Converting a Server 2003 DC / TS to Vmware
Posted on 2013-11-29
I have picked up a client who has an old Windows Server 2003 terminal server, which also is the solo domain controller in his office, and also runs an SQL database he had developed many years ago. The office only has about five PCs and there are two external users/shops who remote into the server.
He is unable to reinstall this customised SQL application as he no longer has a relationship with the people who built it, so as the hardware it is on starts to fail, he has been installing a Shadowprotect image of it onto an identical physical server (he bought a bunch of HP xw8600 workstations some years ago for this purpose). He has done this a couple of times successfully.
I've suggested to him we virtualise the server so then it is hardware independant and easier to backup and restore in the future.
So my question is - what do i need to look out for when virtualising a domain controller? I have read many articles warning about the process, and recommending either not doing it, or building another DC first, promoting it, then demoting the original DC to a member server before converting it to a VM. However, many of the warnings relating to USN issues seem to relate to multiple DC structures and replication problems. I'm wondering if this would not be so much an issue for a single DC. If i did virtualise it as is, what steps should i take to minimse any AD issues? I read somewhere about problems relating to the new NIC created in a VM.
I have actually already created a VM of the server from a recent Shadowprotect image in the workshop just to see if it worked and what obvious issues may arise, and it boots up ok. I can't see any glaring errors in the event log but I'm not really sure what to look for.
Any advise appreciated.