I’m on an engagement with a client that includes a dozen or so hard-to-p2v physical servers. I’m sure I’ll have other posts as I work through the issues, but one of the Jr. Administrators on their staff asked if I had a best practices or how to guide for successful P2V’s.
So to add to the web pile of guides on this subject, I bring you my take on virtualizing existing servers!
Prerequisites for this guide:
- VMware vCenter Converter Standalone application. Available from VMware.com
- A central server to perform conversions
- a VMware vSphere cluster with sufficient resources for converted machine(s)
- Virtualizing a Domain Controller with converter is not recommended.
- If attempting to virtualize a database server, stop all database services prior to conversion.
- Disable any AV before conversion
- Remove any unused applications or old, unneeded data
- Write out all IP information for the source server
- If a conversion fails, try installing converter directly on the physical machine.
- Use the physical machines Administrator account to minimize permissions issues
- If security is not of paramount importance, disable SSL in the converter to greatly increase conversion speed:
C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter\converter-client.xml. set useSsl to false
- On the source machine, disable advanced NIC feature TCP Chimney (One of the TOE settings):
netsh int tcp set global chimney=disabled
The Act of Converting:
- Open the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone application:
- When the window opens, click ‘Convert Machine’:
- On the first page of the Conversion wizard, select you source type and put in the IP/Hostname and admin credentials for the server being P2V’d:
- The converter is agent-based. When it connects to the server, it asks how you want the agent uninstalled. The default is fine:
- Deploying agent…:
- Once complete, you need to enter the information for vCenter:
- This screen determines the name of the final machine and its location:
- The next page determines the host/cluster, datastore and hardware version of the VM:
- I don’t normally modify any of the option on this screen. I’d rather do them to the VM after a successful conversion:
- Last chance to turn back! Click ‘Finish’ on the summary page:
- Monitor progress:
- Start up with no networking (Our original machine is still running):
After the conversion:
- Start machine with network disconnected
- Start machine in safe mode
- Remove any unnecessary programs that were hardware specific (Like Dell OMSA)
- Restart machine in normal mode (Still with a disconnected NIC)
- Remove hardware specific Drivers (Such as a Broadcom NIC)
- Remove non-present devices in Device Manager
- Install VMware Tools