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There's more than one way to move a VM into VMware vCHS

When you decide to extend your virtual infrastructure to VMware vCHS, there's another way to do it besides uploading VMs over the Internet.

How do you move virtual machines into VMware vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS)? What if you have extremely large -- or sensitive -- VMs you would rather not transfer over the Internet?

"Technically, all you would need to do a migration from vSphere on-premise to vCHS is a [vCloud Connector] server and a single vCC node connected to your vSphere. We … have to do a little bit of configuration to bring the other node in, but it's easy," said Chris Colotti, senior product line technical marketing manager at VMware.

Colotti discussed VMware vCHS use cases, migration options and other features of VMware's Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering at the VTUG Winter Warmer event in January 2014. VMware has positioned vCHS to compete with public cloud offerings from Amazon, Microsoft and Google, and offers such features as Direct Connect -- which connects a data center to vCHS via a private dedicated network -- and Disaster Recovery as a Service, or DRaaS, through vCHS.

For transferring sensitive VMs to vCHS, VMware offers another choice -- one that might seem old-fashioned.

"Harley Davidson Dealer Services … wanted to move a bunch of virtual machines to vCHS but [the VMs] were large. They were huge," said Colotti.

"VCloud Connector does it over the Internet with a stream over public wire [but Harley Davidson asked if they could] use this offline data transfer. … We will ship you a [network-attached-storage] appliance, you attach it to your vCC node, you offload all of your virtual machines with an encryption key, you encrypt all the data and then you ship it back to our operations team and provide the decryption keys and we'll import all those VMs," said Colotti.

"This process does have to happen powered off, so there is no automatic synchronization when those VMs come back online, so we have to think about how that's going to happen," said Colotti. "If it's a database, we can sync the data."

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I think it's best if you write an article about how to move away from ESXi since it's proprietary. VMware is big enough to build their own import tools. It's the other way around which lacks information.