Solved

VmWare Migration

Posted on 2013-01-17
21
1,909 Views
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Team,

Really looking for some advice here.  We are a very small shop.  

We currently have 6 physical  Servers, all on old Dell PE2650.  Most are Server standard 2008 R2 32 bit.  Just your typical; 2- Domain Controllers on 2008, 2- File Servers, the main one on 2008, and the other on 2003 STD 32 bit.

Also, we have one older R610 virtual server running 6- 2008 STD SQL servers 32 bit as well.  It has 2- 300GB SAS drives (mirrored) hosting the 6- 2008 VM's OS only, and the SQL databases are on the SAN.  ESX 4.0 is running on the vFlash card.

Also, we have an old Dell MD3000i SAN that cannot be replaced because of budget which sucks!  It has 10- 300GB 15k drives in it one is a hot spare.  I just bought 6 more of the same drives but have not installed them yet for a few reasons, but that's it's max drives 15.

I just bought a Dell R620 w 2- 6 core procs and 48GB Ram.  Also I bought 3- 600GB SAS drives in RAID 5. v-Flash 8GB is running ESXi 5.1

Ok now you know my environment and here's my issue, well a few as you experts probably all ready know.

The MD3000i  does not support past ESXi 4.1u3.  My company did not have the money to buy me a new SAN or to buy me even vSphere Essentials.  All I have is vSphere 5.1 Standard up to 3 host with a vCenter 5.1 license.

My goal was to get the old ESX 4 up to ESXi 5.1 to match the new server and then have vCenter Manage the two.  We want to split servers for fault tolerance.  For example, have Domain controller 1, file server 1, and a few sql servers on one host, then Domain controller 2, file server 2, and a few sql servers on the second host.

All of the ESX 4 2008 sql servers have ISCSI mapped drives to the SAN for their databases.  
If I update this to ESXi 5.1 will I still be able to make the ISCSI connection to the old md3000i SAN?  This is a huge concern of mine???

Also the server that runs the SAN management software IS A 2003 PHYSICAL FILE SERVER and also has Symantec 12 on it.  Can I use the vm converter to p2v that server?  Because I tried and it failed at 1%???  Also will that break anything with the SAN maps?  Can I move my file shares to the SAN since the local drives won't have space?

Another thing when I installed vCenter 5.1 it would not let me convert anything from the ESX 4 host over to the new 5.1 host.

So all in all, basically can I just stick the ESXi 5.1 cd in the ESX 4 server and update it to 5.1 while preserving all the settings and will the ISCSI connections to the SAN still be available or does md3000i not support those?  Also, if this works will I be able to just use vCenter and right click and move the VM's to each host?

The R610 data store is full only 11GB's left, so I did buy 2 more 300GB drives thinking maybe I could make a second data store or something?

I would really appreciate some good guidance at this point as everything I seem to try to do is very difficult. vCenter has been a pain, I almost want to delete it and just cold move the servers but if there is a way to make it work that would be great?

Sorry so long, just really need some good advice at this point?

Thanks,

-Ryan
0
Comment
Question by:RyanHenry
  • 12
  • 9
21 Comments
 
LVL 117
ID: 38788572
All of the ESX 4 2008 sql servers have ISCSI mapped drives to the SAN for their databases.  
If I update this to ESXi 5.1 will I still be able to make the ISCSI connection to the old md3000i SAN?  This is a huge concern of mine???

Yes, you will still be able to connect the server to the iSCSI SAN. Whether it's supported by VMware, is a risk you will need to make a decision about.

Also the server that runs the SAN management software IS A 2003 PHYSICAL FILE SERVER and also has Symantec 12 on it.  Can I use the vm converter to p2v that server?  Because I tried and it failed at 1%???  Also will that break anything with the SAN maps?  Can I move my file shares to the SAN since the local drives won't have space?

