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How to clone a server into a working Virtual Machine?

I have a web, database, and domain controller server each running on Windows 2008. I am trying to create an instant redundancy strategy in case any of the servers burns or disappears.

I thought maybe the best way to do this is to clone each of the servers into a virtual machine and test that it runs. This way I can power it off and it will be ready to take over any time. I would clone the servers nightly so they would have the latest settings. Has anyone done this or recommend a way to do this?
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bemara57
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bemara57
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
This would be time consuming.

Please update whether you can spend some amount on procuring new hardware.
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bemara57Author Commented:
It is more for research and eductional purposes. I am trying to see what alternatives exists other than physically duplicating the machine.
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
What mode of licensing (Retail or Volume License) are you using in your Windows Server 2008 physical Servers ?
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bemara57Author Commented:
I have development licenses. I have used VMware in the past, but am thinking of using VirtualPC this time since it is more "native". Any experiences cloning with each?
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
The prime reason as to why I asked about Licensing was Retail and OEM Keys have their own share of Activation problems when moving to Virtualization.

An easy method is to use VMware vConverter 4.0 to take a clone of the physical box, boot the VM without attaching a vNIC to it.
This will allow you to test and also would solve the SID and IP Conflict problems.
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