21 April 2014 Karim Elatov

I decided to install ESXi on MacMini 6,2 (Late 2012). I am definitely not the first one to try this. Check out some notes on other people trying this out:

Create a Bootable USB Drive with ESXi 5.5

From the above links we can see that disabling Interrupt Remapping is necessary (esxcli system settings kernel list -o iovDisableIR) or else we will run into a Purple Screen during the install and during boot. Luckily there is already a prebuilt ISO which has the correct settings configured. The download is available from here. After you have downloaded the ISO, you should have the following file:

[email protected]:~$ls -lh downloads/ESXi-5.5u1-MacMini-6-2.iso
-rw-rw-r-- 1 elatov elatov 329M Apr  3 19:10 downloads/ESXi-5.5u1-MacMini-6-2.iso

Instructions on how to make a bootable USB Disk from a VMware Installer ISO are laid out in: Format a USB Flash Drive to Boot the ESXi Installation or Upgrade. The instructions are as follows:

  1. Create a partition table on the USB flash device.

    /sbin/fdisk /dev/sdb
    
    1. Type d to delete partitions until they are all deleted.
    2. Type n to create primary partition 1 that extends over the entire disk.
    3. Type t to set the type to an appropriate setting for the FAT32 file system, such as c.
    4. Type a to set the active flag on partition 1.
    5. Type p to print the partition table. The result should be similar to the following text:

       Disk /dev/sdb: 2004 MB, 2004877312 bytes
       255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 243 cylinders
       Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
       /dev/sdb1   *           1         243     1951866    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)
      
    6. Type w to write the partition table and quit.
  2. Format the USB flash drive with the Fat32 file system.

    /sbin/mkfs.vfat -F 32 -n USB /dev/sdb1
    
  3. Run the following commands.

    /path_to_syslinux-3.86_directory/syslinux-3.86/bin/syslinux /dev/sdb1
    cat /path_to_syslinux-3.86_directory/syslinux-3.86/usr/share/syslinux/mbr.bin > /dev/sdb
    
  4. Mount the USB flash drive.

    mount /dev/sdb1 /usbdisk
    
  5. Mount the ESXi installer ISO image.

    mount -o loop VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.x.x-XXXXXX.x86_64.iso /esxi_cdrom
    
  6. Copy the contents of the ISO image to /usbdisk.

    cp -r /esxi_cdrom/* /usbdisk
    
  7. Rename the isolinux.cfg file to syslinux.cfg.

    mv /usbdisk/isolinux.cfg /usbdisk/syslinux.cfg
    
  8. In the file /usbdisk/syslinux.cfg, change the line APPEND -c boot.cfg to APPEND -c boot.cfg -p 1.

  9. Unmount the USB flash drive.

    umount /usbdisk
    
  10. Unmount the installer ISO image.

    umount /esxi_cdrom
    

I plugged in my USB drive on my fedora box and I saw the following in the logs:

[email protected]:~$ dmesg | tail
[344963.649354] usb-storage 2-2:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
[344963.656236] scsi7 : usb-storage 2-2:1.0
[344964.660238] scsi 7:0:0:0: Direct-Access     SanDisk                   1.26 PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
[344964.663088] sd 7:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0
[344964.667184] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] 15633408 512-byte logical blocks: (8.00 GB/7.45 GiB)
[344964.668689] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
[344964.668693] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Mode Sense: 43 00 00 00
[344964.669697] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Write cache: disabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA
[344964.680956]  sdb: sdb1
[344964.684574] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI removable disk

We can see that our drive is /dev/sdb. Now let’s go ahead and create a FA32 partition on the USB disk:

[email protected]:~$sudo fdisk /dev/sdb

Welcome to fdisk (util-linux 2.24.1).
Changes will remain in memory only, until you decide to write them.
Be careful before using the write command.

Device does not contain a recognized partition table.

Created a new DOS disklabel with disk identifier 0x504de632.

Command (m for help): n

Partition type:
   p   primary (0 primary, 0 extended, 4 free)
   e   extended
Select (default p): p
Partition number (1-4, default 1):
First sector (2048-15633407, default 2048):
Last sector, +sectors or +size{K,M,G,T,P} (2048-15633407, default 15633407):

Created a new partition 1 of type 'Linux' and of size 7.5 GiB.

