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I have Zipped a virtual machine and it seems like there should be a better way to store my base copy. Looking for the best way to manage my VMware base images.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Feb 18 '10 at 12:29

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This belongs on Server Fault, you'll more likely get an answer there. –  F.Aquino Feb 18 '10 at 12:20
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In a recent edition (I believe ESX 4.0) you can create your templates with the disks thin-provisioned, so they only take up as much space as is used. Set up that way, any of the zip options should work OK.

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I prefer using 7zip, just because it's usually a little better with compression than Zip is. 7Zip is free and the Windows version (you didn't mention the host OS?) has a nice GUI for creating the archive plus optionally turning it into a self-extracting executable.

Depending on the base image and resources available, an external firewire drive is great for storing images, and if it's something that's important (i.e., my business relies on these not flying into the bit bucket in the sky) then purchasing 2 firewire drives and copying it to both as a backup is a good idea.

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If you've got multiple images, with similar OS installations, look at something which implements block level dedupe, as that will mean you're not using space to store multiple copies of common OS and application files. e.g. latest ZFS, NetApp etc. I'm afraid these are all fairly high end systems though.

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