Q

The right way to rename VMs with vSphere Storage vMotion

A quirk in older ESX/ESXi versions will not result in a prompt rename of a VM until it has moved to another data store.

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Is there any way to rename a virtual machine (VM) or its files using vSphere Storage vMotion?

If you're going to change the name of a VM, then it's a good idea to change the underlying component file names. Changing the folder name of a data store by using a tool such as the vSphere Client doesn't change the underlying component file names in ESX/ESXi 3.5 and 4.x. It's easy to change file names through the ESXi console, but this is a time-consuming and potentially error-prone process.

Instead, you can change the VM name before a vSphere Storage vMotion process and then execute the migration. This will change the component file names to the new VM name during the migration. For example, access the vSphere Client, open the host inventory and locate the desired VM. Right-click and rename the desired VM and then migrate the VM to another location. When the migration finishes, the VM component file names will match the VM that you renamed.

This wasn't really a bug, but it was changed in updates for vCenter Server 5.x. You may need to enable the renaming capability in the advanced settings for vCenter Server by adding the provisioning.relocate.enableRename advanced parameter and setting it to true.

This was first published in May 2014

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