Command (m for help): t
Selected partition 1
Hex code (type L to list all codes): c
If you have created or modified any DOS 6.x partitions, please see the fdisk documentation for additional information.
Changed type of partition 'Linux' to 'W95 FAT32 (LBA)'.

Command (m for help): a
Selected partition 1
The bootable flag on partition 1 is enabled now.

Command (m for help): p
Disk /dev/sdb: 7.5 GiB, 8004304896 bytes, 15633408 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x504de632

Device    Boot Start       End  Blocks  Id System
/dev/sdb1 *     2048  15633407 7815680   c W95 FAT32 (LBA)

Command (m for help): w

The partition table has been altered.
Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table.
Syncing disks.

Now let’s actually format our partition as a FAT32 filesystem:

[email protected]:~$sudo mkfs.vfat -F 32 -n USB /dev/sdb1
mkfs.fat 3.0.26 (2014-03-07)

Now let’s put a bootloader on there:

[email protected]:~$sudo syslinux /dev/sdb1

Lastly let’s but an MBR on there as well:

[email protected]:~$sudo dd if=/usr/share/syslinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sdb bs=4k
0+1 records in
0+1 records out
440 bytes (440 B) copied, 0.0141524 s, 31.1 kB/s

Now let’s mount the USB disk:

[email protected]:~$sudo mount /dev/sdc1 /mnt/usb
[email protected]:~$df -hT -t vfat
Filesystem     Type  Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdb1      vfat  7.5G   36K  7.5G   1% /mnt/usb

Next let’s mount the ISO:

[email protected]:~$sudo mount -o loop downloads/ESXi-5.5u1-MacMini-6-2.iso /mnt/iso
mount: /dev/loop0 is write-protected, mounting read-only

And now let’s copy the install files to the USB disk:

[email protected]:~$sudo rsync -avzP /mnt/iso/. /mnt/usb/.
..
...
sent 337,011,106 bytes  received 2,057 bytes  4,919,900.19 bytes/sec
total size is 343,461,997  speedup is 1.02

And the last thing is to copy the syslinux.cfg file:

[email protected]:~$sudo mv /mnt/usb/isolinux.cfg /mnt/usb/syslinux.cfg

Now the USB Disk is ready, so let’s go ahead and un-mount the USB and the ISO:

[email protected]:~$sudo umount /mnt/iso
[email protected]:~$sudo umount /mnt/usb
[email protected]:~$sudo sync

Now eject the USB disk and plug into the Mac Mini

Creating Bootable USB disk with Unebootin

Other people have used the Unebootin utility with success as well. If you don’t want to copy the files manually and install the boot loader manually you can use Unebootin. After you have created the FAT32 partition and mounted it on the system, then go ahead and install the necessary package:

[email protected]:~$sudo yum install unetbootin

Then run the following to start the install:

[email protected]:~$sudo unetbootin method=diskimage isofile="downloads/ESXi-5.5u1-MacMini-6-2.iso"  installtype=USB targetdrive=/dev/sdb1

After you type that you will see a UI pop up, click install and you should see the following:

installing unetbootin ESXi on MacMini 6,2

You can see it takes care of most of the setup. After it’s finished you will see the following:

unetbootin finished ESXi on MacMini 6,2

You don’t have reboot, just click exit and eject the USB disk.

Installing ESXi on the MacMini

After you have plugged in the USB drive into the Mac Mini, power it on and as soon as you hear the boot chime click and hold the Alt/Option button until you see the boot selection screen:

mac mini boot screen 1024x577 ESXi on MacMini 6,2

Select the “EFI Boot” option and the installer will start:

esxi installer started 1024x305 ESXi on MacMini 6,2

It will ask you which drive to install ESXi, I chose the local SSD drive:

esxi select disk g 1024x513 ESXi on MacMini 6,2

After that the installer will start:

esxi installing g 1024x261 ESXi on MacMini 6,2

And after the install is successful, you should see the following:

esxi installed g 1024x517 ESXi on MacMini 6,2

Click Enter to reboot and after it reboots you should see the default ESXi console:

esxi reboot loca gl 720x1024 ESXi on MacMini 6,2

Now your ESXi host is ready.

