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I have a Hyper-V Virtual Machine that is running on hardware in a remote datacenter. I would like to take this VM and make a running copy here in the office. Has anybody done a migration like this before? I am curious about what steps I should take to do this without any downtime.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can do a few things.

  1. Back it up from the Hyper-V Manager, and copy the backup folder to the new Hyper-V server and do a restore. This method will allow you to preserve snapshots.

  2. The second method, can only be done successfully if there are no snapshots. Either copy the live .vhd or shut down the VM and copy the .vhd. On the new Hyper-V server, create a new VM, and the step where it asks you to define the hard drive, select the .vhd file instead and fire it up.

  3. To do it without downtime will require a Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager R2 server running to be able to do a live migration.

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I like option #1. Does the VM shutdown during the backup process? Or does it continue running? – user66827 Apr 28 '11 at 21:34
Backups can be done while the VM is running. – DanBig Apr 28 '11 at 21:43
Backups can be taken if the VM is running Windows and has the Integration Service running so it has the Hyper-V VSS Provider. There is a very small pause, usually about 1 second while the backup starts. #2, shutdown and copy the VHD is the most likely to end well. – Chris S Apr 28 '11 at 23:22

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