Systems Engineering and RDBMS

VMWare ESX Server – Cloning

Posted by decipherinfosys on June 16, 2009

In one of our previous post, “VMWare ESX Server – Virtual machine templates“,  we had discussed the different options on creating templates.  In this post, we will cover cloning.

Cloning is an alternate method of easily deploying a virtual machine. Cloning creates an exact copy of the virtual machine. It is also possible to clone a template. There are different types of cloning options available with VMWare Converter Enterprise or VCE. VMWare Converter Enterprise is a windows application and comes with Virtual Center Server.  Here are the different options:

Cold cloning (or) offline cloning – This is the simplest form of cloning. As the name implies, the source virtual machine need to be powered off before cloned. The system to be cloned is booted with the standalone version of VCE CD. Once the user selects the destination and starts the migration, VCE creates destination virtual machine by copying the volumes from source. It also allows customizing destination OS parameter such as IP address.

Hot cloning – This cloning can be done while the source virtual machine is powered on. Using the converter plug-in VI client, the whole process can be automated without user intervention.

Cloning can be further classified into ‘Remote cloning’ and ‘Local cloning’ based on how the cloning is initiated. If the cloning is done using the converter plug-in on VI client by installing remote agent on the source virtual machine, it is called ‘Remote cloning’. If the cloning is done using the stand alone version of VCE CD, it is called ‘Local cloning’.

More information about VMWare cloning can be found at the following VMWare site:

There are some good resource management features available with VMWare that allows to effectively utilizing the CPU and memory of ESX physical host. We will discuss about them in the next post in the VMWare category.

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