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How Do I Restore a VM to VMware vSphere Using a VMDK-Linked Image Export?



How do I restore a VM to VMware vSphere using a VMDK-linked image export?


  • Datto ALTO
  • Datto SIRIS


Which method should I use?

  • The VMDK-linked image export method copies the vmdk-linked image from the temporary NFS datastore to the permanent storage location as thick provisioned.
  • Use the VMware Converter method if you need to copy the VMDK as thin-provisioned. 

Simple VMDK-linked image export restore

To export a disk image for use on VMware ESXi host:
1. Connect to the Datto appliance, and log into the device UI.
2. Click the Restore tab.
3. Choose the agent for which you want to perform the restore and click Export Image.
4. Choose the recovery point that you want to use, then click Start Image Export. The page will reload with new options.

Figure 1: Start Image Export

5. Choose the Destination type. In this example, the device is sending the restore to a Network Share destination.
6. Select VMDK-Linked as the Format type.
7. Click Export. The Datto appliance will create a clone of the point you selected and share it on the local network.

Figure 2: Export Image

8. Select the desired boot type: MBR, EFI, or Auto-detect.

9. The GUI will refresh with new options. Copy either the Samba or NFS VMDK share path to your clipboard.

Figure 3: CIFS/Samba VMDK Share path

10. Add the NFS share from the Datto appliance to VMware as a datastore.

11. Copy the VMDKs, with their .Datto files, to the datastore:

When you attach the NFS share to VMWare as a datastore it will not show the .datto files inside of that datastore. Rather it will show the VMDK's as FULL Files. However, both the VMDKs and the .datto files will copy over.
    1. Right-click on the datastore you just created and click Browse Files. You will use this as the "source datastore" in the next steps.
    2. Create a new folder in your chosen destination datastore.
    3. From the source datastore, select the VMDKs and click Copy. Paste the VMDKs into the destination datastore. A progress window will appear while the VMDKs copy to the destination datastore.

12. When the transfer completes, access your vSphere environment. Make sure that the machine's settings match the needs of your environment. Make any adjustments needed.

  • If the VM Template does not exist and or you would like to use a new one, please create a new VM Template from scratch. We do not provide VMX templates.
  • Make sure to attach the Boot.vmdk first, Then c.vmdk, then any other applicable drives.

13. Boot the virtual machine. Make sure that it boots to the Windows login screen. If the virtualization fails after the first attempt, try again with a different storage controller. You may have to run HIR from the StorageCraft recovery environment if the boot device is found inaccessible due to storage controller changes. If so, please contact Datto Technical Support.

14. Unmount the NFS datastore you created in step 9 from your vSphere environment. 

15. After confirming that the virtual machine functions as expected, return to the Export Image screen in your Datto appliance's GUI, and click Unmount to remove the shared clone.

Figure 4: Unmount image

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