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Copy Physical Server to Redeploy in ESX 4.1

Posted on 2010-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Hey Experts,

I'm looking for a short cut to create a test environment for several machines.  I have a sturdy virtual environment so hardware requirements is not an issue and I have proper MS licensing.  

I have a web server that hosts a few applications and websites.  I would like to copy this server by using "cold clone" into ESX, turn off network and NICs, run newsid and remove from domain and change the machine name.  Then turn on network (vNICs) assign an IP and add back to the domain.

I am concerned that if I run this procedure that I will mess up the original web server.  


Is there a better way to "P2V" a server but keeping the original as a production box?

Thanks,
Steve
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Question by:TickSoft
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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:Andre Thibodeau
Andre Thibodeau earned 146 total points
ID: 33716268
Hi Ticksoft,

You can use the vmware standalone converter to convert a physical machine to a virtual one.  The tool does everything for you, and will give you the option to keep the orginal running.  I have used this tool on several occasions with several clients.  Works great.

http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/datacenter_downloads/vmware_vcenter_converter_standalone/4_0

AT
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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:Luciano Patrão
Luciano Patrão earned 147 total points
ID: 33716283
Hi

Nope this is the right way.

Just P2V, don't connect the Network in the VM side, change what you need to change, and the Physical still works without any issues.

You only connect, or put to production the VM when you have created all the changes.

To help you on the P2V, check this.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/A_3639-VMware-vConverter-P2V-for-Windows-Servers.html

PS: Assign first the IPs on the VMs, then connect. Do not assign the IPs with the VM connected to the network.

Hope this can help.

Jail
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LVL 10

Accepted Solution

by:
BloodRed earned 207 total points
ID: 33716294
Using the Converter boot disk to create a cold clone of a server will not affect the source server.  The only way that you might affect the source server is to bring the cloned VM online on the same network, especially if it is a domain member.  It sounds like you have that planned for though, so in your case what you are proposing is the correct action.  If your web server has connects to a back-end database, you will want to ensure that the cloned server does not try to access and/or modify that database as well.
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Author Comment

by:TickSoft
ID: 33716305
Thanks fellas,

I had another tech try the vmware converter but failed due to volume shadowing.  I took over the project and figured I would just use cold clone to eliminate the errors.  
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Author Comment

by:TickSoft
ID: 33716318
BloodRed:  I have all the devs and dba employees on task to change code to fit the new machine.  


Thank you all!  
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 33716340
Hi

For clone a Server and P2V, for safety is better to use cold Migrations.

But like BloodRed pointed, if you have any App,or Webserver that use Database(that is in another server), please check this before o put the new server online.

Jail
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