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Converting a Physical Machine to a Hyper-V Virtual Machine (P2V)

 

Andrew Walman

06/08/2008

Windows Server 2008 Hyper-VWe had a Dell PowerEdge 1750 that's just gone out of warranty, but is running some important stuff (It's our root certificate server for one). Having run Hyper-V in production for a while now, and been very happy with it, we wanted to import it and run it as a Hyper-V virtual machine - undertaking a P2V (Physical to Virtual) process.
 
Trouble is, there's no direct P to V converter for Hyper-V available to do this - at least not until Virtual Machine Manager gets updated. However, VMware have offered their VMWare converter for free for a long time (you'll need to register). This tool connects to a physical machine and creates a VMware Machine, with a VM disk and configuration file.
 
Once you have the VMWare image, you can convert this to a Hyper-V (or Virtual PC/Virtual Server) compatible .VHD file using this tool from VMtoolkit. Again, you'll need to register, but again it's free.
 
Once you've converted the disk, create a new Hyper-V machine and point it at the converted disk. Fire it up, log in, and wait for all the hardware to be redetected - the HAL will change, so it will need rebooting. On the second reboot, you can insert the virtual machine additions, which will change the HAL again, and require a third reboot, which will finish off the virtual machine additions, before a final reboot.
 
If you can't see you're network card, you may need to use the legacy adaptor. For example, our PowerEdge 1750 used a Broadcom in teaming mode, and until we swapped the standard Hyper-V NIC for a Legacy one, we couldn't uninstall the teaming software or see the network configuration.
 
Once we'd tidied up (removing stuff like Dell OpenManage), we switched off the Physical Server, connected the network to the new Hyper-V server, and crossed our fingers - everything worked. The new server connected back to our iSCSI SAN and began replicating using DFS just like a good clone should - except the performance was noticably improved!
 
All in all, for an hour's work, this is a relatively straightfoward process with an excellent result. Admittedly we had a lot of things going for us - Windows 2003 target, single domain, simple network, single disk (split into two volumes), with a high performance Hyper-V server - but I can't see any reason why this shoudn't be attempted with more complex setups.
 
In summary the process to follow is:
  1. Have a Windows 2008 server ready with Hyper-V - ours is a Dell PowerEdge 2970 with 16GB RAM, Dual quad-core AMD Opteron Processors, and a RAID 1/RAID 10 split for the OS/Storage. All the Hyper-V files run from the RAID 10 volume. This is good for about 12 guests.
  2. Install the VMWare convertor on the Hyper-V server. You don't need to install the agent.
  3. Download the VMDK to VHD Convertor and unzip it to a local drive on the Hyper-V server (the desktop will do).
  4. Create a network share on the Hyper-V server that the target server can reach.
  5. Run the VMware converter against the target (it must be a Windows box, anything from NT4 upwards).
  6. Once complete (Our PE1750 with a 70GB disk took about 20 mins), point the VMDK to VHD converter at the new disk, and create a Hyper-V disk under your Hyper-V file location. Once complete, you can delete the VMDK file.
  7. Create a new Hyper-V virtual machine, using the new .VHD file as the boot disk. Don't connect the machine to the physical network at this point.
  8. Boot the new Hyper-V machine, log in and let the hardware detection process run. Don't insert the integration services disk yet. Reboot.
  9. Log in again and insert the integration services disk, and let it do its stuff. Reboot again.
  10. Log in a third time, and let the install complete. One more reboot!
  11. Log in now and have a look at the network settings. If you can't see anything, you'll need to shut down the guest and install a legacy adapter.
  12. Tidy up stuff that isn't needed for a virtual machine - typically hardware management stuff.
  13. If all is good, shut down the old box, connect the network to your new virtual machine and fire it up!

For more details on our consultancy services for Virtualisation and consolidation of physical servers, please see this page.


