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Description

This article describes how to Clone an existing Cloud Server to create a new Client Image.

Important: Making a clone of a running Guest OS Customization Server can be dangerous. Any data in memory that has not been flushed to disk can be lost. Additionally, file systems will probably be "dirty," potentially requiring a file system check during boot up of any Server deployed off the clone. For this reason, it is strongly recommended to gracefully shut down a Guest OS Customization Server before cloning it. Non-Guest OS Customization Servers must be shut down prior to cloning.

Prerequisites:

  1. Only the Primary Administrator or a Sub-Administrator with the Create Image role can Clone a Cloud Server to create a Client Image
  2. It is strongly recommended that Guest OS Customization Servers be in a "stopped" state before cloning to make a Client Image. Because a clone is an exact replica of a Server's configuration, a running Server may have open files and/or other configuration statuses that may result in an unusable Client Image. In addition, servers under heavy I/O load (especially with disks on lower-performing disk speeds) may fail to clone due to the inability of VMware to quiesce the server.
  3. Non-Guest OS Customization Images must be powered off prior to cloning. 
  4. If Virtual Hardware is out of date on a Cloud Server, VMware recommends in the VMware Knowledge Base, that the Cloud Server is cloned prior to upgrading the Virtual Hardware.
    This is in case VMware encounters an issue with the upgrade. Where you want to create a new Client Image with up-to-date Virtual Hardware, this implies that it is advisable to clone twice:
    1. First to create a snapshot of the Server prior to upgrading the Virtual Hardware
    2. After verification of a successful Virtual Hardware upgrade on the Server, then clone again to produce the final Client Image. See How to Update Virtual Hardware on a Cloud Server 
  5. It is not possible to clone a Cloud Server if the combination of all of the local disks, plus ISO/FLP files exceeds the Maximum Total Storage for an Image value of the Data Center that the Cloud Server is located in. This value is visible in the Disk section of the Hardware Specifications tab in the Data Center dashboard. 
    Cloning an image requires a disk copy of the entire size of the allocated drives regardless of whether that storage is used. Cloning operations are likely to "time out"  before succeeding if the total size of storage is very high.
    Best practice is to keep the size of Client Images as small as possible and add local storage after deployment as described in How to Add Additional Local Storage (Disk) to a Cloud Server
  6. Ensure that no disk management operations are in progress before attempting to clone the Cloud Server. A Local Storage addition or removal operation in progress on the Cloud Server during a clone will result in clone failure. See:
    How to Add Additional Local Storage (Disk) to a Cloud Server
    How to Remove Local Storage from a Cloud Server
  7. When cloning a Windows Server to create a Client Image, make sure you have activated the Windows License on the Server prior to creating the Client Image from it. Failure to do so may result in a situation where Servers deployed from the Image deploy with a "Windows is not Genuine" error. 
  8. Important Notes for Guest OS Customization Images only:
    1. Make sure VMware Tools is installed (and preferably up-to-date) and enabled on the Cloud Server before you attempt to clone it. It is not possible to Clone a Cloud Server if VMware Tools is not installed
    2. All OS Images come with VMware Tools installed, but customers sometimes disable it by accident or as a side effect of other software installation. For more information see How to Update VMware Tools on a Cloud Server and Updating VMware Tools in your Windows or Linux Locally (outside CloudControl)
    3. Disable any anti-virus software on the Server before cloning to create a Client Image. For more information see Disable Antivirus Software Before Creating a Client Image
      Certain Windows configurations can also cause issues. See Best Practices and Tips around Microsoft Windows Guest OS Customization Client Images
  9. You cannot clone a Cloud Server if it is Snapshot Preview. You must first migrate the Snapshot Preview Server to a Normal Server. See Introduction to Cloud Server Snapshot Feature 
  10. Any Disk which uses Variable IOPS Disk Speed will be converted to Standard Disk Speed. Once a Cloud Server is deployed from the cloned image, you can change the Disk Speed back to Variable IOPS if desired. See How to Manage a Local Storage Disk on a Cloud Server
  11. If the Server is in a state which requires it to be restarted, you cannot Clone the Server to create a Client Image. See the "Adding and Managing Disks" section of Introduction to Cloud Server Local Storage ("Disks") and Disk Speeds

Content / Solution:

  1. From the Home page, Select the Data Center where the Cloud Server you want to Clone is located:


  2. The Data Center Dashboard will be displayed. Select the Network (MCP 1.0) or Network Domain (MCP 2.0) where the Cloud Server you want to Clone is located:


  3. The Network (MCP 1.0) or Network Domain (MCP 2.0) dashboard will be displayed. Select the Cloud Server you want to Clone:


  4. The Server dashboard will be displayed. Click on the Clone button in the left side menu:


  5. The Clone dialog will be displayed:

    Fill out the form by entering the appropriate information:

    • Name of the Image - Enter a Name for the Image (required)

      • Note: Must be alphanumeric with the following exceptions permitted: “_+=#.,:;()-“. Note that the “space” character is permitted.
    • Description of the Image -  Enter a description for the Image (optional)

    • Clusters - If the Data Center is enabled for User-Manageable Clusters, you will need to select the desired cluster from the drop-down menu.

    • Create Client Image which does not utilize Guest OS Customization - Check this box to create a Client Image that does not utilize Guest OS Customization when used as the source Image for Server deployments. The checkbox will not be enabled if the Server is running because a Non-Guest OS Customization Client Image can only be cloned from a powered off Server. Note that any Servers descending from the resulting Non-Guest OS Customization Client Image will no longer be eligible to be cloned into a Guest OS Customization Client Image. See Introduction to Cloud Server Provisioning, OS Customization, and Best Practices for a detailed explanation of the differences. 

    • Add/Update Tag to ListOptionally add Tags to the Server. For more information on tagging, see Introduction to Tagging, Tag Keys and Tag Values

  6. After you have entered the appropriate information, click the Clone button:


  7. The system will display a message indicating that the operation is in progress:


  8. The system will display the progress of the operation in the Status section of the Server dashboard:


  9. Once complete, the system will display a success message: 


  10. The Server will return to its previous state and the Client Image will be available to be used for deploying Servers