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How to Create and Deploy a Virtual Machine from an Existing Virtual Machine

Updated: November 1, 2013

Applies To: System Center 2012 - Virtual Machine Manager, System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager, System Center 2012 SP1 - Virtual Machine Manager

Use the following procedure to use Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) to create a virtual machine by cloning an existing virtual machine. You can also use cloning to create backups of existing virtual machines.

Note the following:

  • You must be a member of the Administrator or Delegated Administrator user role, or a self-service user who has the Deploy action in the scope of the role to complete this procedure.

  • When you clone a virtual machine, the existing virtual machine source is not deleted. We recommend that you clone a virtual machine that has been prepared and generalized with the Sysprep tool. If you do not use a generalized virtual hard disk, the identity of the new virtual machine will be the same as the source. Issues might occur if you turn on two virtual machines with the same identity at the same time.

  • You can clone a virtual machine that is deployed on a host, or a virtual machine that is stored in the VMM library. In VMM in System Center 2012 SP1 and System Center 2012, to clone a virtual machine that is deployed on a host, the virtual machine must either be stopped or be in a saved state. As of System Center 2012 R2, for Hyper-V hosts that are running Windows Server 2012 R2, the virtual machine can either be online, be stopped, or be in a saved state.

  • In System Center 2012 R2, the option to use differencing disk optimizations is automatically applied when you deploy the virtual machine on a host, and when a base disk exists on that host.

  • For a self-service user to store a virtual machine in the VMM library, the following is required:

    1. The self-service user role must have the Store and re-deploy action assigned.

    2. The self-service user must first deploy the virtual machine to a private cloud, and then store it in the VMM library.

Creating a virtual machine

Use the following procedure to create a virtual machine from an existing virtual machine.

To create a virtual machine from an existing virtual machine

  1. Open the VMs and Services workspace.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Create group, click the Create Virtual Machine drop-down arrow, and then click Create Virtual Machine.

    The Create Virtual Machine Wizard opens.

  3. On the Select Source page, ensure that Use an existing virtual machine, VM template, or virtual hard disk is selected, click Browse, click the existing virtual machine, and then click OK.

  4. On the Select Source page, click Next.

  5. On the Identity/Specify Virtual Machine Identity page, enter a new name for the virtual machine name and an optional description.

  6. On the Configure Hardware page, optionally configure any available settings, and then click Next.

  7. On the Select Destination page, select one of the following:

Deploying the virtual machine in a private cloud

  1. On the Select Cloud page, select the private cloud on which you want to place the virtual machine. If you are connected as an administrator, you can select the host on which the virtual machine should be deployed in the private cloud. The cloud suggestions are based on a 0-5 star rating. For more information, see Understanding Virtual Machine Placement and Ratings in VMM. Verify the settings and modify them if required:

    • Expected utilization—For a virtual machine that is created from a blank hard disk, the expected utilization is based on standard defaults. For a virtual machine created that is created from an existing virtual machine, the default settings are based on past performance of the existing virtual machine. VMM updates host suggestions and ratings in response to modifications that are made to the expected virtual machine utilization.

    • Make this VM highly available—With this option selected, only hosts that are located in a cluster are available for selection.

    • Details—Indicates the status of the host, the operating system, and the type and status of virtualization software.

    • Rating Explanation—Provides an explanation if a host received a zero rating.

    • SAN Explanation or Deployment and Transfer Explanation—Lists any factors that make a storage area network (SAN) transfer unavailable. VMM does not recognize a virtual machine that is stored on a SAN as available for deployment using SAN transfer if the virtual machine was stored directly in the VMM library when it was created, or was added to the library during a library refresh. To avoid this issue, deploy the virtual machine to a host by using a LAN transfer, and then store the virtual machine in the same VMM library, library share, and logical unit number (LUN).

      In addition, in System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager, the Deployment and Transfer Explanation tab provides an explanation if fast file copy cannot be used. Fast file copy is a new feature in System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager that is based on the Windows Offloaded Data Transfers (ODX) feature that is introduced in Windows Server 2012 R2. For information about ODX, see Windows Offloaded Data Transfers Overview.

