Currently there is not a way to perform vSphere Storage vMotion using the vCloud Director UI, but it is possible using the vCloud REST API. Since this feature is exposed in the vCloud API, it is also available using one of the three vCloud SDKs (Java, .NET, PHP), vCO or the new vCloud Director cmdlets but it does require some lines of code.

Since the vCloud API is exposed as a REST API, you can also interact with directly using a command line tool such as cURL or a REST client like the RESTClient Firefox plugin. In the example below, I will show you how to perform a Storage vMotion using cURL with the vCloud Director API 1.5.

Here we have a vApp in vCloud Director and it has two VMs, and as you can see both are located on the same datastore called “iSCSI-3″.

Let’s say we wanted to migrate the VM called “vESXi-01” to some other available datastore.

Step 1 – Login

You will need a system that has curl installed and you will need an account that has the “System Administrator” role to perform this operation. There are a few parameters you need to specify to login to vCD and obtain an authorization token. You will need to specify the following parameters and the URL to your vCloud Director instance which should be in the form of https://vcd-fqdn/api/sessions:

  • -i = Include headers
  • -k = Performs an “insecure” SSL connection
  • -H = Setting the header for the version of vCloud Director (1.5 in this example)
  • -u = User credentials in the format of [username@org:password]
  • -X = Request type

Note: For more details on the cURL flags, please refer to the cURL documentation.

curl -i -k -H “Accept:application/*+xml;version=1.5″ -u administrator@system:vmware -X POST

If you have successfully logged in, you should get an HTTP 200 response and get similar output as above. You will need to make note of your authorization token which is located on the third line that starts with “x-vcloud-authorization“. This will be needed throughout the remainder of the session

Step 2 – Locate VM

Using the new Query Service API in vCloud 1.5, we will locate all VMs within the vCD instance with the adminVM type since we are in the System organization. As you can see the command is very similar to the first one but instead of specifying the credentials, we using the authorization token from step 1. We are also including specific fields in the XML output for readability, if you remove ‘&fields=name,datastoreName‘, you will see the other fields in the XML response.

curl -i -k -H “Accept:application/*+xml;version=1.5″ -H “x-vcloud-authorization: aMcbkioTMvgVDDDJtdlwjrh6iutLPZ7fjL09hPa89mU=” -X GET ‘,datastoreName’

If the operation was succesful, you should see a HTTP 200 response and list of VMs in your vCD instance. You will need to make a note of the VM’s href property that you wish to perform the Storage vMotion on.

Step 3 – Locate Datastore

Next we will use the Query Service API again to locate all available datastores within the vCD instance. We are also limiting it to the name field (href property is included by default). If you want to further filter the output to a particular vCenter Server, you can specify a filter for the particular vCenter href. For more details, you can take a look at the Query Service API documentation.

curl -i -k -H “Accept:application/*+xml;version=1.5″ -H “x-vcloud-authorization: aMcbkioTMvgVDDDJtdlwjrh6iutLPZ7fjL09hPa89mU=” -X GET ‘’

Again, if the operation was successful, you should see an HTTP 200 response and a list of datastores in your vCD instance. From the output, we can see we have two available datastores “iSCSI-3” and “iSCSI-4“. Let’s go ahead and select “iSCSI-4” to migrate “vESXi-01″ to. Also make a note of the datastore href property you wish to migrate the VM to.

Step 4 – Perform Storage vMotion

Lastly, we just now just need to invoke the “relocate” API operation for a VM. We need to first create the XML response for relocate operation as specified by the API. You will need to create a file that contains href of the datastore you wish to Storage vMotion the VM to:

Now we are ready to craft our final command to perform the Storage vMotion operation. Taking the information we recorded earlier for the VM, we need to append to the URL “/action/relocate” which will perform the relocate operation on this particular VM. You will also notice in this curl request, it is a POST request and we including an extra header specifying the “Content-Type” for the operation as defined in the vCloud API for “relocate” operation. The last parameter is specifying some data which is our relocate-response file that is needed as part of the request body.

curl -i -k -H “Accept:application/*+xml;version=1.5″ -H “x-vcloud-authorization: aMcbkioTMvgVDDDJtdlwjrh6iutLPZ7fjL09hPa89mU=” -H “Content-Type:application/vnd.vmware.vcloud.relocateVmParams+xml” -X POST -d @relocate-response

If everything went well, you should see an HTTP response code of 202 which means the operation was accepted by the server. Within the response of the “relocate” operation, you will get back a task handle for the Storage vMotion operation. If you watch your vCenter Server after you performed the command, you should see a Storage vMotion operation kick off for the VM that you have selected.

Once the operation has been completed, we can open up our vCloud Director UI and we should see that our VM has now been Storage vMotion to the datastore we specified.

Though you can interact with vCD directly with the REST API, you still may want to use one of the higher level abstraction languages to perform this type of operation in bulk.

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