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Restored Windows 2003 server on VMWare ESX 4.1

Posted on 2010-11-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
We just purchased a Dell Poweredge R415 server with two AMD Opteron 2.6 ghz procs, 16 gb of RAM, four 600 gb SAS 15K drives configured in a Raid 5 array using a Perc H700 controller.

We have Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 installed on eight of our Windows servers. We have SQL server 2008 R2 and GFI Mail Archiver installed on one of these Windows servers that is being backed up by BESR 2010. The server being backed up is running Windows 2003 32 bit standard. I configured a BESR virtual conversion job to restore the Windows 2003 server using the latest recovery point directly to the ESX server. Once this completed, I created a virtual machine using the vmdks that BESR creates on the ESX server.

The problem is that I can't get all of the GFI MailArchiver services to start and/or stay running on this VM. When logging into Windows on the VM I get a number of SVCAttendant errors. All of the SQL Server and GFI MailArchiver services are configured to start automatically but only some of them will actually be started. Starting one or more of the services that didn't start may cause one of the other services which did start automatically to fail. I started off allocating 1 gb of RAM and 1 CPU to the VM. I tried increasing this to 4 gb of RAM and as many as 6 CPUs. Increasing the number of CPUs allocated to the VM seemed to help the most but the services still aren't super stable. I even tried reserving a certain amount of CPU and RAM for the VM. Also I installed VMWare tools on the VM.

Then I tried installing Windows 2003 64 bit standard server and VMWare Server 2.0.2 onto this same Dell PE R415 server and then recovering the Windows 2003 32 bit standard server using vmdks that BESR 2010 creates (with a virtual conversion job). Within VMWare server 2.0 I allocated 2 CPUs but I can't remember how much memory I allocated to it - I'm pretty sure it wasn't more than 4 gb. The restored Windows 2003 standard server running SQL Server 2008 and GFI MailArchiver worked fine on the Dell PE R415 running VMWare server 2.0.2.

I have reinstalled ESX 4.1 onto the Dell PE R415 server and tried recovering the Windows 2003 32 bit standard server (running SQL Server 2008 and GFI MailArchiver) in a VM one more time with the same result.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

Question by:Cleartrack
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Expert Comment

ID: 34193278
Initially, set the number of processors and memory to match the physical server.  Changing the number of processors can have a variety of negative side affects.  

Try to match the hardware on the virtual machine as closely as possible to the physical.  

This guide, although a few versions old, might help with configuring hardware after booting the VM - http://download3.vmware.com/vmworld/2006/tac9886.pdf
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 34193503
There are a number of things that can cause issues with a P2V of a server. Such as if the original disk drive was mirrored, or used some kind of raid controller. If there are vendor drivers or management agents configured. Take a look at http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/A_3639-VMware-vConverter-P2V-for-Windows-Servers.html. The article focuses on using VMware Converter rather than BESR to do the conversion - but all of the pre and post tasks should be the same.

Good Luck
LVL 42

Expert Comment

ID: 34276365
I would avoid using Symantec to converter to VMDK files.  

1. Use vmware converter and point to the SV2I (BESR index file)..it knows it natively
2. If this is in a test environment ensure that you are on a non routable vswitch to avoid ip/server conflicts
3. Provide a domain controller in the same test environment
4. Try to give similar cpu/memory specs to VMs

Accepted Solution

Cleartrack earned 0 total points
ID: 34403506
I installed the latest patches (ESX410-201010001 & ESX410-201011001) available for VMWare ESX 4.1 and this virtual server is working fine now.  

Thanks for everyone's suggestions,


Author Closing Comment

ID: 34426463
This solved the problem.

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