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. Open 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 virtual machine configuration files and all of the virtual disks.
    1. 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.

    2. (Optional) Select a storage policy from the VM Storage Policy drop-down menu.

      Storage policies specify storage requirements for applications that run on the virtual machine.

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

      Your selection affects the storage creation process.

      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 profile.

      2. Select a datastore cluster.

      3. If you 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 datastore cluster.

      4. 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, click Browse and select a datastore or datastore cluster.

      3. Apply a virtual machine storage policy from the VM storage profile drop-down menu.

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

      4. If you selected a datastore 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 datastore cluster.

      5. Click Next.

      Store all virtual machine files in the same non-volatile memory disk

      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.

      2. Select a non-volatile memory disk and click Next.

    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.