AHV - vDisk - Part - 2 : Accessing and Downloading vDisks

  • 8 November 2019
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Understanding and knowing where a Virtual Machine stores its vDisk is important for Admins. In our previous post we explored a couple of ways, we can use to find where Virtual Machine vDisks are stored on a AHV / AOS Cluster

Quick Recap:

  • VM Disks (vDisks) are stored in a Container on AOS Cluster
  • Acropolis service is responsible for all VM Operations
  • Acropolis service offers a powerful interface called acli
  • acli offers TAB Completion
  • acli can be executed from any CVM in the cluster, for VM info operations

In this post we will first find the vDisk of a given virtual machine and then use WinSCP to connect to the cluster and download the vDisk.

Summary of Steps required:

  1. List VM Information via Acropolis CLI acli (ssh nutanix@cvm: acli vm.get <vm-name>)
  2. Find the Disk UUID associated with the VM vDisk
  3. Find the name of the Container hosting VM Disks
  4. Connect via WinSCP to download the vDisk

Find the vDISK & Container Name:

Using acli, we will list the disks associated and their uuids:

nutanix@NTNX-CVM:~$ acli vm.get W10_PRO include_vmdisk_paths=1 | grep -E 'disk_list|vmdisk_nfs_path|vmdisk_size|vmdisk_uuid'

Output from the command above, will give us:

vmdisk_nfs_path : this will give us the container name and folder where the vDisks are stored
vmdisk_size : Size of the vDisk
vmdisk_uuid : Unique identifier for a vDisk

We will need the vmdisk_nfs_path and vmdisk_uuid in order to browse to the appropriate container and the vDisk UUID to identify the vDisk inside that container.

TIP : all vdisks are stored inside the .acropolis hidden folder inside a container.

WARNING: Do not delete any data from the container via WinSCP or similar tool. Appropriate Prism or CVM command line workflows should be leveraged for doing the cleanup if needed. Deleting VM disk files directly from Nutanix container may affect Acropolis service, which can result in inability to manage user VMs.

Connect via WinSCP to download the vDisk:

  1. Power OFF user VM, which disks will be exported, to avoid data corruption.
  2. Using WinSCP, connect to a CVM using SFTP protocol and port 2222 using Prism element credentials.
    Note: If AOS version is 5.5.X connection may fail, please check KB 5082 for details.
  3. Enable the option to show hidden files by going to Options > Preferences > Panels and then selecting the “Show hidden files”  option under the common settings.
  4. Navigate to the path that was found in Step 1. You can download required files from Nutanix container to your local PC now.

To read more about Downloading vDisks on a AHV cluster - please always reference the following KB:

Nutanix KB : https://portal.nutanix.com/kb/3577



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