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Clear out the ROT!140<p class="lead">​​They might give examples of damp rot or rotten food but ROT in the IT world is an acronym and if you apply the definition of rot to your data it's not far off what this blog is essentially about.</p><p class="lead">The acronym ROT when referring to IT stands for <strong>Redundant, Obsolete and Trivial</strong> and it's used when describing your digital data that your business keeps hold of when it has no value. Employees create ROT every day without realising how much this impacts your business.</p><p>ROT can be found on network and SharePoint servers, desktops, mobile devices such as laptops and mobile phones, on premise and in the cloud. Its impact can be huge and will become even more of a worry when the new GDPR* comes into force on May 25<sup>th</sup> 2018. </p><p>​ <strong>Reasons to clear the ROT out&#58;</strong></p><ol>​ <li> <strong>It decreases the need for extra storage.</strong><br>Funding extra storage, costs businesses money; not only having to pay for the extra storage but extra storage creates the need for a bigger IT infrastructure (and more IT support staff) and hardware which all rise costs.<br></li><li> <strong>Prevents data becoming a liability risk.</strong>​ <br>For businesses that are subject to audits, clearing out the ROT is an important part of the process. Businesses need to be able to demonstrate they are compliant within a whole range of regulations and legal guidelines dependent on the sector the business operates in.<br></li><li> <strong>Improves productivity in staff</strong>. <br>The need to quickly access the right information instead of wading through irrelevant documents will increase the delivery of projects and increase productivity on a day to day basis. This in turn increases productivity and profit margins.<br></li><li> <strong>Prevents data breaches.</strong><br>Clearing out the ROT can be viewed as time consuming and not a profitable use of time. The less information your company has that has no business or legal value reduces the chance of a data breach. If there is a data breach then you open yourselves up to costly legal action that is easily preventable.<br></li><li> <strong>GDPR is coming.</strong><br>May 25<sup>th</sup> 2018 is a date that you need to have etched in your brain if you are the owner of a business. The new regulations are replacing the outdated Data Protection Act and is a well needed reaction to the change in how data is stored, transferred and managed. Individual's now have far more rights and businesses will have to ensure that they have the legal consent to process data. All personal data that you hold, where it came from and who you share it with now needs to be documented. Getting rid of obsolete data will help to prevent any breaches of GDPR.<br></li> ​ </ol> <p class="small">*GDPR(The General Data Protection Regulation) is the European Union's new legislation to protect the personal data of all EU citizens and has evolved from the need to regulate data protection by updating the 1995 Data Protection Directive (DPD). This set of regulations is now out of date due to the increasing advances in the digital and technology world.<br>Organisations have been given a two-year lead in period to become compli​ant, ending 25th May 2018.​</p><p> <strong>How can Fuse help you clear out the ROT?</strong></p><p>Fuse is a specialist in SharePoint and has an in-house team of consultants. If you currently store terabytes of data held within an on-premise infrastructure and you are worried about GDPR because your data is unstructured and therefore unmanageable, Fuse can help. Fuse implements solutions that help to analyse the data held by your organisation; structure your data; identify unwanted and duplicated data. This is all done quickly and securely. </p><p>Once your data is in a manageable format we can provide the tools that will identify and collect GDPR personal information within documents. Workflows can be created to generate documents and automate your requests for &quot;the right to be forgotten&quot;. &#160;Not only are we good at it, it will give you peace of mind as you will be preventing any GDPR breaches. Become compliant by binning the ROT! </p><div class="well well-lg"><p class="lead">​If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone about your current system, call 01604 797979 for​ a no obligation chat!</p></div>l.ozier@fusecollaboration.com | Louise Ozier | 693A30232E777C6675736563735C6C2E6F7A696572 i:0#.w|fusecs\l.ozier24/07/2017 23:00:002017-07-24T23:00:00ZIf you were to ask most people what the definition of rot is, you are more than likely to get answers along the lines of "something that's damaged, something that you can't use anymore or something that is decaying or gone bad". 26/07/2017 10:55:54htmlFalseaspx

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