  2. On the Configure Settings page, review the virtual machine settings:

    1. In Locations, either accept the default virtual machine path on the host for storing the virtual machine files, or click Browse to specify a different location. Optionally, select the Add this path to the list of default virtual machine paths on the host check box.

    2. In Machine Resources, click Virtual Hard Disk. Accept the default values or select a different destination path on the host for the virtual hard drive file (.vhd or .vhdx file). To change the file name, enter a new name in the File name box.

    TipTip
    To prevent placement from choosing a different value for these settings, click the pin icon next to the setting. Note that self-service users do not see this option.

  3. On the Select Networks page, if the page appears, optionally select the logical network that you want to use, the virtual network, and the virtual LAN (VLAN) ID, if applicable, and then click Next.

  4. On the Add Properties page, configure the action to take when the host starts or stops, and then click Next.

  5. On the Summary page, confirm the settings, and then click Create. To confirm that the virtual machine was created, in the VMs and Services workspace, in the VMs and Services pane, expand Clouds, and then click the private cloud where you deployed the virtual machine. On the Home tab, in the Show group, click VMs. The virtual machine appears in the VMs pane.

Deploying the virtual machine on a host

  1. On the Select Host page, review the placement ratings and transfer type, click a host, and then click Next. Note the following settings:

    • Expected Utilization—For a virtual machine that is created from a blank hard disk, the expected utilization is based on standard defaults. For a virtual machine that is created from an existing virtual machine, the default settings are based on past performance of the existing virtual machine. VMM updates host suggestions and ratings in response to modifications that are made to the expected virtual machine utilization.

    • Make this VM highly available—With this option selected, only hosts in a cluster available for selection.

    • Details—Indicates the status of the host, the operating system, and the type and status of virtualization software.

    • Rating Explanation—Provides an explanation if a host received a zero rating.

    • SAN Explanation or Deployment and Transfer Explanation—Lists any factors that make a storage area network (SAN) transfer unavailable. VMM does not recognize a virtual machine that is stored on a SAN as available for deployment using SAN transfer if the virtual machine was stored directly in the VMM library when it was created, or was added to the library during a library refresh. To avoid this issue, deploy the virtual machine to a host by using a LAN transfer, and then store the virtual machine in the same VMM library, library share, and logical unit number (LUN).

      In addition, in System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager, the Deployment and Transfer Explanation tab provides an explanation if fast file copy cannot be used. Fast file copy is a new feature in System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager that is based on the Windows Offloaded Data Transfers (ODX) feature that is introduced in Windows Server 2012 R2. For information about ODX, see Windows Offloaded Data Transfers Overview.

  2. On the Configure Settings page, review the settings for the virtual machine:

    1. In Locations, either accept the default virtual machine path on the host for storing the virtual machine files, or click Browse to specify a different location. Optionally, select the Add this path to the list of default virtual machine paths on the host check box.

    2. In Machine Resources, click Virtual Hard Disk. Accept the default values, or select a different destination path on the host for the virtual hard drive file (.vhd or .vhdx file). To change the file name, enter a new name in the File name box.

    TipTip
    To prevent placement from choosing a different value for these settings, click the pin icon next to the setting. Note that self-service users do not see this option.

  3. On the Select Networks page, accept or change the logical network, virtual network, or VLAN ID if applicable, and then click Next.

  4. On the Add Properties page, configure the action to take when the host starts or stops. Then click Next.

  5. On the Summary page, confirm the settings, and then click Create.

Storing the virtual machine in the library

  1. On the Select Library Server page, click the library server that you want to use, and then click Next.

  2. On the Select Path page, specify the library share location to store the virtual machine. Click Browse to select a library share and optional folder location, click OK, and then click Next.

  3. On the Summary page, confirm the settings, and then click Create.

    To confirm that the virtual machine was created, in the Library workspace, in the Library pane, expand Library Servers, expand the library server where you stored the virtual machine, and then click Stored Virtual Machines and Services. The stored virtual machine appears in the Physical Library Objects pane.

See Also

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For additional resources, see Information and Support for System Center 2012.

Tip: Use this query to find online documentation in the TechNet Library for System Center 2012. For instructions and examples, see Search the System Center 2012 Documentation Library.
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