Confirm ESXi Settings on Mac Mini

First let’s make sure Interrupt Remapping is disabled, since so many people ran into any issue with that:

~ # esxcli system settings kernel list -o iovDisableIR
Name          Type  Description                              Configured  Runtime  Default
------------  ----  ---------------------------------------  ----------  -------  -------
iovDisableIR  Bool  Disable Interrrupt Routing in the IOMMU  true        TRUE     FALSE

That looks good, now let’s sure Hyper-Threading is enabled, we should see 8 CPUs:

~ # esxcli hardware cpu list | grep ^CPU
CPU:0
CPU:1
CPU:2
CPU:3
CPU:4
CPU:5
CPU:6
CPU:7

While we are here let’s confirm we have the full 16GB of RAM:

~ # esxcli hardware memory get
   Physical Memory: 17081536512 Bytes
   Reliable Memory: 0 Bytes
   NUMA Node Count: 1

And let’s make sure we are running on the Mac Mini:

~ # esxcli hardware platform get
Platform Information
   UUID: 0xf9 0x55 0x7 0x8b 0x4f 0xf2 0x58 0x55 0x98 0x36 0xc 0x74 0x1a 0x9e 0x82 0xc3
   Product Name: Macmini6,2
   Vendor Name: Apple Inc.
   Serial Number: XXXXXX
   IPMI Supported: false

We can also check out the SSD drive:

~ # esxcli storage core device list
t10.ATA_____APPLE_SSD_SM256E____S1AANYNF302924______
   Display Name: Local ATA Disk (t10.ATA____APPLE_SSD_SM256E_____S1AANYNF302924____)
   Has Settable Display Name: true
   Size: 239372
   Device Type: Direct-Access
   Multipath Plugin: NMP
   Devfs Path: /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.ATA__APPLE_SSD_SM256E_S1AANYNF302924____
   Vendor: ATA
   Model: APPLE SSD SM256E
   Revision: DXM0
   SCSI Level: 5
   Is Pseudo: false
   Status: on
   Is RDM Capable: false
   Is Local: true
   Is Removable: false
   Is SSD: true
   Is Offline: false
   Is Perennially Reserved: false
   Queue Full Sample Size: 0
   Queue Full Threshold: 0
   Thin Provisioning Status: yes
   Attached Filters:
   VAAI Status: unknown
   Other UIDs: vml.0100000000533141414e594e463330323932342020202020204150504c4520
   Is Local SAS Device: false
   Is Boot USB Device: false
   No of outstanding IOs with competing worlds: 32

Enable the Thunderbolt Ethernet Adapter

The instructions for that are laid out here. First download the custom VIB:

[email protected]:~$wget https://s3.amazonaws.com/virtuallyghetto-download/vghetto-apple-thunderbolder-ethernet.vib

Then copy the VIB to the host:

[email protected]:~$scp vghetto-apple-thunderbolder-ethernet.vib [email protected]:/vmfs/volumes/datastore1/.

Lastly SSH over to the host and install the VIB. Initially I got the following error:

~ # esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/vghetto-apple-thunde
rbolder-ethernet.vib
 [DependencyError]
 VIB virtuallyGhetto_bootbank_vghetto-apple-thunderbolt-ethernet_5.5.0-0.0.1's acceptance level is community, which is not compliant with the ImageProfile acceptance level partner
 To change the host acceptance level, use the 'esxcli software acceptance set' command.
 Please refer to the log file for more details.

Let’s fix the Acceptance level:

~ # esxcli software acceptance set --level=CommunitySupported
Host acceptance level changed to 'CommunitySupported'.

Then install the VIB:

~ # esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/vghetto-apple-thunde
rbolder-ethernet.vib
Installation Result
   Message: Operation finished successfully.
   Reboot Required: false
   VIBs Installed: virtuallyGhetto_bootbank_vghetto-apple-thunderbolt-ethernet_5.5.0-0.0.1
   VIBs Removed:
   VIBs Skipped:

Then after a restart, you should see two network adapters:

~ # esxcli network nic list
Name    PCI Device     Driver  Link  Speed  Duplex  MAC Address         MTU  Description
------  -------------  ------  ----  -----  ------  -----------------  ----  -------------------------------------------------------------
vmnic0  0000:001:00.0  tg3     Up     1000  Full    68:5b:35:c9:96:10  1500  Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM57766 Gigabit Ethernet
vmnic1  0000:009:00.0  tg3     Up     1000  Full    68:5b:35:91:47:85  1500  Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM57762 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe

Configure iSCSI Initiator

I was running an iSCSI target on my OmniOS (I covered the setup iSCSI Storage Setup with ESXCLI. Let’s enable the initiator and confirm it’s on:

