Copying VMs and Templates

You can create VMs and templates by copying (cloning) an existing VM or a template. XenCenter enables you to copy VMs and templates within and across pools.

Citrix Hypervisor has two mechanisms for copying VMs and templates, full copy or fast clone:

  • Full copy makes a complete copy of the VM’s disks.
  • Fast clone (Copy-on-Write) writes only modified blocks to disk. This feature uses hardware-level cloning features for copying the disks from the existing VM to the new VM. This mode is only supported for file-backed VMs. Copy-on-Write is designed to save disk space and allow fast clones, but can slightly slow down normal disk performance.

Copying a VM

Important:

  • Before copying a Windows VM, use the Windows utility Sysprep to ensure the uniqueness of the Security IDs (SIDs). Copying a VM without first taking the recommended system preparation steps can lead to duplicate SIDs and other problems. For information about cloning VMs and running Sysprep, see Container management.
  • If the VM you want to copy is a Windows VM, run the Sysprep utility.
  • If the VM is running, you must shut it down before you can copy it.

To copy a VM within the pool

  1. Select the VM in the Resources pane, and on the VM menu, select Copy VM.
  2. On the Destination page, select Within Pool.
  3. On the Name and Storage page, enter the name of the new VM and (optionally) a meaningful description.
  4. Select the Copy Mode: Fast clone or Full copy.
  5. If you choose Full copy as the copy mode, select the storage repository (SR) where you want to copy the VM’s virtual disks. If you are moving a VM from local to shared storage, make sure that you select a shared SR here.
  6. Select Finish.

To copy a VM to a different pool

  1. Select the VM in the Resources pane, and on the VM menu, select Copy VM.
  2. On the Destination page, select Cross-pool. and select Next
  3. Select a standalone server or a pool from the Destination menu.
  4. Select a server from the Home Server list to assign a home server for the VM and select Next
  5. On the Storage page, specify the storage repository on which to place the virtual disks of the copied VM and select Next.
    • The Place all migrated virtual disks on the same SR option is selected by default and displays the default shared SR on the destination pool.
    • Select Place migrated virtual disks onto specified SRs to specify an SR from the Storage Repository menu. This option allows you to select different SR for each virtual disk on the migrated VM.
  6. On the Networking page, map the virtual network interfaces in the VM to networks in the destination pool or server. Specify your options using the Target Network menu and select Next.
  7. Select a storage network on the destination pool to use for the live migration of the VM’s virtual disks. Select Next.

    Note:

    Due to performance reasons, it is recommended that you do not use the management network for copying VMs.

  8. Review the configuration settings and select Finish to start copying the VM.

Copying a template

To copy a template within the pool

  1. Select the template in the Resources pane, and on the Templates menu, select Copy Template.
  2. On the Destination page, select Within Pool.
  3. Name and Storage page, enter the name of the new template and a meaningful description.
  4. Select the Copy Mode: Fast clone or Full copy.
  5. If you choose Full copy as the copy mode, select the SR where the copied virtual disks are placed.
  6. Select Finish.

To copy a template to a different pool

  1. Select the template in the Resources pane, and on the Templates menu, select Copy.
  2. On the Destination page, select Cross-pool and select Next.
  3. Select a standalone server or a pool from the Destination menu.
  4. Select a server from the Home Server list to assign a home server for the VM and select Next
  5. On the Storage page, specify a storage repository on which to place the virtual disks of the copied template and select Next.
    • The Place all migrated virtual disks on the same SR option is selected by default and displays the default shared SR on the destination pool.
    • Select Place migrated virtual disks onto specified SRs to specify an SR from the Storage Repository menu. This option allows you to select different SR for each virtual disk on the migrated VM.
  6. On the Networking page, map the virtual network interfaces in the selected template to networks in the destination pool or server. Specify your options using the Target Network menu and select Next.
  7. Select a storage network on the destination pool or server to use to copy the template’s virtual disks. Select Next.

    Note:

    Due to performance reasons, it is recommended that you do not use the management network for copying VMs.

  8. Review the configuration settings and select Finish to start copying the template.