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Converting server image to VHD file for virtualisation using MIcrosoft Virtual Server 2005 R2

Posted on 2009-05-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Hi Experts,
I would like to create a virtualised backup of a Microsoft 2003 SQL server in the office.  
I have an additional licence for the server which is going to be used as part of my disaster recovery plan.
Could one of your experts describe the best way to facilite this please?
Thanks.
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Question by:chrislindsay
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ashwin_kumar525 earned 500 total points
ID: 24411289
Let me guess, you have a Physical machine running SQL 2000 or 2005 on Server 2003 and you want to setup a Virtual Machine as stand by. You may go for replication softwares like CA Xosoft or Double Take. They replicate SQL Databases to the Virtual machine and when your active server is down, then the replica will take over thhe services.

Otherwise you can go for an MSCS cluster using an iSCSI shared disk which is much cheaper than the above solutions. Store the SQL Databases on the Shared disk and which ever server is active, that will take over the DBs to continue providing the service. once you got the shared disk setup properly, it is a pretty straight forward process to setup a SQL cluster.
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by:chrislindsay
ID: 24491957
Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:gandalf97
ID: 24497003
Hello Chris...

My suggestion would be to create a virtual server from scratch as follows:
     1. Create a virtual server and virtual hard disk (VHD).
     2. Install your server OS from the distribution media.
     3. Install any service packs or updates.
     4. Exit your software and make a backup copy of the VHD.
     5. Document the name of the VHD and what is on it...  e.g. WIN XP PRO SP3.,  WIN XP PRO SP2 PLUS OFFICE 97... etc.
         (This way you can keep track of which image has what and you will be able to easily select which image to
         start with when building new images.)
     6. Add Application Software and repeat steps 3-5.  In your case this would be SQL-Server.
     7. Be *SURE* to document things like license keys used, options selected during setup, names, etc.  Personally, I find setting the Administrator password to something like "Administrator" to be the easiest since I am not too concerned with that ID/PW security in my setting.  It may be different for you.  Note that while setting it blank is allowed, you won't be able to RDP into it unless the pw is non-blank.

You can then backup the database and restore it to your virtual machine.

This scenario should work equally well for MS Virtual PC/Server or VMWare.

Also note that server names, IP addresses, etc might conflict if you try to run the virtual server on the same network at the same time as the physical server.  If so, changing the names on the virtual shouldn't hurt.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

Regards,
Gandalf


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