~ # esxcli iscsi software set -e true
Software iSCSI Enabled
~ # esxcli iscsi software get
true

Now let’s figure out which vmhba was assigned for the iSCSI initiator:

~ # esxcli iscsi adapter list
Adapter  Driver     State   UID            Description
-------  ---------  ------  -------------  ----------------------
vmhba37  iscsi_vmk  online  iscsi.vmhba37  iSCSI Software Adapter

It looks like it’s vmhba37. Now let’s bind our vmk1 to it (I created one for the storage connection)

~ # esxcli iscsi networkportal add -n vmk1 -A vmhba37
~ # esxcli iscsi networkportal list
vmhba37
   Adapter: vmhba37
   Vmknic: vmk1

Now let’s add our iSCSI target:

~ # esxcli iscsi adapter discovery sendtarget add -A vmhba37 -a 192.168.1.101:3260

If necessary grab the IQN of the iSCSI initiator:

~ # esxcli iscsi adapter get -A vmhba37
vmhba37
   Name: iqn.1998-01.com.vmware:macm-38de6805
   Alias:
   Vendor: VMware
   Model: iSCSI Software Adapter
   Description: iSCSI Software Adapter

Now let’s check out our ZFS server and make sure we are allowed to connect. After you SSH to the machine, check out your LUNs:

[email protected]:~#sbdadm list-lu
Found 2 LU(s)

              GUID       DATA SIZE           SOURCE
----------------------  -------------------  ----------------
600144f0876a9c47000052  322122547200         /dev/zvol/rdsk/data/m2
600144f0876a9c47000052  214748364800         /dev/zvol/rdsk/other/backups

Now let’s check out the view for the desired LUN:

[email protected]:~#stmfadm list-view -l 600144f0876a9c47000052
View Entry: 0
    Host group   : All
    Target group : tg1
    LUN          : 7

We can see that All Host groups are allowed to connect to that LUN. If had an explicit host group defined, we would’ve had to add our IQN to it (but we didn’t have to do that). Now that we confirmed that we can connect to the iSCSI target, let’s discover the LUNs and rescan our datastores:

~ # esxcli iscsi adapter discovery rediscover -A vmhba37
Rediscovery started
~ # esxcli storage core adapter rescan --adapter=vmhba37

In the logs we should see similar messages to these:

~ # tail -7 /var/log/vmkernel.log
2014-04-05T00:38:06.284Z cpu5:219519)iscsi_vmk: iscsivmk_ConnNetRegister: socket 0x41096b6bef60 network resource pool netsched.pools.persist.iscsi associated
2014-04-05T00:38:06.284Z cpu5:219519)iscsi_vmk: iscsivmk_ConnNetRegister: socket 0x41096b6bef60 network tracker id 168 tracker.iSCSI.192.168.1.101 associated
2014-04-05T00:38:06.789Z cpu5:219519)WARNING: iscsi_vmk: iscsivmk_StartConnection: vmhba37:CH:0 T:0 CN:0: iSCSI connection is being marked "ONLINE"
2014-04-05T00:38:06.789Z cpu5:219519)WARNING: iscsi_vmk: iscsivmk_StartConnection: Sess [ISID: 00023d000001 TARGET: iqn.2010-09.org.napp-it:1387343318 TPGT: 1 TSIH: 0]
2014-04-05T00:38:06.789Z cpu5:219519)WARNING: iscsi_vmk: iscsivmk_StartConnection: Conn [CID: 0 L: 192.168.1.109:57860 R: 192.168.1.101:3260]

Now checking out our devices, we should see the following:

~ # esxcfg-scsidevs -c | grep SUN
naa.600144     Direct-Access    /vmfs/devices/disks/naa.600144  307200MB  NMP     SUN iSCSI Disk (naa.600144)

Now checking the specifics of the device:

