I have a failing battery in the RAID controller of my ESXi server, so the prospect of losing all my data is quite a possibility. I wanted to take a backup of all my VMs on my server, but have found that, in many cases, the export results in a failure using the web UI.
Doing some searching around the 'net yielded using the most reliable method of export: VMware OVF Tool. Despite the documentation available, it can be a little confusing how to use the tool.
- First off, you'll need to install the tool itself.
- On Mac, it will install itself at "
/Applications/VMware OVF Tool". Open a Terminal session there.
The command line tool has many options, but the most basic form would be akin to the following:
./ovftool vi://email@example.com/myvm ~/Downloads/myvm.ova
This will initiate an SSH session with your ESXi server and download a .OVA file that represents the entire VM. Depending on how large the disks are for your VM, this may take a little while to do.
UPDATE: I swapped out the battery in two minutes and everything went off without a hitch. :)