Yes, this can be virtualised. Please see my EE Articles for Hints and Tips

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

HOW TO: Improve the transfer rate of a Physical to Virtual (P2V), Virtual to Virtual Conversion (V2V) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

failure at 1%, is Creation of the target virtual machine, check networking, or install VMware Converter on the Physical machine to be converted.


So all in all, basically can I just stick the ESXi 5.1 cd in the ESX 4 server and update it to 5.1 while preserving all the settings and will the ISCSI connections to the SAN still be available or does md3000i not support those?  Also, if this works will I be able to just use vCenter and right click and move the VM's to each host?

That's the theory insert CDROM, and it will detect and the Installer will install ESXi 5.1, and will try and maintain settings where it can, however iSCSI settings are often not maintained and ignored. Again, as for support of MD3000i ESXi 5.1, check the HCL, it will work, but it's not supported. Also check that your servers are on the HCL, ESXi 5.1 requirements have changed.

ESXi 5.1 will install and run only on servers with 64-bit x86 CPUs.
ESXi 5.1 requires a host machine with at least two cores.
ESXi 5.1 supports only LAHF and SAHF CPU instructions.
ESXi 5.1 requires the NX/XD bit to be enabled for the CPU in the BIOS.

A full list of the ESXi 5.1 Hardware Requirements can be found in the VMware ESXi 5.1 Install Guide

Check the VMware Hardware Compatability Lists (HCL), to discover if your computer is certified for use with ESXi 5.1.

If your computer is not listed on the VMware HCL, it may still be possible to install and run VMware ESXi 5.1 on your laptop, desktop, or server. The HCL exists because the server vendor and VMware have certified and tested ESXi 5.1 will function correctly, on the servers listed on the HCL.

vCenter needs to be at 5.1 FIRST, you cannot manage or add 5.1 to vCenter lower than 5.1.

The R610 data store is full only 11GB's left, so I did buy 2 more 300GB drives thinking maybe I could make a second data store or something?

expand existing array or create a new array with 2 x 300GB drivers, and create a datastore.
0
 

Author Comment

by:RyanHenry
ID: 38788778
hanccocka,

Thank you very much for gong through this.  Ok so i understand most of what you are saying.  Just a couple things.  I know that the DELL R610, and R620 support ESXI 5.1 and are 64 bit.  Just the physical servers that I am converting are old.  I did convert one backup domain controller to the new 5.1 Host and it worked fine.

Since I am not using v-motion and all the goodies because of a sh*ty san and I am literally only using the san for ISCSI connections to SQL servers and File server, you are saying that "yes" I will still be able to use those ISCSI mapped drives to the SAN after upgrading?  But you are also saying that basically I will most likely have to re-initiate the ISCSI connections again basically?  These were already setup when I got here so I have never done that before not sure if that is hard?

So far I built a vm on esxi 5.1 for vCenter 5.1.  I then connected to it and added my ESXI 5.1 Host to it, then I added the ESX 4 host to it as well, and it saw both of them just fine.  It;'s just that now when I try to run vm converter on the 4.1 box it says that vCenter controls that box and I can't do it?

Would it be smarter for me to just update esx 4 to esxi 4.1u3 and blow away my esxi 5.1 since there's not much on that because it's new and just install esxi 4.1u3 on that and then use vCenter?

Or do you think I can pull this all off with ESXi 5.1?  I am just so worried about upgrading the esx 4 host to ESXI 5.1 and then not being able to attach the virtual SQL boxes back to their databases on the SAN?

I appreciate your time and you patience with me, I just don't want to make any mistakes.  The ESX4 box is being used by people, the new R620 w ESXI 5.1 I have at my desk and have all the freedom to do what ever until it's ready for production? If 5.1 was on both boxes I could literally just click move vm's between hosts correct?

