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Copy of a server, on a server

Posted on 2011-09-16
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
This may be hard to explain, but i will do my best. We have a server that hosts Sharepoint as well as a few other programs. We are looking to upgrade to Sharepoint Foundation 2010 and want to test the upgrade before we proceed. However this question is not about the upgrade. We want to Virtualize the server in VMWare 1st, and run it on the same server for testing. So say we have server 1, we want to make a copy of server 1 and have it run as a VM on server 1.


Is this possible? Will there be conflicts with naming and IP addresses? Advice?
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Question by:jandrews78
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by:coolsport00
ID: 36551330
Yep, just do a P2V of it, using the free tool here:
http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/infrastructure_operations_management/vmware_vcenter_converter_standalone/5_0

The user's guide can help get you going:
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/convsa_50_guide.pdf

And VMware's KB provides troubleshooting & best practices:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1004588

Regards,
~coolsport00
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by:coolsport00
ID: 36551334
To run the "converted" virtual machine (server), yes, you would have a conflict so you would have to turn off the physical box/server. You could create an isolated environment on your ESX/ESXi host though (assuming that is what you're wanting to convert your physical box to...a VMware virtual machine).
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 300 total points
ID: 36551335
Firstly, you can virtualise the server using a P2V (physical to virtual process), using VMware Converter see below for details. We complete upgrade testing all the time like this.

But you will NOT be able to use both Servers on the Network at the same time, due to conflict in IP address and Name.

But you can create a new physical or virtual network in VMware ESX/ESXi to complete your testing. You could change the name and IP address, but that would NOT be the same test. (and possibly impractiable).

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

If you have issues, you may want to consult the following guides

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

@paulsolov fellow EE Expert has suggested the following method:-

"If all else fails do the following as it has helped me over a hundred times when converter fails

1.  Download trial copy of Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery
2.  Install and take an image of the server
3.  Use VMware Converter to convert image (it knows it natively) to a VM"


Check the video here I created earlier, and you can see the process.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_27232719.html?cid=1572#a36291208
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by:Govvy
ID: 36551347
If you change the IP details of the VM which you create from the P2V you should then be safe to turn on its network and run within the original server via VMware Workstation, VirtualBox or equivalent virtual platform.
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Expert Comment

by:ragnarok89
ID: 36551353
Yes, this is possible, and you are correct, there will be name and IP conflicts. However, what you can do is create the VM, disable it's virtual network interface (hence no duplicate will exist on the network). Now you have an isolated test environment that you can upgrade.

Once the upgrade is done, you can take the original server offline, join your VM to the network, and see if everything works. If it does, you can decommission the old server, or delete your VM and run the upgrade on the old server.
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Author Comment

by:jandrews78
ID: 36551431
So once the VM is installed changed the IP address to prevent conflicts correct? What about the actual server name? If it is server 1 now, it gets cloned, can we just give it a new IP addy and change its name to server 2?

Thank you so much for your help.
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 36551442
Yes, change the IP and yes, you'll have to change the hostname as well.
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ID: 36551447
Change Server name and IP address, but it's not a like for like test, but it will prove the upgrade.
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by:Govvy
ID: 36551448
Yes you can update the hostname too assuming it needs to be joined to domain otherwise not required. If you do change the hostname then you will need to confirm if any config files also need that to be updated to reflect...
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Assisted Solution

by:coolsport00
coolsport00 earned 200 total points
ID: 36551451
But, if you want an actual test, what you really wanna do is not run simultaneous servers in production. You're wanting to see how the VM will perform, so I recommend, if possible, to keep the name/IP and power down the orig phys box.
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