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I'm looking for the fastest way to copy files from a VM to physical servers.

Setting up a network between them isn't a thing I'd like to do. I believe it is much more secure when not having one.

VMware suggests using the Copy-VMGuestFile cmdlet from their PowerCLI interface, however I find it slow (Running at approximately 1.5MB/s).

I thought of the following:

  • Creating a new virtual hard drive, moving the files in, and download the .vmdk file from the server, then extracting it locally. It is possible, however will not work with working VMs, and I don't want to shut-down the VM every time I want to move files.
  • Use the virtual floppy device and download the .flp file. It works even if the VM is running, but it is limited to 2.8MB.

Do I have any other way?

I'm using ESXi 4.1.

Thanks.

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Sounds like you've thought of all the other options for ESXi –  Bret Fisher Mar 8 '11 at 22:05
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6 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

ESXi 4.1 supports USB passthrough, which would allow you to connect a USB harddrive. I have not performed speed tests, but it did the job for me.

Other than that, connecting via network is the only option, IMO.

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You could use and NFS mount to connect to via the VMWare host and the guest VM.

This would be the easiest solution outside of using the VMWare utilities.

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I'm looking for a fast solution, not an easy one. –  iTayb Mar 8 '11 at 22:24
    
configuring nfs is fast and easy. linuxconfig.org/HowTo_configure_NFS –  Mike Mar 8 '11 at 22:30
    
It's using the network adapter, which I don't want to use. –  iTayb Mar 8 '11 at 22:35
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Veeam FastSCP might be the answer you are looking for. at least with ESX its really fast. and its free

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Installing a virtual nic on the guest, and connecting to the host over SSH will be the fastest while still being secure.

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Even if the connection is encrypted, the fact that the VM has an network card connected is less secure than not having one at all. –  iTayb Mar 9 '11 at 0:01
    
True, but having VMs which aren't on the network probably aren't the most useful. This is why we mitigate the risk of putting computers on network by installing anti-virus software and using firewalls to protect computers. If we didn't do this then we'd never get anything done. –  mrdenny Mar 9 '11 at 5:39
    
Do you not have a network card in these servers at all and what are you doing with these servers if they don't have a network connection? –  Scott Warren Mar 9 '11 at 13:37
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Creating a new virtual hard drive, moving the files in, and download the .vmdk file from the server, then extracting it locally. It is possible, however will not work with working VMs, and I don't want to shut-down the VM every time I want to move files.

Why do you have to shutdown the VM? Hard drives are hot swappable.

If you don't want to setup another network or use the existing one, I don't know of another way.

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I have to shut it down because ESXi lockes out the .vmdk file. –  iTayb Mar 9 '11 at 6:03
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In the VI client you can add and remove disks. Are you saying even after you've removed the disk from the VM, ESXi still locks it? I don't recall that being the case, I'd have to test it. However you can still take a snapshot and copy that; then you don't need to bother with adding/removing the disk –  Steven Mar 9 '11 at 17:52
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if the vm has the relevant vm tools package installed then you should be able to browse the physical server from the vm like another folder/hard drive, with this you could copy files direct to and from the vm onto the physical server, only thing i am not 100% sure of is that you are using ESXi so may not work - if you have a test vm test install the vmware tools package

only faster way is setting up a network

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VMware-Tools is already installed on my machines and I never heard of being able to browse into the host machine from the guest machine. I've used ESX in the past and I'm almost sure it isn't possible there too. –  iTayb Mar 8 '11 at 22:09
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Its a feature in non-esx products. –  Steven Mar 9 '11 at 1:24
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