Also, I have no support with VmWare, we could not afford it.
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 38789011
Sorry, misunderstood, if you are using the Microsoft iSCSI initiator to connect SQL and File Servers to SAN, there will be no change, when they are virtualised.

in the latest VMware Converter, you must now "go through" connect to vCenter 5.1 which controls the hosts. (it's a new thing!).

as for whether you use ESXi 4, 4.1u3, ESXi 5.1 that's entirely up to you.

if the virtual SQL boxes are using Microsoft iSCSI, they will be fine. There's no change to the VM hardware.

you can also use the following software to perform migrations

please see my EE Article

HOW TO: "Live Migrate" VMware Virtual Machines between ESX/ESXi hosts and/or datastores for FREE without licenses for vMotion or Storage vMotion
0
 

Author Comment

by:RyanHenry
ID: 38789065
Great!  Thank you so very much!  I am sorry and forgot to mention that yes these are Microsoft ISCSI initiators.  That's great then if it won't mess with those.

So even though the dell MD3000i only supports ESXi 4.1u3, does that only mean if I was using the SAN as the virtual environment?  And since I a running my vm's off of the local data stores on the dell servers then I will still be able to use Microsoft ISCSI connections to the SAN?

I was just afraid of the MD3000i saying supports only up to ESXi 4.1u3 and I thought that meant any way you use it?

So for sure my way will still work for 5.1 since it's just these microsoft ISCSI connections?

Thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
0
 
LVL 117

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 38789126
So even though the dell MD3000i only supports ESXi 4.1u3, does that only mean if I was using the SAN as the virtual environment?  And since I a running my vm's off of the local data stores on the dell servers then I will still be able to use Microsoft ISCSI connections to the SAN?

Yes, It's completely isolated from the VMware environment, and has nothing to do with it!

I was just afraid of the MD3000i saying supports only up to ESXi 4.1u3 and I thought that meant any way you use it?

Carry on using it! In fact you could connect ALL the storage to Windows 2008R2 VM, and then install Starwind iSCSI Software for FREE on the 2008 R2 VM, and then attach ESXi 5.1 to it (supported!)

http://www.starwindsoftware.com/

and store all your VMs on the SAN!

(food for thought!)

oh, and if you want pretty pictures, video of how to do it, see my videos here, I created...

Video Tutorial - Adding iSCSI storage to a VMware vSphere ESX/ESXi 4.x host server

Video Tutorial - Eazy Peezy Lemon Squeezy iSCSI
Storage by StarWind iSCSI SAN Software


do not worry, these all work with 5.x as well!
0
 

Author Comment

by:RyanHenry
ID: 38789177
Thank you so much for all of your help and insight.  I am going to except all of your solutions and give things a try.

Any issues converting physical Server 2008 Domain controllers onto ESXi 5.1?  Just run the converter from vCenter like you said and that's it?
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 38789219
DC do not bother P2V create a new VM, dcpromo to a new DC, transfer roles.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:RyanHenry
ID: 38789232
I know this is going to sound bad, but whats the process for transferring roles?  Is their issues just p2v?
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 38789262
Yes, P2V of DCs not supported, much better if the physical server is OFF, but then you need to use different software called COLDCLONE.

Recommended method is to build a new DC, and Transfer the Roles, then decomission the old Server.

http://www.petri.co.il/transferring_fsmo_roles.htm
0
 

Author Comment

by:RyanHenry
ID: 38789274
Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!
0
How to run any project with ease

Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
- Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
- View and edit from mobile/offline
- Cut down on emails

 

Author Comment

by:RyanHenry
ID: 38789311
Would the free version of veeam work?  Actually I have it downloaded but not installed so not sure if that's a whole another animal.  I will look at your articles and thanks your the fricken man!
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 38789394
free version of veeam work for what?
0
 

Author Comment

by:RyanHenry
ID: 38807072
to move vm's from the older virtual server to the new one to open some space on the new ESXi 5.1 server.
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 38807117
Yes, it will work, if you have a licensed version of ESXi
0
 

Author Comment

by:RyanHenry
ID: 38807184
Sorry I meant open space on old virtual EX 4 server.  Basically I am trying to load balance these to servers, but it would be a cold load balance because I only have a standard license for VMware 5.1.  I spoke with Dell storage support because my SAN controller on my MD3000i went out.  They had to ship me a new one so I could get the SAN back online.

