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iSCSI to VMWare disk conversion

Posted on 2011-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I use to have a physical server with a few drives that were iSCSI.  Server had problems so i cloned the physical server to a VM (VMWare ESXi 4.1), i did not clone the iSCSI drives to VMDK drives, i just reatached the iSCSI drives to the newly created VM.

I am now decomissioning the EMX AX4-5i SAN that is hosting the iSCSI drives(moving to a EMC VNXe), i need to recreate those drives on the VM server as VMDKs.  I am allowed up to 3 hours of system downtime.  What is contained on these drives are a total of around 2 TB of 1-5 KB files(spread over multiple iSCSI drives, i will not hit the 2TB VMware limit), imposible to do a full file copy this in the time frame i have.  At the end of the system down time, i do not need all the data copied, but i do need to have at least folder/directory structure and all the permissions on those folders and directorys copied over.

tools, that i have, that may be of use:  Beyond Compare, VMWare/VCenter/VMWare Conversion tool

looking for a game plan on how to get the the directory structure and permissions copied over to my new VMDK drives; with in the 3 hours, then plan on how to eventaly get the rest of the data put into the folders (i have as much time as it takes for this second part)

thanks,
Steven
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Question by:sdmarek
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Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 167 total points
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I would recommend and use Robocopy, Robocopy can copy the directory structure, and you can use the mirroring features to populate the data.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc733145%28WS.10%29.aspx
(robocopy is a free download).

So I would create the new Virtual Disk on the Server, and start a Robocopy job from Source to Destination server.

You could test a VMware Converter Conversion, because this can be done HOT, and then later use Robocopy just to update the copy.
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by:paulsolov
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I would redo the VM with VMWAre Converter. This way it will get everything and allow you to thin provision as well.  Since VMWare Converter will the iSCSI drives as regular volumes it will not have any problems getting them over.
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by:paulsolov
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On another note if the iSCSI volumes are over 2TB you may want to upgrade to vSphere 5, no more 2TB limitation

@hanccoka: I'm going for VCP5 this week..fun stuff.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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@paulsolov: Good Luck! (you'll not need it though!)
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by:RickEpnet
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Have you tied this. I was very impressed with the speed.

http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esxi-fastscp.html?ad=menu
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Assisted Solution

by:Luciano Patrão
Luciano Patrão earned 167 total points
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Hi

With this time of system downtime, the best is to copy/clone(using SAN Copy from EMC) between Storage LUNs.

Check here some good discussion about SAN Copy.
http://dbaspot.com/arch/255032-emc-sancopy-clone-snapshot-question.html

You can do a copy between the Storages. Then reattach the new LUNs into the VM and all the permissions will have the same from previous Storage.

Plan:

1º De-attach the from the VMware/VM
2º SAN Copy to a new LUN/Storage
3º vConverter the physical server(without the SAN disks, only local)
4º Power UP the new VM
5º Check VM
6º Power off VM
7º Reattach the New LUNs into the VMware/VM
8º Add RAW disks into the VM
9º Power on VM and check Data

Here I have a article how to convert a Windows Server. Inside is a tasks regarding De-attach and reattach the SAN disks.

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

Since you don't any many hours to do this tasks, this is what I do if I needed to this.
Most of the tasks above you can do while the VM is still running(Storage side)

Hope this can help

Jail
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by:lucifer82
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Sounds like it's much easier for you to create the new storage and use the robocopy command to copy the security setting at the same time. This way you have no down time which resolves your 3 hour window.

Now as mentioned above there is an issue with limitation of 2TB. So you can either :

1. Upgrade to VMware 5 (I haven't test it myself yet)
2. Create 2 x 2TB Disks and convert them into Dynamic Disk and put them together. This way you'll have double the storage within the VM.
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Author Comment

by:sdmarek
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i think i now have enough ideas to try something out quicky in a test enviroment and than schedual the downtime for the swap.

I may not be able to do the production change for up to 10 days.  When i do, i will get back to this post.

thansk,
Steven
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Author Closing Comment

by:sdmarek
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I am mostly just closing this ticket out, it has been open for a long time.  accepted answers are ones that i was looking at using.

here is what i ended up doing, and worked great:
-upgrated to VMWAre 5.0
-i cloned the host to a VM, and attached the iSCSI to the VM
-i created a VMDK (VMWare disk) for each iSCSI disk
-converted all non-OS disk to dynamic
-for each iSCSI disk, i created a mirroed drive to the coresponding VMDK disk (no downtime), just used windows/diskmgmt.msc
-once replication finished, i removed the iSCSI disks from the RAID mirror
-finished, only down time was the 20 seconds it took me to power off the physical machine, and power on the VM.  I could of have the converter tool automaticly power off the physical as it powers on the VM and had no downtime, but i wanted to make sure the iSCSI drives did not have problems connecting to the "new" server.

thanks,
Steven
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