During my last round of testing I wound up using Veeam FastSCP (www.veeam.com) to copy a set of VMs to the ESX Server 3.5 system I was testing. Veeam was free and also useful because unlike Windows Server and Hyper-V where you can just use Windows Explorer to copy VM around between servers, without VI3 ESX Server doesn’t have an easy way to copy VM between servers. Veeam really did the trick. However, after copying the servers over they didn’t appear in ESX Server’s Virtual Infrastructure Client, the management tool for ESX Server. Without VI3 present the Virtual Infrastructure Client had no option to import the VMs. Fortunately, ESX Server’s management console had a command to do just what I needed. To register the VMs I used:
Vmware-cmd –s register/vmfs/volumnes/esx:storage1/<vm directory>/<vm name>.vmx
After registering the VMs they all appeared in the Virtual Infrastructure Client like you would expect. However, this does make me wonder exactly how you might accomplish this with ESXi? There is no console in ESXi and the Import commands still would be missing. Would I need to use remote command tools? I'll have to look into that.