Moving a VM back on-premises

You can move a migrating VM back to vSphere using tools provided by Migrate for Compute Engine.

When you move a VM to the cloud, a base snapshot is taken. When you move a VM back to the source, different behaviors take place, depending on the storage policy configured for that VM.


  • Forced move back: If there is a sustained cloud outage, you can force the VM to run on-premises or on the source. For VMs that use the write-back policy, this moves the VM back to on-premises using its latest consistency checkpoint. This results in data loss up to the last stored checkpoint.
  • As a safety measure, the base snapshot of a VM that runs in the cloud using the write-back policy is not deleted automatically when the Force option is used. The base snapshot can be deleted manually when verified to be no longer needed.
  • When moving from Amazon EC2 or Azure to Google Cloud, write-back is not available. In this case, moving the VM back to the source platform restarts the original VMs with disks as they were when beginning migration.

Migration Manager

  1. Sign in to your Migrate for Compute Engine Manager.
  2. Click Migration Waves.
  3. If prompted for a username and password, use apiuser as the username.
  4. Click the monitor icon of the relevant wave.
  5. Select the VM you wish to return on-premises and click Move Back.
    Screenshot of Move Back button (click to enlarge)

vSphere vCenter

  1. In vSphere vCenter, select the virtual machine.
  2. Right-click the VM and select Migrate for Google Compute Engine Operations > Run On-Premises.
  3. If you want to force the process, check the Force run on-premises box.
  4. Enter the confirmation code to confirm the action.
    Screenshot of Run on Premises dialog box (click to enlarge)
  5. Click OK.

    VMs returning from the cloud are automatically started on-premises.

To view the action's progress, you can use the Cloud Instance Information portlet on the VM Summary page. You can also monitor the vSphere task.

Screenshot of Cloud Instance Information (click to enlarge)