While on the phone with them I asked about ESXi 5.1 simply for Microsoft ISCSI connections to the MD3000i SAN for the SQL Virtual Servers Data bases and for my company's file share, and they said that it is unsupported and that they couldn't even assist me if i chose to go that route. They said that the Microsoft ISCSI connections will work, but over time data will start to become unstable and useless.

That's why they say to stay no later than 4.1u3 when you need a MD3000i to use for anything.

So should I just blow away the ESXi 5.1 box I built and just re-install ESXI 4.1u3 and then migrate the ESX 4 box to ESXi 4.1u3?  Will this work seamlessly until I can get them to purchase me a 3rd virtual server this year and then an updated SAN in a year or two?  One that I could actually run virtualization on?

I just don't now what to do guys, can I eve get vCenter 4.1 to manage these still and will my license for 5.1 work for this whole 4.1 environment as well?

Or is Dell just trying to scare me and once I update the ESX 4 host to ESXi 5.1 will I simply be able to right click and move the servers from one host to another for redundancy?

Sorry guys I am just pulling my hair out over here and appreciate all of you advice.  MY VP expects a plan out of me and I need to come up with something quick?

Thanks again

-Ryan
0
 

Author Comment

by:RyanHenry
ID: 38807683
Guys,

I moved a vm from ESX 4 to ESXi 5.1 and tested Microsoft ISCSI to the MD3000i SAN and the DB's said that everything works fine.  I am just worried because Dell said there could be data corruption later on say 6 months from now?

We are very small though, I mean I have a total of like 12 servers half of which are file and DC's.

Comments?  Think I should just stick with ESXi 5.1?
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 38807730
I do not understand why Dell think there could be corruption later on in six months?

Why? what is going to happen in six months, that is not happening now?

Ask Dell for technical evidence, seems to me Dell sales, want to sell you a new SAN.

The Host Server has got no impact on your VM! especially in the use of Microsoft iSCSI initiator.

Your only risk, is spare parts for your MD3000i should it break.
0
 

Author Comment

by:RyanHenry
ID: 38807891
Very good point!!! He kinda fumbled around the answer too,  like you said it wasn't very technical.

As always thank u again!!!
0
 

Author Comment

by:RyanHenry
ID: 38810447
On your advice, I emailed them asking for knowledge base articles providing details of why this solution would not work and how data corruption could occur.

We still have a 3 year next day warranty on the MD3000i.  We only have one controller and it went down two days ago.  Exactly why I wanted to build the data stores on local Dell virtual server disks  until we can get a real SAN.  Thank fully I plugged the new one in the next day and all was good.
0
 

Author Comment

by:RyanHenry
ID: 38814986
I have a few more questions for you.  Should I open up all new tickets for them?  There all related to this migration which you understand,  and I really appreciate your timely and knowledgeable answers.

Basically like about moving FSMO roles between my two DC's and I built a veeam server on 2008 enterprise  and was wondering if I should jut move all my apps like monitoring tools for servers and net flow, and Symantec antivirus as well.  Basically make that a utility server?
0
 
LVL 117
ID: 38815022
they should be new questions.
0

Featured Post

IT, Stop Being Called Into Every Meeting

Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

Join & Write a Comment

It Is not possible to enable LLDP in vSwitch(at least is not supported by VMware), so in this article we will enable this, and also go trough how to enabled CDP and how to get this information in vSwitches and also in vDS.
This article will show you how to create an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image (*.iso), and MD5 checksum signature, for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5). It's a good idea to compare checksums, because many installations fail because of a corr…
Via a live example, show how to set up a backup for SQL Server using a Maintenance Plan and how to schedule the job into SQL Server Agent.
Via a live example, show how to shrink a transaction log file down to a reasonable size.

706 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

19 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now