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Live convertion to VM from physical server

Posted on 2013-02-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-06
Hi Guys

Question

we have a server 2008 R2 Running a IMAP multi domain mail server. (Smarter Mail)

We are planning on Visualizing our environment and we are planning on using Hyper-V

Is it possible to Migrate the Physical server with out disrupting the mail services using System Center Virtual Machine Manager

In other words live migration to a VM from a Physical server


The HV host is a very Beefy server running server 2012 enterprise


any ideas???
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Question by:Rat Zulu
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Expert Comment

by:Nick Sui
ID: 38858618
I have not tried so far; converting a Messaging Physical box to Virtual Machine.

As far as I know, there shouldn't be any disruption in the service but I need to double check with someone.

Hold on.

-----
Sys.
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LVL 118
ID: 38858638
It will be difficult to Live Migrate any physical server to a virtual server without, the smallest part of disruption, because you will have a small disruption, failing over from physical to virtual. (e.g. 50 seconds).

NETIQ Platespin Migrate
https://www.netiq.com/products/migrate/

can do this, P2V, and then failover at a programmed time.
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Expert Comment

by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
ID: 38858824
Unless the software has a replication mechanism of its own (Exchange, AD or some log shipping etc), there would be some disruption.

P2v process is basically a file copy.

BTW what is the size of data?
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Author Comment

by:Rat Zulu
ID: 38858947
@hanccocka

The distruption during the switch to the Virtual from physical  is not an issue

We can talk to our clients and arrange a outage for that short time and the mails will get spooled on the Symantec cloud

Do we need to Stop all the mail services during the conversion ??


@ npsingh12

Well Smarter-mail does not have replication capabilities. will it cause a data loss when we take the VM live.

Data loss in the sense emails missing for a long period of time

The server Store mail data using a flat file system and we are talking about 800GB to 1TB of data.

This Server only holds only 30 Odd email domains with around 10 of them highly active during 75% of the day

Any suggestions????
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LVL 56

Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 250 total points
ID: 38873454
Al of your P2V options rely on some sort of point in time snapshot conversion. As such, there is always some conversion time and failover time, and for a messaging server, data lost that is received after the time the snapshot was taken.

P2V conversions are thus usually not appropriate for messaging servers, SQL servers, domain controllers and other transaction-heavy applications.

The smarter play here is to stand up a new VM and then migrate the data. SmarterTools has several love migration options to move the data between servers and the ,ethics won't care whether the "new" server is physical or virtual. This will limit the interruption in device and eliminate data loss.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 38873457
When I've done mail server p2v the trick to minimal downtime was to put the store on network storage. Install the mail server in the vm, turn off the mail server, point the vm mail server at the same data store, set ip and whatever to match, turn on vm mail server.
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LVL 118
ID: 38873555
I would recommend ALL services are stopped, and set to Manual during conversion.
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Accepted Solution

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xperttech earned 250 total points
ID: 38875957
Malindar,

You must stop all of your services and spool all your mail to avoid new entries to your mailbox databases, queues, etc. If you were to leave the services running, just one incoming message or processed outgoing message after the P2V has snapshot your physical service, will ruin your copy.

In other words, anything processed after the P2V software has taken a snapshot will be lost.

You don't want corruption or orphan pointers in your databases.

Hope this clarifies!
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