v2v using converter

Hi Gurus

I want to do a v2v conversion on a virtual Domain Controller. I want to take the clone to offsite and test whether I can restore the DC with the same config and roles in the offsite network. that network doesn't have connectivity to the production network.
Is there a documentation on how to do this? How different is it from p2v conversion using the same?
1) will the target VM be able to boot up with the image of the source VM and come up exactly as the source machine or will it need some configuration?
2) If the 2 VMs, i.e the source and the destination, are on two different networks which are not connected, how to do I make the image accessible. Can I copy the image from the source onto an external HDD and then use that to boot up the destination? Approximately how big will be the image created by Converter?
Who is Participating?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
A "v2v" is just in name exactly the same process as a "p2v" except the server/workstation your converting exists on a virtual platform.

1. the v2v copy will be identical to the source computer. (you may have to correct IP address and networking, ie use the same IP address as original DC).

2. normally the conversion has to 'see; source and destination networks. As these are not connected, you will have to clone to an image. (USB disk). and then use Converter to Import into destination machine.

It may be easier to restore a backup? Do you have VM Backup software?
If both networks using the same software as hosts (both vmware, or both are Xenserver, etc), why you need to convert? You can just copy the the virtual machine files over and add to the inventory.
What VMware product are you using? ESX(i)? VMware Server?

It may be possible to go into your vSphere client (if ESX(i)) and do File-Export, then specify your USB drive as the destination. When you get to your other site you can do a File-Deploy OVF to put a copy of your DC on the new server. This will be an exact copy. One caveat is the vm needs to be in a powered down state in order to export it.

Good Luck
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sinfuldipsAuthor Commented:
Hi Guys

thanks for your quick response.

@flyingsky: I am trying to perform a DR test and I want to check to see if a vm which is a DC on a production network, can be recreated exactly as the same in a separate private network. After a bit of research I have realized that V2V conversion is probably the best way to do this. This is a DR test, and the success of the test will depend on the whether in the test network, the systems can authenticate with the DC which is brought up using the clone/copy from the production site. Because the two networks do not have connectivity and during the test the production DC cannot be brought down, thus I think v2v using converter will be the best option. What do you think?
@hanccocka: Thanks. So the process should be like the following:
1) Use VMware converter to clone and copy the image to a USB/external HDD
2) take the USB/HDD to the DR site physically
3) import clone to the new virtual machine.
I have heard using VMware Converter will be a step up from cloning, as it will do cloning and copying the files at the same time. Is that correct? Also can you predict how large will the clone and files be?
@bgoering: thanks, because it is a production network and production DC, so powering it down is not an option. That is the reason why I choose VMware converter because for the purposes of DR test, we can create a separate network and this will be used to do the test. Do you think there is a better option out there? Please let me know what you think.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
VMWare convertor will keep the DC up and running, whilst it clones and copies it to your USB disks. (well conversions copies and converts but from a virtual machine to a virtual machine, so not much conversion is going on here).
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Now, if you wanted to you could use a trial of Veeam Backup or Quest vRanger, to be honest Veeam is faster, so Backup with Veeam to your USB hard drive, and Restore backup with Veeam at DR/Lab site.

Trial will do it, and it will work with the server Online, providing you have a fully licensed copy of VMware ESX server (I mean no the free one!)
Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:

Well if this is for testing ok, but never try to backup a DC and then restore that DC into the domain.
All the AD updated and objects that are created and updated, after the backup and until the restore will not be applied on the Domain. And this can bring many issues to you AD regarding objects.

If you want to to replicate this into a Domain test environment then I see no problem with this. But do this as a cold migration. Never create a converter with the DC online.

Regarding your question that you need to use my article process to do this. In a opinion at a distance I say no, but some times the conversion do not finish 100% and we need to stop some services, or just defrag the disk.

But I can give you an example. I try to v2v a SQL Server this weekend. I have just power off the VM and try to convert this into a new host(and cleaning snapshots etc.). 2 Times and times no success.

Then I power up the VM, did a defrag, stop the SQL services and try again.Then I get 100% success on my conversion.

So it depends on the server(type of server) and the VM state.

So no warm is done if you just clean all the temp files and defrag the disk(at least will speed up the conversion) and stop some unnecessary services.

But like I said before, take care about v2v or p2v a DC. Only in some particularly scenarios we can do this without any issue.

Hope this can help.
sinfuldipsAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys,

Hi Hancoocka thanks, I will give this a go and see how it works.
@bestway: what do I do with the the scripts, do I need the scripts for v2v conversion as well?

Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:

No I dont think you need to use the scripts on this v2v.

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