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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Creating snapshots in a different location than default virtual machine directory for VMware ESX and VMware ESXi (1002929)

Details

In ESX/ESXi 3.x and 4.x, all files comprising snapshots are created in the virtual machine's working directory. By default, the working directory is the same directory as the virtual machine's (.vmx) configuration file. Thus, if the virtual disk (.vmdk) file is located on different datastore than the virtual machine itself, virtual disk redolog (-delta.vmdk or -sesparse.vmdk) files are created alongside the virtual machine's (.vmx) configuration file instead of beside the virtual disk (.vmdk) file.

In ESXi 5.x, virtual disk redolog (-delta.vmdk) files for snapshots are placed in the same directory as the parent virtual disk (.vmdk) file.

You may want to change the location (new directory on the same or alternative datastore) where virtual disk redolog (-delta.vmdk) files are created, in order to:
  • Create snapshots but do not have enough space on the VMFS volume.
  • Power on a virtual machine when there is not enough space to create a swap file on the VMFS volume.
This article describes a method to change the default virtual machine working directory location used for snapshots on ESX/ESXi 3.x and above.

Solution

To change the default virtual machine working directory location for snapshots (to a new directory on the same or alternative datastore):

ESX/ESXi 4.1 and below

  1. Power off the virtual machine.
  2. Open the virtual machine's .vmx configuration file in a text editor. For more information, see Tips for editing a .vmx file (1714).
  3. Add a line to the .vmx configuration file for the virtual machine, specifying a full path to the directory on a datastore for the workingDiroption:

    workingDir = "new_path_location"

    Example:

    workingDir = "/vmfs/volumes/46f1225f-552b0069-e03b-00145e808070/vm-snapshots"

    This ensures that subsequently created snapshots cause new virtual disk redolog (-delta.vmdk) files to be created in the defined directory. In this example, the redolog files are created in the vm-snapshots directory.
  4. When a virtual machine is powered on for the first time, a new swap file is created in the working directory of the virtual machine. By default, the virtual machine writes the swap file in the same directory as the.vmx configuration file. If you would like to change this location, add the new location to this line in the.vmx file:

    sched.swap.dir = "path_to_vm_directory"
    Note: This step is optional. Adding the new file location ensures the swap file is created in the working directory.
  5. Save the changes and close the virtual machine's .vmx configuration file.
  6. Reload the virtual machine configuration by unregistering and re-registering it in the inventory. For more information, see Registering or adding a virtual machine to the inventory (1006160).
  7. Power on the virtual machine.

ESXi 5.0 and above

  1. Power off the virtual machine.
  2. Open the virtual machine's .vmx configuration file in a text editor. For more information, see Tips for editing a .vmx file (1714).
  3. Add these lines to the .vmx configuration file for the virtual machine, specifying a full path to the directory on a datastore for theworkingDir option:

    workingDir = "new_path_location"
    snapshot.redoNotWithParent = "true"
    Example:

    workingDir = "/vmfs/volumes/46f1225f-552b0069-e03b-00145e808070/vm-snapshots"
    snapshot.redoNotWithParent = "true"

    This ensures that subsequently created snapshots cause new virtual disk redolog (-delta.vmdk) files to be created in the defined directory. In this example, the redolog files are created in the vm-snapshots directory.
    Note: In ESXi 5.5, if the virtual disk is larger than 2TB in size, the redolog files will be -sesparse.vmdk format rather than -delta.vmdk.
  4. When a virtual machine is powered on and the memory allocated to the VM is greater than the memory reserved for it, a new swap file is created in the working directory of the virtual machine. By default, the virtual machine writes the swap file in the same directory as the.vmx configuration file. If you would like to change this location, add the new location to this line in the.vmx file:

    sched.swap.dir = "new_path_location"
    Note: This step is optional. Adding the new file location ensures the swap file is created in the chosen directory. You might want to do this to keep the swap file with the virtual disk files, for example, or in a separate path from the original VM folder.
  5. Save the changes and close the virtual machine's .vmx configuration file.
  6. Reload the virtual machine configuration by unregistering and re-registering it in the inventory. For more information, see Registering or adding a virtual machine to the inventory (1006160).
  7. Power on the virtual machine.
Note: 
Source:-
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1002929&src=vmw_so_vex_ragga_1012