Thursday, December 9, 2010

Things you should know about Import and Export in Hyper-V

If you want to move your VM from Hyper-V server 1 to Hyper-V server 2 and they are not member of a cluster, the most simple way is to Export and Import the VMs.

Let`s look at the Export first.

1)      Power off your VM
2)      Export the VM to the destination folder
3)      The export folder gets VMs configuration, saved state folder and files, vhd`s,  avhd`s (snapshots), and the .exp files. Yes, everything is included.

Importing a VM:

After generating the VM export files (.exp) you are able to import the exported VM to Hyper-V again.
What should you do when you are importing a VM ?
If this is a ‘restore’ you can choose to reuse the ID of the VM. If this is a copy, you generate a new VM ID. Hyper-V uses a VM ID to uniquely identify a VM.

You also have the option to Copy on Import with a VM, which gives you the opportunity to create a ‘master’ VM, so that you can import the VM multiple times from a shared folder.

(Remember to enable Full Access for both the User account you`re using, and the Computer account for the Hyper-V servers on the network share created for the export/import)

Bonus: Exporting a VM Snapshot:

One great feature that I have used from time to time is to export  a snapshot of a VM, and import it as a new VM.

You still need to power off your running VM before exporting the snapshot. Hyper-V merges the snapshots into a new .vhd. So you get a new VM with no snapshots (the main reason for me doing this)

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