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I need to copy 650GB-isg from one VM to another both server instances are on a VMware ESX cluster and both run Windows server 2003 x86 (on the same LAN). One server is our file server and the other is where the data will be copied (daily) then dumped to an LTO3 tape or two.

Any ideas? I found some hints searching the site but nothing too close to what we are attempting to do.

TIA, -c

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Is this 650GB of new data every day? Or does most of it stay the same?

Sounds like something DFS-R could easily take care of (FRS in 2003 R1). A single gigabit link could copy that in 2 hours (if your disk array can sustain that).

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The OP says 650GB not 650MB (as 650MB would be trivial). – jftuga Aug 16 '10 at 3:07
@jftuga, if it takes your disks 2 hours to copy 650MB you've got something seriously wrong with your server(s). Excuse the typo. – Chris S Aug 16 '10 at 3:26
yes, there would be new and/or changed data every day. I don't know that DFS-R would allow us to copy files back to the source if a user needed it. So fastcopy, richcopy, robocopy, terracopy, or handybackup? with these I can run a copy then have backup exec dump the folder to tape. hmm... – Clinton Riggs Aug 16 '10 at 6:52
@Clinton, Why wouldn't you be able to copy a file?? What do you think any of those other copy programs do that DFS-R doesn't? I suspect you're like most companies, ~1% of your data changes each day, and the tools you already have are more than adequate. – Chris S Aug 16 '10 at 12:30
Not sure really, does DFSR use a special copy/restpre format? or does it just copy the filesand folders in a specified directory. – Clinton Riggs Aug 16 '10 at 18:54

There's no internal ESX feature that'll help you with this, so you should treat the work as you would 2 physical servers (copy over the network with an appropriate tool).

If the VMs are running on the same host, you may be able to create a dedicated vSwitch, purely for internal traffic, and achieve a quicker copy.

One other approach which may be sustainable is to create a dedicated LUN for this data, and attach it directly into the VM to copy your data in.

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