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How to Migrate a Virtual Machine to a Different Host

In Virtual Machines view, the following methods are available to migrate a deployed virtual machine to a different host:

  • Use the Migrate virtual machine action. The Migrate Virtual Machine Wizard enables you to select the most suitable host, specify the path that will store the virtual machine, and select the type of transfer.

  • Drag and drop the virtual machine onto a host.

  • Drag and drop the virtual machine onto a host group. Through automatic placement, the virtual machine is placed on the most suitable host that is available in the host group based on the virtual machine's requirements and your host rating metrics.


    During automatic placement, the host rating process identifies the most suitable volume on each host. If no default virtual machine paths that are configured on the host are on the recommended volume, the host receives a zero host rating, and the virtual machine will not be migrated to that host. For more information, see About Host Ratings.

If a properly configured SAN is available, VMM automatically uses the SAN to make transfers. However, if you use the Migrate Virtual Machine Wizard to perform a transfer, you can override the SAN usage and make a local area network (LAN) transfer. For more information about how to configure a SAN for VMM, see the "Configuring a SAN Environment for VMM" topic (


If you migrate a virtual machine that is connected to SAN storage, the virtual machine will not be able to reconnect to the SAN unless the destination host also has access to that SAN. VMM is not able to detect if a virtual machine is connected to a SAN or if the destination host is connected to the same SAN, therefore cannot provide a warning. You must ensure that the new host is configured to allow the virtual machine to reconnect to the SAN before you migrate the virtual machine.

To migrate a virtual machine to a different host using a wizard

  1. In Virtual Machines view, navigate to the host on which the virtual machine is deployed in the navigation pane.

  2. In the results pane, select the virtual machine, and then click Migrate virtual machine in the Actions pane.

  3. On the Select Virtual Machine Host wizard page, select a host to deploy the virtual machine on. In the list of hosts, all available hosts are given a rating of 0–5 stars based on the host's suitability to host the current virtual machine. The ratings are recommendations. You can select any host that has the required disk space. For more information, see About Host Ratings.

    1. To get additional information about the host, select the host, and view the tabs in the details area:
      Details—Indicates the status of the host, the operating system, and the type and status of virtualization software. Lists the virtual machines on the host.
      Rating Explanation—If a host received a zero rating, lists the factors that resulted in a rating.
      SAN Explanation—Lists factors that make a SAN transfer unavailable.
    2. To change the host rating criteria for the current virtual machine, click Customize Ratings. You can change the placement goal as well as the relative importance placed on the availability of CPU, memory, disk I/O capacity, and network capacity for the current virtual machine. For more information, see How to Customize Host Ratings for a Virtual Machine.
  4. On the Select Path wizard page:

    1. In Save Path, click Browse, navigate to the folder in which you want to store the configuration files for the virtual machine, and then click OK.
    2. If you selected a path other than a default virtual machine path and would like to store other virtual machines on that path, select the Add this path to the list of host default paths check box to add the path to the default paths on the host. For information about configuring default virtual machine paths, see How to Set Placement Options for a Host.
    3. If SAN transfers are enabled for this deployment, the virtual machine by default is transferred to the host over the SAN. If you do not want to perform a SAN transfer, select the Transfer over the network even if a SAN transfer is available check box. If SAN transfers are not available for this deployment, the field is not available.
  5. On the Summary wizard page, review your settings. To change settings, click Previous.

    To start the virtual machine after deploying it, select the Start the virtual machine immediately after deploying it to the host check box.


    Use the View Script button to display the Windows PowerShell - Virtual Machine Manager cmdlets that will perform the conversion. All administrative tasks in Virtual Machine Manager can be performed at the command line or scripted. For more information, see Using the Virtual Machine Manager Command Shell.

  6. To begin deploying the virtual machine, click Move.

    To review the progress and results of the operation, display the Jobs window. The window is opened by default when the wizard closes. To view this window at any time, click the My Jobs button on the taskbar in the console's main window.

To migrate a virtual machine by using drag and drop

  1. In Virtual Machines view, navigate to the virtual machine's current host in the navigation pane.

  2. In the results pane, click the virtual machine and, holding down the mouse button, drag the virtual machine to either the host of choice or the host group of choice in the navigation pane.

  3. When you release the mouse button, the system attempts to migrate the virtual machine by using one of the following methods:

    • If you dragged the virtual machine to a host, the system evaluates the host's suitability for the virtual machine and attempts to migrate the virtual machine if the host is found suitable.
    • If you dragged the virtual machine to a host group, the system rates each host in the host group and attempts to migrate the virtual machine to the most suitable of those hosts. For the migration to succeed, a virtual machine path must be configured on the host for the recommended volume.

See Also


About Host Ratings
About Virtual Machine Placement
Deploying Virtual Machines
How to Store a Virtual Machine in the Library

Other Resources

How to Deploy a Virtual Machine
Preparing for SAN Transfers