardware and options later. For more information, see Configuring Virtual Machine Hardware and Configuring Virtual Machine Options

    Important:

    If you chose to use PMem storage for the virtual machine, its default hard disk, the new hard disks that you configure, and the NVDIMM devices that you add to the virtual machine all share the same PMem resources. So, you must adjust the size of the newly added devices in accordance with the amount of the PMem available to the host. If any part of the configuration requires attention, the wizard alerts you.

  8. On the Ready to complete page, review the virtual machine settings and click Finish.

Results

The new virtual machine appears in the inventory.