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This may sound a bit simple and I could have it answered myself already but I just want to be sure in the process of sending someone a snapshot of my VM.

So I am running vmware vsphere client version 5.5.0 and I have a number of VM's running on it with all of their data saved to a datastore that is on another server. I can access the datastore and view the files of each vm and each vm contains each of the following type of file;

  • Virtual Machine (.vmx)
  • Virtual Disk (.vmdk)
  • Snapshot File (.vmsn)
  • Virtual Machine Log File (.log)

I have to set up a VM to a certain state, take a snapshot and send it to a client. Would I be right in assuming that all I would have to do is download the .vmsn file and send it, or is there more to it? It just seems too easy to me to download and send the file, anyone have any information would be greatly appreciated.

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  • So I am running vmware vsphere client version 5.5.0 and I have a number of VM's running on it - You're not running any VM's in the vSphere client. What vSphere edition are you running on your host? – joeqwerty Mar 27 '14 at 14:06
  • Correct, I have a dedicated server hosting ESXi that has a number of VM's stored on it. That server has the VM in question and it is apart of our LAN – Dan Mar 28 '14 at 10:08
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Create the VM to your liking, then export it as an .ovf or .ova package.

This is under the File -> Export -> Export OVF template option in the vSphere client.

In this case, an .ova file would be a compressed image of the VM that you could copy/send to your client.

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Would I be right in assuming that all I would have to do is download the .vmsn file and send it, or is there more to it?

No, you would not. A snapshot is a delta file - it contains only the changes made to the disk, relative to the previous snapshot or the base disk. So to send a snapshotted VM, at a minimum, you need to transfer all the vmsn files, as well as the vdmk. If you expect to be able to fire up the machine at the location you send it to, they'll probably need the rest of the machine's files as well (like the .vmx) file.

Furthermore, copying a machine with snapshots isn't generally a supported operation. Check out the VMware KB on moving/copying VMs within a virtual environment - note that they tell you to commit any snapshots before moving or copying the VM. This is not to say it's impossible to move a VM that has snapshots, but it's not supported, and generally a much bigger pain that it's worth.

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