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vmware esxi converter how to?

Posted on 2009-05-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi,
I have just installed vmware esxi on my Dell server all is up and running great.
I now want to convert my blackberry server as a test, I have downloaded the converter and just wanted to know if there is anything important I should know before running the converter? I cannot find a step by step on the vmware web site, will it matter if I convert during business hours, i.e problems with IP address etc?
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Question by:Techno-Man-uk
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Expert Comment

by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 24314569
Is the Blackberry Server in production use ?
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Author Comment

by:Techno-Man-uk
ID: 24314603
what do you mean by this?
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Assisted Solution

by:Jacobh06
Jacobh06 earned 150 total points
ID: 24314622
Usually the converter will take a snapshot and then start the converting process. Anything that happens after the snapshot will not roll over to the new server. So if the server that you are converting is currently in use, then yes, people will lose data. There shouldn't be any IP address conflicts, because you will still have to manually setup certain functions once it is fully converted to the new server.
My suggestion and recommendation is to do the conversion AFTER HOURS so nothing is lost. Depending on the size of the previous server, the conversion process doesn't take that long.
Please let me know if you are looking for any more information.
~Jake
P.S. I LOVE ESXi! Makes everything easier to handle for the future!
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Expert Comment

by:Miele102
ID: 24314627
Using the converter means that the blackberry server isn't availlable for users.
So use the converter after bussiness hours and warn your users.
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Expert Comment

by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 24314672
Is the Blackberry Server being used by the Users currently or is it a testing Server ?
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Author Comment

by:Techno-Man-uk
ID: 24314696
what data will be lost then?
I take it I should take a full image of the server first before I do anything?
Also rather than converting a server to be used virtual is it easier to take an image with acronis and then just import that?
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Expert Comment

by:Jacobh06
ID: 24314781
Why would you take an image and then import the image. That makes two steps compared to the one step of using the converter. Yes you could use an image, but you wouldn't be able to use Acronis (not of my knowledge).
Data would be lost if current users are actively using data on the network. They would lose any data that was changed or in use after you started the conversion.
You shouldn't have to take an image of the server first, it should go flawlessly as it's not affecting the current server.
~Jake
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Expert Comment

by:JBlond
ID: 24314815
As the other experts already recommended: Start the conversion during the weekend or night.

Before that stop all unnecessary services that are not required for the server to run. Every database service, every service from a third-party (not the VMware Converter service of course :-)

Check also if you have software running like which are bound to the hardware of the current server (using calculated hardware IDs, MAC address of the NIC etc.). If that's the case you should contact the vendor of the software before migrating the server to a VM how you can use the software on a new server.

Then start the migration and the biggest problem you likely have is that you have to reactivate Windows ;-)




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Expert Comment

by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 24314871
Since the Server is in production use, I suggest that you do a cold conversion.

Once all the users have been disconnected, shutdown the Server.

Boot using the VMware Converter Boot CD and then do a P2V Conversion to ESXi.

If you cannot afford downtime, then you would have to do a Hot Conversion (converting the physical machine into a VM when its powered on)
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Expert Comment

by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 24314889
No need to reactivate Windows if you are using a Volume License copy of Windows.
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Expert Comment

by:Jacobh06
ID: 24314899
Converting a server using VMConverter isn't that hard really.
Just make sure the server isn't actively being used by any users. I haven't had to go in and stop any unnecessary services for it to work properly. They made the program for the exact function of completing what you are trying to, no reason to make it complicated.
Just do it on a night or weekend when no users are actively accessing the server and you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
~Jake
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Author Comment

by:Techno-Man-uk
ID: 24315704
ok can someone tell me all the stuff you actually need to run vmware at the moment i have vmware esxi installed on my server, i have the converter and also infrastructure client.
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Expert Comment

by:JBlond
ID: 24315793
Then you have all you need...

ESXi - to run the VMs
Converter - to convert the server
Infrastructure Client - To access the ESXi server
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Author Comment

by:Techno-Man-uk
ID: 24315810
do i need the virtual center server as well?
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by:JBlond
JBlond earned 150 total points
ID: 24315946
No, you don't need it.

By the way, if you only want to use free products like ESXi there is no VMware Converter Boot CD as 'arunraju' mentioned. The Boot CD is only available with 'VMware vCenter Converter integrated (vCenter Server Plug-in)' (http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/get.html) and is not free.
 
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vmwarun - Arun earned 200 total points
ID: 24316761
Thanks for pointing it out, JBlond :)
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