Convert SBS 2008 P2V

jb1013 used Ask the Experts™
I posted one previous question regarding this previously.

Tomorrow, I have to make this thing happen.

Here's exact details on my current situation.  I've already done a SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 Migration.  The migration is pretty much complete at this point.  All I need to do is get a LOB application off the original SBS 2003 Server and into an SBS 2008 Standard VM.    Then I can demote the SBS 2003 server and remove it from the domain.

Unfortunately, when I did the SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 migration I did it directly to the physical hardware on the new server, not fully understanding the requirements for Hyper-V for SBS Premium.  The SBS 2008 server is on an HP ProLiant DL380 G6 Dual Xeon E5540's, 8GB RAM,  w/ 6 x 146GB 10000 RPM SAS drives in RAID10.  Currently SBS 2008 is installed directly on the server hardware utilizing the entire RAID10 volume with 3 partitions.  120GB System Partition,  24GB Swap/Temp Partition, and 264GB Data Partition (Document Redirection, Exchange, Sharepoint, WSUS, and Data Shares)

I need to convert this physical machine to a virtual one, and need to allowfor drive space for the second Windows 2008 Standard VM that will run only the LOB application (Sage MAS 200 (Non SQL version)).  I'm thinking a 40GB VHD should be adequate for this server as it looks like currently MAS200 is using only about 5GB of storage for the program and data.     I'm thinking I'd like to take that 40GB of space from the SBS 2008 120GB C: system partion.  It has almost 80GB of available space and I have all the other main data sources for SBS redirected to the other larger data partition, so if I leave it with almost 40GB of free space I don't see ever using all of that.

Tools I have available to me.  Acronis True Image Backup and Recovery 10 SBS Edition (currently installed on the SBS 2008 Physical Machine), and a 1TB External USB Harddrive.

What I need to accomplish:

1.  Convert the existing SBS 2008 physical machine to a virtual one along with resizing the C: partition down to 80GB to free up 40GB for the other server.   I need to do this to the external USB hard drive.

2.  Install Hyper-V Server R2 on the physical hardware.  I assume I can just do this from DVD.  

3.  Move the new SBS 2008 VM off the USB drive and back to the server RAID10 array, and get it running in Hyper-V Server R2.

4.  Install the new instance of Server 2008 as a VM with a 40GB partition and migrate the MAS200 LOB application from the old SBS 2003 server.

5.  Demote the SBS 2003, and remove it from the domain.

6.  Crack a cold one, and relax.

1.  Resizing the C: partition on the existing SBS 2008 Physical Machine.  Can I do this directly in the P2V conversion or do I need to do it before the conversion?

2.  Best P2V conversion tool to use?   It looks like Disk2vhd will create a single VHD file with all the partitions intact, but I don't see any options of resizing the partitions?  Suggestions?

3.  Moving the converted SBS 2008 VM from the USB drive back to the RAID10 array?   Will the Hyper-V Server R2 host be able to read the USB Drive directly, is this something I can do with the Remote Server Administration Tool for Windows 7?

4.  Using the USB External Hard drive for backups once I have all this setup.  If I'm understanding it correctly if I disconnect it from the Hyper-V host it will pass-through and be connectible on the SBS 2008 Guest?  Is that correct?   I'll be using the ATI Backup and Recovery software for doing backups of both servers and Exchange to the USB Drive, I will not be using the built in SBS Backup Utility.

5.  Networking?  What concerns do I have with setting up the networking for this environment, the physical server has 4 Gigabit NIC's, what is the best configuration for this scenario?

6.  Activation of the SBS 2008 server?  Do I need to change the COA key from the Physical Key to the Virtual one after I do this to get it activate?

7.  Anything else you think I may be missing.  

This is going to be my first dive into Hyper-V so let just say I'm a bit more than nervous.  I wish I had time to do some of this on the bench and do some testing, but unfortunately, I just don't have the time for that.  I need to get this SBS 2003 server demoted before the 21 day expiration period for the migration ends.   I'm bringing this network down later afternoon tomorrow, and it absolutely has to be up and working the following morning.   So any advice or pointers or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  I'll spread the points out to everyone that offers new helpful info.  If anyone would like me to post a new question for one specific area of this conversation just let me know.

Thanks so much!!!!

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Technical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage
1: Before.
2: Disk2VHD works but needs to be tested beforehand. Image software by Acronis or StorageCraft would work too.
3: H-V Server 2K8 R2 has USB pass through abilities so you can attach it directly to the SBS VM using a SCSI adapter. Gives you hot swap.
4: In our experience, the built-in SBS 2008 backup is excellent.
5: NIC 1 = Management, NIC 2-4 = VMs. Bind in Hyper-V and remove host access to NICs.
6: Yes. Gives you portability.
7: H-V should be a member of the domain, but that makes things tricky if a full power down occurs. We put in anything from an Atom based box and up depending on needed roles with DC or RODC to provide authentication for the H-V host.



Thanks for you comments.


4.  SBS2008 Backup doesn't support email level restores from Exchange so I decided to go with Acronis's products.

7.  Does H-V have to be a member of the domain?  What are the advantages/disadvantages?
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

I does not have to be a member of a domain, but it is better to have it as one. More security is available to you when your H-V hosts are domain members that are not available to you in a workgroup setup.

Easier to manage in domain than out too.

Those are two off the top.

The last deploy we did was a three node cluster on an Intel Modular Server with SBS, SQL, TS, plus five Win7s. We added an additional 1U to the setup to run as a DC to provide authentication availability in the event of a power outage, or when there is a need to make settings changes to the VMs while SBS was powered down (only DC = no authentication servers available for the nodes).

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A second DC is not really going to be possible in this scenario.  Thanks for the tips though.  
Adam BrownSenior Systems Admin
Top Expert 2010

Just thought I'd add something here. Having a VM Host part of a Domain and hosting all the Domain Controllers for that domain as VMs is a *bad* idea. A VM Host should only ever be a member of a domain if all FSMO roles are on Physical Domain Controllers. Any security advantages that are available to a domain computer can be done with a non domain-computer. If anything, having the server in a Workgroup is *more* secure that having it on the domain where all the user accounts are. There are security vulnerabilities that need to be closed in this configuration(like shutting down the storage of LANMAN hashes in the registry), but having a completely separated security management from the domain allows the VMs to be much more secure. Remember that if some misconfiguration allows a Domain User to log in to the VM Host, you can be in a world of hurt. It's possible to have the VM Host run as a Domain Controller as well, but this isn't a recommended method and shouldn't really be done in a production environment.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

I agree. The second DC would be the needed piece to allow for the VMs hosted on H-V to have the host in the domain.

If everything is set up on the host then the host should be left in a workgroup with strong usernames and passwords for management purposes.



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