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Virtualising My VMWare virtual centre server

Posted on 2012-03-14
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Last Modified: 2012-04-13
Hi

The Questions
1) Can I run P2V on the server I am P2Ving.

2) Are there any pitfalls in having my Virtual centre server virtualised or anything to watch out for during the process.


The Why
I have been attempting to work out how to maintain access to my backup software and vmware management tools in a DR situation. (See previous questions). There seems little point in having a set of Veeam replicas at my DR site if I can't get to them in a DR situation.

It seems both Veeam and controlling VMWare's environment are tied in to virtual centre server quite heavily. If I lost this in a disaster things become much trickier to resolve at a time when one needs simplicity and a well oiled routine.

My Virtual Centre server is a physical machine that also houses the DB for veeam.

If I were to virtualise this using p2v and then use Veeam to replicate it to my DR I should be able to, in a DR situation, boot this replica just using Vsphere client. Install Veeam on the server pointing it at the then local Veeam DB and failover any production servers till my hearts content; theoretically.

What do you think.

TIA
Jo
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Question by:jrb139
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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1) Can I run P2V on the server I am P2Ving.
Yes.


2) Are there any pitfalls in having my Virtual centre server virtualised or anything to watch out for during the process.

It's a supported option, but just remember, to start the VM, automatically, or connect to ESXi server directly and start it, when it's virtual!
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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If I were to virtualise this using p2v and then use Veeam to replicate it to my DR I should be able to, in a DR situation, boot this replica just using Vsphere client. Install Veeam on the server pointing it at the then local Veeam DB and failover any production servers till my hearts content; theoretically.

Correct.
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Author Comment

by:jrb139
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I have just got to powering my p2v'd VC server and thought of a problem.

I use VCentre server for controlling HA. If this is virtualised and the host on which it resides crashes I am not really going to be able have any clue as to what is occurring. I can't see this being a good idea so I have powerred down my p2v'd box and gone back to my physical VCServer.

Losing a host is much more likely than a DR situation, in fact inevitable, that's why we have HA.

So I think I'll try this approach.

Move my p2v'd VCserver down to the DR site.
Schedule backups of the Veeam and VCServer DB's to the DR site.
At DR time (never gonna happen is it!):- boot the server, restore the DB's, hope to have a working system I can control both the veeam replicas and my DR site ESXi-host.

I think this is the best plan I can come up with.

What do you think?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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vCenter is only required to configure HA.

Once HA is configured the Agents on the Hosts, control HA!
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Author Comment

by:jrb139
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Surely without A VCServer it's not very easy to diagnose what is going on and all the logging of events that would be happening to the DB, currently being swapped from host to host is lost. Confusion would surely reign?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
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That is true, but HA is not dependant upon a vCenter server running. Im responding to your opening question. vCenter configures HA.

DRS would not function, as it Requires vMotion, which requires vCenter.

You can login direct to ESXi servers and control.

Test it, if we have a complete cluster failure with HA, DRS, vMotion and vCenter.

Power on hosts, ALL the VMs, that were HA protected when power was lost will be restarted, including virtual vCenter server, which when services restart, will rebalance the cluster, using DRS.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jrb139
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Ta Muchly
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