I am looking to Virtualize a Physical Dell Server that has 2008 Std Server on it and then upgrade to 2012 server in Hyper-V.

I was going to purchase an Open License for the 2012 Server.

What is the best "Simplest" way to go about this and what tools should I use?

Thanks Experts!
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yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyCommented:
What are your running on the 2008 Server at the moment?
You can use Sysintenals Disk2vhd  https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/ee656415
Once P2V using the tool in the link you will need to convert it to VHDX to work on Server 2012 Hyper-V

Virtualization Licensing of OS can be tricky,
How many VM's are you planning to run?
How many CPU's will the Host have?
This will dictate what quantity of license you will need to purchase.

Here is a good blog explaining it.
Diamond IT AdministratorSystems AdministratorCommented:
 About 18 months ago I migrated my entire environment from a physical environment to a virtual one running in Hyper-V. I used Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter. It can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42497 and is a free download. It will walk you through the steps to convert the Physical device.

I don't know the size of your network or how you have it configured so I do have to caution you. It will be taxing on your network depending on how you have it configured so I would recommend running it at night or over the weekend.

One thing I would recommend before converting, is make sure that your physical servers main OS installation drive has adequate storage before converting. If i remember correctly, any drive that you convert from physical to  virtual can not be expanded. So if you Don't have a large enough hard drive to install your updated OS and have enough storage space left for Windows updates and any additional software that you plan to install, i would recommend not convert the server.

Hope this helps.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
OEM licenses are tied to the hardware thus you would be out of compliance to do a P2V
you would need another license or build a 2012 server and migrate
if you did a P2V as-is, you will have to activate again
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Perhaps you could avoid the P2V OEM licensing issue by replacing your 2008 server instance with the newly purchased 2012 server, presumably Standard edition. Your new 2012 server is now properly licensed and you have rights to run up to two virtual instances of 2012 on it. Feasibility, of course, may be limited by what roles your 2008 server has.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Your Virtual Machine may need re-activation after virtualising.

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) versions

Note: Physical-to-virtual hard drive migration of a Windows installation is a valid function for customers with Software Assurance and full retail copies of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Software Assurance provides users valuable benefits—please contact Microsoft Corporation for further information. Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 installed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) using OEM versions of these products may not be transferred to a virtual hard drive in accordance with Microsoft licensing terms.



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April33Author Commented:
The current 2008 Server is running a few Accounting Apps, acting as a File Server, Print Server... It is also a Domain Controller.  This is a small office with only 1 server for 5 workstations.

I wanted to migrate to a new server without having to reinstall and configure everything from scratch.  I was hoping by converting the existing server to a virtual and then upgrading the OS would save time.......?

The new server will come with 2012 Server already installed.  It will have 1 or 2 CPU's. I only plan on housing 1 VM.

James, good point on the Storage issue.  I was not aware of that limitation.   I thought once the you have a vhdx you can expand the size of it.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Diamond IT AdministratorSystems AdministratorCommented:
Typically expanding drives is not an issue. Only on P to V servers does it become a problem. The OEM licensing could be an issue, but me personally would not get to hung up on it if you are going to be upgrading to a non OEM install of the OS.

Which version of server 2012 are you installing that will be running your VM's? You will be limited to the number of VM's you can run unless your running server 2012 Datacenter which gives you unlimited VM's as long as they are running server 2012 as well.
April33Author Commented:
Thanks Andrew, your articles are very helpful!

James, I will be running 2012 Std Edition on the Host box.  Only going to have 1 VM; the migrated and then upgraded old Physical Server.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
Make sure to run available updates in the OS after setting up Hyper-V as there were some critical bugs in 2012 RTM.

Here's a list of updates and patches for Hyper-V on 2012 RTM.

I also have an EE article on Some Hyper-V Hardware and Software Best Practices.

As far as P2V we use StorageCraft's ShadowProtect and its Hardware Independent Restore feature. We have a blog post on cleaning things up post P2V.

Disk2VHD would be a freebie tool that can be used.

Whichever way make sure to remove the hardware vendor's management and monitoring tools before P2V.
April33Author Commented:
Thanks to everyone for helping on this issue.  You gave a lot of good information!
April33Author Commented:
Andrew Hancock and James Jewett, I went to use the different tools you suggested to do the P2V conversion (Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter and 5nine converter but this server is running 2008 Server.  These tools require 2008R2?

Also, I tried using the Disk2vhd..

What now?
Diamond IT AdministratorSystems AdministratorCommented:
  The new server that you have is going to have Server 2012 pre-installed on it. You will need to install Microsoft Virtual Converter onto that server. You will then be able to migrate the 2008 R2 physical server to a virtual on the new server that the conversion software is installed.


Supported Operating System
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

(The above is straight from the link provided)
April33Author Commented:
James, the server I am trying to migrate is Not R2....  It is just 2008Server?
Diamond IT AdministratorSystems AdministratorCommented:
Okay. Then I am not sure I understand the issue. If you are installing the Virtual conversion software on the new server so that you can convert the 2008 server to a virtual you should have no issue. The installation of the conversion software requires 2008 R2 or Server 2012 or 2012 R2. Your new server you said will be running 2012 so you should be okay.
April33Author Commented:
I guess I was not understanding the steps I needed to follow....

I do have a fresh virtual install of 2012 server on the new Hyper-V box.

So I just install the MS Virtual Conversion Software on the 2012 Server and point it to the old 2008 box to perform the conversion?  

Is this correct?
Diamond IT AdministratorSystems AdministratorCommented:
Yes. Those are the steps. When you start a conversion, it will walk you through the steps, pointing to the host you want to convert...Etc.. Etc...
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
did you read my EE Articles, which show the steps ?
April33Author Commented:
Thanks again for all your help guys!
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