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How to virtualize GHOST image into VMware Player or VMware Workstation?

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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
There are a dozen physical machines running Windows 2003 server on different hardware platform located in different locations. It's not practical to mirror those physical machines to another dozen identical hardware to prevent the potential hardware failure. I am wondering if the following idea is practical.
1. Take an image of those dozen physical machine by Ghost;
2. Virtualize each image into a spare physical machine (what virtual software to host the virtual machine here?).
3. Bring up the corresponding virtual machine if any production physical machine has to be taken offline for repair.
Assuming the performance is not a concern here since it is only temporary. Functionality/availability is the goal.
Q#1. What (free/cheap) tools can be used to virtualize the Ghost image?
Q#2. Is VMware Player or Workstation is suitable to virtualize such Ghost image?
Q#3. Is VMware Player or Workstation is suitable to run such virtual machine? (only one virtual machine will expect to run at any time though it need to run any of those dozen machines).
Thanks.
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Commented:
I can afford to take each server down to take image. I will not have ESX environment in each physical server that's why I plan to take image as first step, then virtualize it somehow. Please comment on my questions.
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Suppose I use VMware Converter to virtualize the physical machine. Where can I put the virtual machine? In VMware Workstation or VMware Server or somewhere else?
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To make myself clear here, I describe the scenario as follow:
Physical server (phy-svr-src) running Windows 2003 is permanently in network-A. Physical server (phy-svr-host) running Windows 2003 connects to the same network only during virtualization or phy-svr-src is down. There are no other servers connected to the same network.
Goal#1: Virtualize phy-svr-src with the help of phy-svr-host if needed.
Goal#2: Run virtualized phy-svr-src in phy-svr-host.
Goal#3: Use free or cheap tools to achieve the above goals.
Please give steps to achieve it and list software/tools needed at each step.
Thanks a lot.
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