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Cloning VMWare server or just files to another server with permissions

Posted on 2011-05-12
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello,

I am in a predicament with the current needs of cloning a file server to a test server. Ours is only 600GB and we have the capacity to move it but we run into a big problem.

When we cloned the server over the weekend, it completely screwed up the hosts. Nothing was accessible through vCenter. This has to be done by the weekend, so I am wondering if there is another way to get the server cloned without issues or another way of going at it.

Would it be possible to take a snapshot of the main file server, and deploy a new virtual machine with that?
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Question by:Joshua_M
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coolsport00 earned 1200 total points
ID: 35747292
Have you tried using vCenter Converter Standalone?
http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/datacenter_downloads/vmware_vcenter_converter_standalone/4_0

~coolsport00
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LVL 125
ID: 35747313
How did you clone it?

Download VMware vCenter Converter here

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

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.x Documentation

http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/converter_pubs.html

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 User Guide

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/convsa_43_guide.pdf

For the conversion steps, read fellow Expert Bestway's article.

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

Best Practice Video Guide here

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1004588
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 35747326
What did you try? You say you cloned it, but what is your setup? Do you have 2 vCenters? 2 different vCenter Datacenters? What are your ESX host versions? When you say cloning 'screwed up the hosts', to me that means it screwed up ESX hosts. (hosts = ESX or ESXi hosts) Do you really mean the cloning screwed up both the orig and source VMs? If hosts (or VMs), what error(s) happened after the cloning?

Regards,
~coolsport00
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Author Comment

by:Joshua_M
ID: 35747338
To clone it I just went through the usual way on vCenter. Right clicked the server, cloned and filled in the details on the way.
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 35747347
Ok; so, what actually happened that messed up? It may be a moot point now though. You can try Converter and see if that works for you...

~coolsport00
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LVL 125
ID: 35747348
I would recommend using the Standalone.

and follow the Best Practice video.

What went wrong?
0
 

Author Comment

by:Joshua_M
ID: 35747377
To add more detail on the process since I can't edit my last post.

I cloned it via the steps above, I've done all the servers this way just not as large. We have 6 different stores with SATA and FC available. I'm trying to clone the file server from one ESX host and put a test file server on the other. The current version is ESXi 4.1.

When the error happened, the two ESX servers locked up and wouldn't allow us to connect to the servers via vSphere. We still had connectivity using RDP, the analogy would be that it went into panic mode and shut down the management tools but couldn't get them back up.

The errors listed were from HA not being configured correctly, that issue was fixed so I'm back at square one on this.
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 35747391
Hmm..well, not for sure what caused your HA errors which, it seems, locked up your hosts. Go download/use Converter and see if that does the trick for you. Let us know...

~coolsport00
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LVL 125
ID: 35747438
It happens, and I'm not sure if related to the conversion process, but as long as the Virtual Machines didn't go down, no PSOD (purple screen of deaths).

The important thing was service affected, apart from the Admins running around like headless chickens!
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LVL 125
ID: 35747448
Why are you not using Clone within vCenter?
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LVL 125
ID: 35747456
is it a physical server?
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 35747458
Looks like, from his secondary post, that's what he tried "hanccocka"...
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LVL 125
ID: 35747464
Probably what happened is the Network Management Agents crashed, and needed restarting.
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LVL 125
ID: 35747482
@coolsport00: okay, just catching up with all the threads.....

did the clone process complete?

did you cancel it?
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LVL 125
ID: 35747495
If "you've lost the faith", maybe the best thing to do is to schedule a service outage, and try it again.

At which point did it stop working?

immediately, or 50%, 95%?
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LVL 125
ID: 35747503
otherwise I would recommend Standalone converter as we've both suggested.
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Author Comment

by:Joshua_M
ID: 35747568
It was 70% completed at the time of failure. Then it just said in the log error: operation timed out.

It's not that I've lost faith, it just put a lot of pressure on getting it back up in the short amount of time so others could do their thing on it.
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LVL 125
ID: 35747604
Didn't run out of storage?

Or it could have been that the management services, took a wrong moment to die, this would have stopped and aborted the process. Because vCenter would not have been able to connect and stream the data.
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Author Comment

by:Joshua_M
ID: 35747645
There is plenty of storage, putting all the data stores together there is 13TB left.

Would the management services continue to fail with moving a server of 600GB or could that have just been another addition to the bad day? I've never been asked to clone a server this size before so I'm not sure of outcomes.
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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 800 total points
ID: 35747655
Bad Day, Gremlins.

600GB is nothing, we've moved 2TB servers around, and cloned.
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LVL 125
ID: 35747665
If however, it occurs again, it's worth a closer look at the infrastructure.
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