Can you clone a VM replicated by Veeam?

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Veeam Backup & Replication has always had since its first version the possibility to replicate VMs, together with the backup capabilities. Once a VM is replicated in a secondary site, it could become a great resource for additional activities: from automated recovery tests (called SureReplica in Veeam) to become also the source for cloning activities. Data are already locally saved, there is no need to retrieve anything else from the source site, so any operation is quick an easy. Are there any informations we should be aware of in doing these operations? Let’s find it out.


In order to keep track of the replicated VMs, Veeam uses some additional configuration parameters saved directly into the vmx configuration file. Why? Well, because sometimes the source and target datacenter are not managed by the same vCenter, so the MorefID is not usable since it could happen both VMs could have the same ID, and also because registration and deregistration activities of the VMs can lead to MorefID changes. The Veeam ID never changes, so it’s a better tracking method for Veeam itself.

First of all, let’s look at those parameters. They are all contained in a single Configuration Parameter, as you can see here:

Veeam Replica parameters

Basically, it’s an XML file with a list of different parameters in it, and as said they are used to help Veeam identify the replica.

When you clone a replica, the custom parameter is also cloned to the new VM; this can confuse Veeam as it misidentifies which VM is the replica, and the final result will be that at every execution, one of the two replica VMs will be randomly selected as a target. This issue has been fixed in Veeam Backup & Replication Patch 4, so the best solution is to update your installation to this version.

If for any reason, you cannot proceed to the upgrade, there is a workaround: after you clone a Veeam replica, choose “Edit Settings” on the cloned VM, select the tab “VM Options”. Open “Advanced” and finally hit “Edit Configuration”:

Edit configuration

If you sort parameters by name, you should see a “VeeamReplicaSummary” key, which contains a huge string of XML data. Simply wipe out this information so that the value is blank, click OK and now your replica job should work again.