P2V Migration Physical Linux box to a VMware Virtual Linux box with no downtime

Hi guys,

As the title says i need to migrate a Linux box with no downtime to ESXi and with VMware tool that is not possible or i don't know how because you can't install the VCenter Converter into a linux OS and to the live migration with synchronization.

Does any 1 know a way to do this?

Thanks in advance.
Rafael CorrêaAsked:
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Zero downtime may not be achievable. What's the workload that the Linux server is serving? You can possibly minimize the downtime, perhaps down to a few seconds.

If you read up on what the VMware conververter is doing, it sets up a target Linux VM and sets about copying over the volume contents. You can do this, load permitting, while the source Linux machine is running. You can probably use rsync to perform this operation instead of using the converter.

There are a number of areas of concern.
Configuration information - some of the configuration files are necessarily going to be different on the target from what they are on the source
databases - you want to use a specialized method for syncing the database between source and target, not just blind file copying
in-flight transactions - you'll want to arrange a cutover so that the source stops servicing incoming requests before the target server takes over. Depending on what the request service time is, this may be a sufficiently large amount of time that it will force you to give something up
Your transition plan has to address each of these areas through exclusions from the final sync operation. You can practice the final sync any number of times to test it and to see how long it's going to take. You can test transactions on the target server to judge whether it is capable of handling the load. The more you test parts of the transition plan out in advance, the more likely you are to have a successful, short transition. But there will almost certainly be a brief break in service when you do the switchover.
Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
databases - you want to use a specialized method for syncing the database between source and target, not just blind file copying

What jmcg suggests here is true I wouldn't use rsync to copy a live database (if your server has one) because you will never get to a point where you will be able to bring over the DNS records, a live database is "moving" constantly, you'll never catch up.

The only solution will be to either use MySQLDump from the new host, something like this:
mysqldump -h<old-host> -uroot -p<old-host-pw> --opt --compress <old-host-db> | mysql -uroot -p<new-host-pw> <new-host-db>

Open in new window

Or, use replication, this will replicate the db to the new host after which you could update the code to use that new host as db, an approach like this might give you the least amount of downtime (I'm reluctant to say "no downtime").

Again, this is hypothetical of course, you didn't mention the server hosting a database.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Zero downtime, is almost possible, using Platespin Migrate, if the Linux distribution is supported.


But not using VMware Converter for FREE, this is what you get with FREE apps!

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Saravanan PalanisamySystems EngineerCommented:

Of course, we can migrate the Linux physical machine to ESXi host using vsphere converter tool.
Recently I did this task. Yes, we can't install converter tool in linux but we can install it in windows machine then we can migrate the physical machine to ESXi through windows VM.
1. Install a windows machine in ESXi host where you want to migrate the physical machine.
2. Install the vsphere converter tool in that windows machine.
3. But please choose the source machine as linux physical machine instead of "localhost". If you select localhost then that windows machine will be migrated to ESXi host.
4. Then select the destination machine as ESXi host.
5. Please remember we need to choose the same hardware specs as physical machine during the migration.
That's all.
Please refer my below blog post for detailed work flow[I created it today especially for you].
Rafael CorrêaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the comments, It's a Oracle database running on Red Hat, i completed the job using Double Take Move with a downtime of a couple of minutes, great tool i read about it in Andrews article so im giving him the points.
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