[INFO] vCloud Director Clone Wars Update

This is a short update to the past articles on the vCloud Director Cloning process I wrote about a month or so back.  In a recent email exchange with Massimo Re Ferre’ it came to light that there is in fact a fast copy process that is invoked in vCloud DIrector PROVIDED all conditions are met.  If these conditions are met then vCloud Director will in fact do a Virtual Machine “Clone” from one vCenter Server to another.  The conditions that must be met are:

  1. The optimization is explicitly enabled in the database (Enabled by Default)
  2. The major versions of source and target VC match
  3. The datastore is found on both VCs and Clusters
  4. The source VM does not span datastores
  5. All VM’s disks have a the same thin provision setting on both OVDCs
  6. The VM is not a linked clone and does not have snapshots

Now where this will not work quickly is really for item #3.  In many cases vSphere Design best practices will have most folks NOT span vCenters or clusters for that matter to see the same storage.  In fact in Part 3 of my series, We discussed the very thing that you could have templates on a combined datasotre so VAAI would be used.  In fact, if that is the case then you could also take advantage of the fast copy process.

This works for vCenters in a single site or even a stretched cluster for that matter, however two separate sites with completely separate vCenters and clusters will still see the export/import using network copy as I originally detailed.  In a sense my initial findings were still accurate, except I was using different vSphere versions so I would never see the fast copy.  I also had no shared storage presented between the two vCenters as my goal was to simulate two separate sites under a single vCloud Director instance.  So the design consideration remains the same that you could look at a completely shared set of storage for templates in order to take advantage of both VAAI and vCloud Director fast copy process.  This process was actually not something I was aware of until today, and is just something else to consider when architecting your vCloud Director deployment.  I know Massimo is using this information for a follow on set of documentation around multi-site deployments.

About Chris Colotti

Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.

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