~ # esxcli storage core device list -d naa.600144f08
naa.600144f08
   Display Name: SUN iSCSI Disk (naa.600144f08)
   Has Settable Display Name: true
   Size: 204800
   Device Type: Direct-Access
   Multipath Plugin: NMP
   Devfs Path: /vmfs/devices/disks/naa.600144f08
   Vendor: SUN
   Model: COMSTAR
   Revision: 1.0
   SCSI Level: 5
   Is Pseudo: false
   Status: degraded
   Is RDM Capable: true
   Is Local: false
   Is Removable: false
   Is SSD: false
   Is Offline: false
   Is Perennially Reserved: false
   Queue Full Sample Size: 0
   Queue Full Threshold: 0
   Thin Provisioning Status: yes
   Attached Filters:
   VAAI Status: unknown
   Other UIDs: vml.0200000000600144f08
   Is Local SAS Device: false
   Is Boot USB Device: false
   No of outstanding IOs with competing worlds: 32

This volume already had VMFS on it, show we should see it mounted:

~ # esxcli storage filesystem list | grep VMFS
/vmfs/volumes/520-731-c1cc-0100  M2   520-731-c1cc-0100     true  VMFS-5  321854111744  106085482496

Now let’s migrate some VMs to the Mac Mini.

Options to copy a VM without vCenter

I didn’t have a vCenter running so I had to do some manual steps. There are a couple of ways of doing this:

  • You can use VMware Converter, here is a pretty cool video on the process
  • You can use vmkfstools and cp, like Jarret described here:

  • Some people have also used Veeam Fast Copy, as described here:
  • Another cool one, that I wanted to try was using ovftool, that process is described here.

Migrate VM with ovftool

If you want you can follow the instructions laid out here to copy the binary to the ESXi host and run it from there. If you have vmware-ovftool installed on your Linux machine, just run the following to copy the binary:

[email protected]:~$scp -r /usr/lib/vmware-ovftool [email protected]:/vmfs/volumes/datastore1/.

Then modify the script (/vmfs/volumes/datastore1/vmware-ovftool/ovftool) to use /bin/sh instead of /bin/bash:

~ # head -1 /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/vmware-ovftool/ovftool
#!/bin/sh

Then you can do the rest with the command. I already had vmware-ovftool installed on my Linux machine, so I just ran it from there. First determine which VM you want to tranfer:

[email protected]:~$ovftool vi://[email protected]/
Accept SSL fingerprint (72:14:A0:55:65:99:C8:21:0F:60:FA:DB:87:1E:B1:7B:A2:19:DA:50) for host esx as source type.
Fingerprint will be added to the known host file
Write 'yes' or 'no'
yes
Enter login information for source vi://esx/
Username: root
Password: ********
Error: Found wrong kind of object (ResourcePool). Possible completions are:
  Kerch
  Moxz

Then run the following to do the transfer, initially I ran into the following error:

[email protected]:~$ovftool -ds=datastore1 vi://[email protected]/Kerch vi://[email protected]
Enter login information for source vi://esx/
Username: root
Password: ********
Opening VI source: vi://[email protected]:443/Kerch
Accept SSL fingerprint (1C:3A:31:99:06:8C:57:6F:A5:49:AF:8D:9B:A6:D9:00:76:3D:63:44) for host macm as target type.
Fingerprint will be added to the known host file
Write 'yes' or 'no'
yes
Enter login information for target vi://macm/
Username: root
Password: ********
Opening VI target: vi://[email protected]:443/
Error: No network mapping specified. OVF networks:   Mgmt_Net. Target networks:   VM Network  VM_Net_VLAN_1
Completed with errors

I had to create the Virtual Port Group on the Destination host before starting the transfer. So after fixing that, it ran without issues:

[email protected]:~$ovftool -ds=datastore1 vi://[email protected]/Kerch vi://[email protected]
Enter login information for source vi://esx/
Username: root
Password: ********
Opening VI source: vi://[email protected]:443/Kerch
Enter login information for target vi://macm/
Username: root
Password: ********
Opening VI target: vi://[email protected]:443/
Deploying to VI: vi://[email protected]:443/
Progress: 3%

The process was a little slow. After it was done, it showed the following:

Transfer Completed
Completed successfully

Here is an example of a 15GB VM:

[email protected]:~$time ovftool -ds=datastore1 vi://[email protected]/Moxz vi://[email protected]
Enter login information for source vi://esx/
Username: root
Password: ***************
Opening VI source: vi://[email protected]:443/Moxz
Enter login information for target vi://macm/
Username: root
Password: ***********
Opening VI target: vi://[email protected]:443/
Deploying to VI: vi://[email protected]:443/
Transfer Completed
Completed successfully

real    10m41.248s
user    5m27.957s
sys     0m51.681s

So it took about 15 minutes. Checking out esxtop, I saw that it was transferring at about 100Mb/s:

esxtop nfc copy ESXi on MacMini 6,2

I found a couple of links that talked about NFC (which is used for the transfer) and they talked about NFC (in converter) having slowed down because of enabling SSL:

