Copy new virtual machine to ESX 3.5 server.

Posted on 2009-02-20
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a windows network with about 5 servers.  I just purchased VMware's ESX 3.5 server software to put on a new HP Proliant DL380 rack server using local SAS storage.  I use Symantec System Recovery (Ghost) to make image backups of the servers.  The new version also converts the backup images to a VMWare virtual machine format.  I am wanting to virtualize my exchange 2003 server, and a couple of other small utility servers.  I may use the VMWare Converter to make the conversion from physical to virtual if it is better than the Symantec System Recovery...Any suggestions/precautions?  Also, how do I copy the new virtual machine to the ESX server so that I can manage it and run the server?  Can I use an external USB drive, can I copy it across from the windows network to the ESX server?  Of course this is my first time working with VMWare and I am not familiar with Linux...Good times...
Question by:lbjennings
    LVL 42

    Accepted Solution

    The Symantec Backup Exec Recovery vmware converter does not work for vmware ESX because there is no place to put in a regular account and su to root.  Better solution is to use vmware converter to the images directly to ESX, it know is natively and sets up the .vmx file.  The symantec converter only converts to vmdk which then is pushed up to esx (if it works) and converted.

    Another option is to use the new standalone converter to convert from physical machine, the new version will do incremental conversion when you're doing a live machine.

    LVL 32

    Assisted Solution

    You will first need to create and save the vmdk and files to a location on your computer.

    Once that is done, connect to ipaddress in your browser of the ESX box.  Download the VI Client and install it.

    From this point you will be able to upload your VMware client to the server or to your network attached disk space or other.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Once you load ESX on the server and configure the basic IP settings, you will want to load VI client on your management station (desktop).  Connect to your ESX server with the VI client and then you can go about creating VMFS partition(s) on the server (assuming your didn't do this in setup).  Using the VI client, you can double-click on the mounted VMFS storage and it will open an Explorer-like interface which allows you to download/upload files directly to the VMFS partition on your ESX box from your desktop client.  
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    The datastore browser from within the VI Client as above is definitely the way to go for waht you are looking to do

    Howvere as you say you are new to Linux then I'll also pass on my tip to use Fast SCP from Veeam Software which is free and allows you access to a Linux filesystem (not just the VMFS datastore browser which is admittedly all you need for this question) from a windows explorer style utility

    Knowing nothing at all about Linux when I first started with ESX I found this a real boon

    Slightly more than you asked for but hopefully of use


    Author Comment

    Thanks for all of your help!  I am going onsite later today to give it a whirl and will let you guys know!  
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Best practice for an exchange server or other server that changes data very quickly is not to p2v, but build a new vm and transfer data.

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