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VM file server migration by removing/adding disks

Posted on 2015-01-12
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Last Modified: 2015-01-13
I have a VM that is acting as a file server currently running server 2003. This server holds about 7 TB worth of files over several data disks. As part of our windows server 2003 retirement plan I need to get these files onto a 2008 or 2012 server.

In the past I have used robocopy to do do a copy and then delta copy right before cutting the server over. Due to the size of this data I was thinking rather than using robocopy to move the data I would build a new 2008 r2 server and then remove the data disks within vmware and simpy attach them to the new server. At this point I would only need to set the drive letters correctly and everything should be there for data, permissions, etc. I would need to recreate the shares but that would be simple enough.

Has anyone done this migration method in the past and did it work for you? Anything I should be worried about with detaching and reattaching these data drives.

Thanks
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Question by:Joseph Daly
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Expert Comment

by:Muhammad Mulla
ID: 40544360
I would recommend copying the VMDK files if possible or restore the VMDK from a recent backup. In any case, ensure backups are current before attempting this.

Permissions on the files should remain as they are. Shares will need to be recreated. I would make a note of share permissions too.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 250 total points
ID: 40544445
Your method is the correct method to migrate the data, you could then leave the migrated virtual disks in place, or create new virtual disks and copy the data.

VMware vSphere 5.5 now supports large single virtual disks, larger than 2TB.
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Assisted Solution

by:Seth Simmons
Seth Simmons earned 250 total points
ID: 40544466
i also agree with detaching and attaching to the new vm which would keep everything intact
using robocopy to a new vmdk isn't necessary in this environment and copying the 7tb vmdk files isn't practical
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by:Joseph Daly
ID: 40544481
That is exactly what I am trying to avoid is taking the time/data storage in order to have a secondary copy of the 7tb worth of data.

So my thoughts are to note the share folder and permissions
Power down the old server.
Collect the disk information then detach from old server.
Attach to new server and assign the correct drive letters.
Recreate shares and permissions

Think that should be about it right?
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Expert Comment

by:Seth Simmons
ID: 40544492
that should be fine; that's what i would do
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LVL 120
ID: 40544561
Yes, that's correct.

Make sure there are no snapshots before you do the move, and take a full backup of the VM, before any changes.
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