I wanted to figure out how to disable SSL on hostd or ovftool, but never had a chance. I think if we disable NFC SSL for hostd we should get better speeds. I am guessing something with the following settings:

~ # grep nfc /etc/vmware/config
authd.proxy.nfc = "vmware-hostd:ha-nfc"
authd.proxy.nfcssl = "vmware-hostd:ha-nfcssl"
authd.proxy.vpxa-nfcssl = "vmware-vpxa:vpxa-nfcssl"
authd.proxy.vpxa-nfc = "vmware-vpxa:vpxa-nfc"

or these:

 # grep nfc /etc/vmware/hostd/config.xml
      <!-- The nfc service -->
      <nfcsvc>
         <path>libnfcsvc.so</path>
      </nfcsvc>
      <httpnfcsvc>
         <path>libhttpnfcsvc.so</path>
      </httpnfcsvc>

I only had 3 VMs to migrate, so I didn’t spend too much time with figuring out how to disable SSL with NFC for hostd.

Even though it was slow, it was very easy and it worked without any issues. Next I decided to use PowerCLI to transfer another VM.

Migrate VM with PowerCLI

There are a lot of cool cmdlets (like Set-HardDisk) that can help. Here are examples of each:

Unfortunately all of those required vCenter to work. So I decided to copy the hard disk. So let’s get started. Here is the version of PowerCLI that I downloaded:

powercli ESXi on MacMini 6,2

After installing PowerCLI and launching it, I saw the following warning:

powercli warning policy ESXi on MacMini 6,2

I then ran the following to set the appropriate Policy:

PS C:\> Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
Execution Policy Change
The execution policy helps protect you from scripts that you do not trust.
Changing the execution policy might expose you to the security risks described
in the about_Execution_Policies help topic. Do you want to change the execution
 policy?
[Y] Yes  [N] No  [S] Suspend  [?] Help (default is "Y"):

Then after relaunching PowerCli and you will see the following:

powercli started ESXi on MacMini 6,2

Now let’s connect to our original ESXi host:

PowerCLI C:\> Connect-VIServer esx -User root
Name                           Port  User
----                           ----  ----
esx                            443   root

Now let’s list our VMs:

PowerCLI C:\> get-vm

Name                 PowerState Num CPUs MemoryGB
----                 ---------- -------- --------
M2                   PoweredOn  1        3.000
Moxz                 PoweredOn  1        2.000
Kerch                PoweredOn  1        1.000

And now let’s get the Datastores

PowerCLI C:\> Get-Datastore

Name                               FreeSpaceGB      CapacityGB
----                               -----------      ----------
VMs                                    435.369         555.750
M2                                      98.801         299.750
datastore1                              61.051          62.000
backups                                159.043         199.750

Now to get a sense of VMDK usage

PowerCLI C:\> foreach ($VM in get-vm){$VM | get-HardDisk}

CapacityGB      Persistence                                            Filename
----------      -----------                                            --------
20.000          Persistent                                     [VMs] M2/M2.vmdk
200.000         Persistent                                    [M2] M2/M2_1.vmdk
15.000          Persistent                                 [VMs] Moxz/Moxz.vmdk
16.000          Persistent                               [VMs] Kerch/Kerch.vmdk

I am planning on moving the M2 machine to the M2 datastore. So the VM we are moving (M2) has two hard-disks, one is already on M2 and the first one is on the VMs datastore and it’s only 20GB (we have 90GB free on the M2 datastore, so we are okay to do the move. So let’s move the M2 VM to the M2 datastore. First shutdown the VM (if it has vmware-tools installed, else shut it down through the OS):

PowerCLI C:\> Get-VM M2 | Shutdown-VMGuest

Perform operation?
Performing operation "Shutdown VM guest." on VM "M2".
[Y] Yes  [A] Yes to All  [N] No  [L] No to All  [S] Suspend  [?] Help
(default is "Y"):y

State          IPAddress            OSFullName
-----          ---------            ----------
ShuttingDown   {192.168.1.100}      Linux 3.13.7-200.fc20.x86_64 Fedora rele...

