I shut off the VM, then use the VSphere server to copy the directory directly to another network share using the datastore browser. From memory I think it's in the resources tab, storage...it's where you can see the size of your data store. You should be able to right click and find the browse function from there.
Once you put it on the other machine you should be able to add the machines from there, pointing to the machine directories.
It does take quite awhile to do and there are pay-for utilities to make it easier, but this poor-man's workaround has worked "well enough" for our needs. I use it periodically over the weekend to make copies of certain servers to a file repository and then 7-zip the directories for storage, then if something happens I should be able to decompress them and upload them back to the VMWare server.