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Application Migration Utility

Posted on 2009-04-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Are there any utilities that can migration applications (just applications, not an entire server with OS, apps, etc.) from a physical server to a virtual one? Specifically we are looking to migrate Dynamics CRM from a physical box running Windows Server 2003 R2 to a virtual machine (VMWare) running Windows Server 2008.
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Question by:rdracer58
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jhyiesla earned 250 total points
ID: 24063169
I don't believe that there is any software to do what you want to do.

In the desktop world there used to be some such applications... and there may still be, but they worked off of one of two premises.  First, either they had been programmed with an intimate knowledge of the particular application to be moved or, second, they "watched" as you installed the application and made a note of all the files involved.

You would be better served by just installing the app on the virtual server and then copying over the data and any settings files.
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by:markzz
ID: 24067982
I agree entirely with jhyiesla.
Of course there are some applications like Lotus Notes or BMC's ControlM which are very simple to just copy the entire file structure, Registry, create a service and your running.
BUT
This is not the case for the vast majority of applications.
I mean this in the kindes way, please don't take offence. The point is that if you knew the application well enough to perform the dodgy routine as described with Lotus Notes you wouldn't need to ask the question.
My answer is I don't know of an application that can retrospectively move an existing application from one server to another. If thereis one you can be assured it will not support this type of move across different operating system versions..
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by:markzz
markzz earned 250 total points
ID: 24068017
Another thought.
You could import the existing Server as it stands into your virtual environment then perform an inpleace upgrade of the OS to 2008.
I make this suggestion only as all possible methods need to be considered.
But I feel I must point out that this is rarely successful, it's also just bad practice..

Rebuild and reinstall.
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by:rami_ejailat
ID: 24068683
Yes, there's a solution :) And a quite simple one!
You need to use Acronis True Image ECHO Server for Windows with the Universal Restore addon.
http://www.acronis.eu/enterprise/products/ATISWin/
http://www.acronis.eu/enterprise/products/ATISWin/universal-restore.html
I have discussed this in more details earlier today:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_24294653.html
Best Regards,
Rami S Ejailat
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by:rami_ejailat
ID: 24068733
Ops! Sorry, pls ignore my reply above.
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 24077044
Although the asker may not have received the response he desired, I believe that myself and markzz did provide the asker with the correct response.
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by:markzz
ID: 24078735
I agree jhyiesla I believe we have correctly answered the question, as importantly we have answered the question in a professional manner.
We are taking server infrastructure here people. This is not a desktop PC where if it fails or performs poorly 1 user is effected.
You could effect thousands of users.
Perform all actions in the best possible manner and ensure your applications are generally installed in in a manner supported by the application Vendor.
I wonder if Dynamics CRM will support you when they realise you have chopped the application out via Acronis.
Do it right do it once.
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 24081864
I believe that my answer 24063169 was correct in totality.  Markzz came along with 24068017 which did present another option.
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by:Compnecessity1
ID: 24081889
Have you looked in to alohabob pcmover or pc relocator?
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by:Compnecessity1
ID: 24081900
All though it would be cleanest just to start over.  
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 24081941
Unless they've changed recently, neither of those two applications work with Windows server.
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by:Compnecessity1
ID: 24082175
The closest software is Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery.
http://www.symantec.com/business/backup-exec-system-recovery-server-edition
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by:rami_ejailat
ID: 24085536
markzz,
Acronis doesn't have a product to migrate an application.
Acronis can move/recover/restore a complete server/workstation onto a new physical machine or virtual machine. The previous system should be decommissioned.
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by:rdracer58
ID: 24097238
The Symantec solution seems to come close to what we were looking for.
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 24097412
rdracer58:  referring to your original question:

"Are there any utilities that can migration applications (just applications, not an entire server with OS, apps, etc.) from a physical server to a virtual one?"  

My answer to this was that I didn't believe that there were any programs that did this. Later in the post, we did also establish that programs like aloha bob might work, but not for servers... something that you specifically stated in your question.  I am including below the description of the Symantec product from the web page.  As you can see, it does not do what you were asking to have done in your original question.  If you wanted to move over the entire system to a new server, there are many utilities that can do that including a utility available directly from VMware.   I guess I don't see how the Symantec utility actually addresses the question.

"Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 8.5 Server Edition enables you to restore complete Windows systems in minutes, even to dissimilar hardware or virtual environments, with new functionality to automate physical to virtual conversions for immediate system recovery. Additional capabilities include flexible offsite protection; Exchange, SharePoint and file/folder recovery; and support for the latest virtual environments and Microsoft operating systems."
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by:markzz
ID: 24099224
I do feel this question has been answered.
We have offered viable alternatives to the question and more importantly given rdracer58 direction to achieve the desired outcome be it via other mechanisms that were originally requested.
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by:markzz
ID: 24120898
I believe this was answered.
The question was based on how to migrate an installed application from one system to another which was running a different OS.
This question was answered, you can't do this in a supportable manner, a number of alternative methods was also suggested.
I'm aware the author didn't get the answer he wanted as this isn't possible but it was answered.
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