Then copy the harddisk

PowerCLI C:\> Copy-HardDisk -HardDisk (Get-HardDisk -vm M2  | Where {$_.Name -eq "Hard disk 1"}) -DestinationPath "[M2] M2"

CapacityGB      Persistence                                            Filename
----------      -----------                                            --------
20.000          Unknown                                         [M2] M2/M2.vmdk

I also checked out esxtop and it was copying fast (in comparison with NFC), we were transferring at 100MB/s (800Mb/s):

copy disk esxtop g ESXi on MacMini 6,2

Next we are going to copy the VMX file. To copy a file, we need to know the datacenter name, here is that:

PowerCLI C:\> Get-Datacenter
Name
----
ha-datacenter

Now let’s go ahead and copy the VMX file:

PowerCLI C:\> Copy-DatastoreItem -Item vmstore:\ha-datacenter\VMs\M2\M2.vmx -Des
tination vmstore:\ha-datacenter\M2\M2\M2.vmx

Now go ahead and remove the VM from the original host’s inventory

PowerCLI C:\> Remove-VM M2

Perform operation?
Performing operation 'Removing VM from inventory.' on VM 'M2'
[Y] Yes  [A] Yes to All  [N] No  [L] No to All  [S] Suspend  [?] Help
(default is "Y"):y

Next let’s disconnect from this host and connect to the mac mini:

PowerCLI C:\> Disconnect-VIServer

Confirm
Are you sure you want to perform this action?
Performing operation "Disconnect VIServer" on Target "User: root, Server: esx,
Port: 443".
[Y] Yes  [A] Yes to All  [N] No  [L] No to All  [S] Suspend  [?] Help
(default is "Y"):y

Now for the re-connect to the new host:

PowerCLI C:\> Connect-VIServer macm
Name                           Port  User
----                           ----  ----
macm                           443   root

Let’s copy the harddisk to the local datastore of the new host:

PowerCLI C:\> Copy-HardDisk -HardDisk (Get-HardDisk -Datastore "M2" -DatastorePath "[M2] M2/" | where {$_.Name -eq "M2.vmdk"}) -DestinationPath "[datastore1] M2
"

CapacityGB      Persistence                                            Filename
----------      -----------                                            --------
20.000          Unknown                                    [datastore1] M2.vmdk

You will see the following when you execute the copy:

powecli copy command ESXi on MacMini 6,2

Also checked out esxtop on the new host and the speeds were similar:

copy disk macm esxtop g 1024x67 ESXi on MacMini 6,2

And let’s go ahead and copy the VMX over:

PowerCLI C:\> Copy-DatastoreItem -Item vmstore:\ha-datacenter\M2\M2\M2.vmx -Dest
ination vmstore:\ha-datacenter\datastore1\M2\M2.vmx

Now let’s add the VM to nee ESXi’s host inventory

PowerCLI C:\> New-VM -VMFilePath "[datastore1] M2/M2.vmx" -VMHost macm

Name                 PowerState Num CPUs MemoryGB
----                 ---------- -------- --------
M2                   PoweredOff 1        3.000

Let’s make sure the disk locations are correct:

PowerCLI C:\> get-vm M2 | Get-HardDisk

CapacityGB      Persistence                                            Filename
----------      -----------                                            --------
20.000          Persistent                              [datastore1] M2/M2.vmdk
200.000         Persistent                                    [M2] M2/M2_1.vmdk

I was surprised to see this automatically pick up the correct locations, but it did :) (I was thinking that I would have to fix the VM settings with other commands).Then go ahead and start the VM:

PowerCLI C:\> Start-VM M2
Start-VM : 4/5/2014 11:42:48 AM    Start-VM        This VM has questions that must be answered before the operation can continue.
At line:1 char:9
+ Start-VM <<<<  M2
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidOperation: (:) [Start-VM], VmBlockedByQuestionException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Client20_VmServiceImpl_WrapInVMQuestionWatchingTask_HasQuestions,VMware.VimAutomation.ViCore.Cmdlets.Commands.StartVM

Since we copied the files (we need to let ESX know whether we moved it or copied it), we can then run the following to answer the question:

PowerCLI C:\> Get-VMQuestion | Set-VMQuestion -Option 'button.uuid.movedTheVM"

And that’s it, the VM is now completely migrated over and it way quicker than the ovftool approach. But I still really like the simplicity of the ovftool.


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