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Using XenConvert P2V for SBS 2008 Virtualization.

Started by Chinweike Okoloji , 09 August 2017 - 12:51 PM
16 replies to this topic

Chinweike Okoloji Members

Chinweike Okoloji
  • 21 posts

Posted 09 August 2017 - 12:51 PM

Hi Folks!

 

I am hoping to receive a very valuable input on this topic because we have not performed this implementation before, it is the very first but the real question is the possibility to accomplish this.

 

Scenario -

Our client is currently running onsite SBS 2008 with AD, DNS and MS Exchange 2007 with one 1TB storage that houses the all data and etc.

 

Requirement -

The company wants to reduce any downtime on the server in case of any hardware failure, corruption of data and etc. So they want a very minimal downtime on the server. There is a very limited budget for this project also.

 

Question -

Is it possible to get them 1 additional physical server, install XenServer, On the SBS (Install XenConvert) and Convert the main SBS by creating VHD or XVA file with all the entire c: then Create a virtual machine on XenServer with the VHD or XVA or relevant file? Boot the VM afterwards to have it running on new VM

 

Please kindly advise on step by step guide if this is possible and will any services be disabled on the VM after creation. We only want to keep standby replica of the main server on the new VM with AD, Exchange and by so doing, If the main server goes down, we can easily power up the VM on the physical server.

 

Your valuable advise will be mostly appreciated.

 

Noel



Alan Lantz Members

Alan Lantz
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Posted 09 August 2017 - 01:28 PM

Its possible, but yes, converting physicals to virtuals can be riddled with conversion issues. I would probably use Microsofts disk2vhd and save the entire physical C drive to and external storage device then import that into XenServer and see if I could get it operational. The real issue you are going to have is how to keep virtual server and physical server synchronized. ArcServe or Unitrends maybe?

 

--Alan--

 

 



Chinweike Okoloji Members

Chinweike Okoloji
  • 21 posts

Posted 09 August 2017 - 02:32 PM

Hi Alan, 

 

Thank you for your quick response. 

 

So in the case of synchronization, I assume that the either ArcServe or Unitrends will be installed and running on the main SBS 2008 server as a backup and synchronization for both the physical and virtual servers. Then the Xenserver hosting the VM using Hyper-visor.

 

If the above case is true, the next question will be in the case of P2V, anything in particular to worry about in terms of corruption of data or lost or any during the conversion?

 

Will all the services like MS transport, information store, AD, etc be left running on both physical and virtual at the same time? or Should neither of them be disabled? If YES, at what point will the disable happen?

 

Thanks and appreciate your time.

 

Noel



Alan Lantz Members

Alan Lantz
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Posted 09 August 2017 - 05:46 PM

I am assuming you can do that with one of those products. My thoughts was using disk2vhd to do the initial server copy then use some other product for the synchronization. When doing the initial copy for sure AD and Exchange needs stopped so you get a good copy of persistent data.

 

--Alan--



Chinweike Okoloji Members

Chinweike Okoloji
  • 21 posts

Posted 10 August 2017 - 06:34 AM

Thank you Alan.

I will give it a go in a non production environment before implementation to see how it goes.

Will post a response afterwards.

Thanks and have a good one!

Chinweike Okoloji Members

Chinweike Okoloji
  • 21 posts

Posted 11 August 2017 - 01:10 PM

Hi Alan,

Thanks one again and trust you are well today.

I have managed to make image of the Windows 2012 R2 standard, imported it into xenserver and created a VM running the exact copy. Before creating the image using xenconvert, I stopped AD, DNS & IIS web services.

However, before turning on the VM, I still kept the services stopped on the main physical server and booted the VM. Everything was great and seems like working until I tried to join a computer onto the domain it refuses but I can ping the VM using IP and not DN. I also noticed that the IP address of the VM is just assign from the DHCP router.

When I stopped the services on the VM and decided to restart the services on the physical server, am able to join users to the domain.

What am I missing to do?

I am still running a test in a non production environment to build a solid case on this DR implementation.

I always appreciate and value your experienced input.

Thanks.

Alan Lantz Members

Alan Lantz
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Posted 11 August 2017 - 01:18 PM

Does the VM have the same IP address as the original server?

 

--Alan--



Chinweike Okoloji Members

Chinweike Okoloji
  • 21 posts

Posted 11 August 2017 - 02:17 PM

No it doesn't . When I try to give it the same IP, it says that the IP address has already been assigned to a computer and etc.

It has the IP address like 192.168.x.x 255.255.255.0 then DF is the routers and DNS as well ( the routers)

Alan Lantz Members

Alan Lantz
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Posted 11 August 2017 - 06:53 PM

Yep, that is what I would expect. So that being the case on the workstation you will need to change DNS so it points to the virtual VM IP Address if your VM is doing both Active Directory and DNS (most do).

 

--Alan--



Chinweike Okoloji Members
  • #10

Chinweike Okoloji
  • 21 posts

Posted 12 August 2017 - 03:34 PM

Hi Alan,

Thank you sir..I can't explain how much i appreciate your assistance & it's overwhelming.

I managed to assigned the IP address of the VM and got the machine joined to the DC without wasting a split second.

This is a great progress!

So does it mean that if am running like SBS with Exchange, the same process applies. In my case, I must get the most current backup of the SBS, converted to VHD or so then imported into XenServer and keep the VM machine shut down. In any case of failure from the SBS physical server, we can power up the VM and point all workstations to the VM DR machine?.. right ?

Secondly, since the IP address is different from the previous IP address of the SBS, I assume it also means that in which case of failover to the VM, we must also change the IP address port forwarding on the router to point to the VM ( current redundant SBS). In our case, we port forwarded 443, 25 and 987 .

Finally, I also assume that the changes between the physical SBS and VM SBS for redundancy does not replicate unless we have the latest back up image of the physical SBS before disaster.

Correct me if am wrong or right?

Thank you Alan! I really do appreciate it and at least , we are getting somewhere at this point.

Regards,

Noel

Alan Lantz Members
  • #11

Alan Lantz
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Posted 12 August 2017 - 05:12 PM

That's sounds right to me and honestly why I've not tried to keep some sort of cold disaster recovery VM for anything. Its too hard to keep up to date. And in the case of Exchange if you back up daily you still are looking at a day worth of lost email. And if you switched over to the virtual then went back to physical, you run into lost mail again since it was the virtual databases getting updated unless you take Exchange offline to move the database back manually.

 

--Alan--



Chinweike Okoloji Members
  • #12

Chinweike Okoloji
  • 21 posts

Posted 13 August 2017 - 10:49 PM

Awesome stuff!

Thank you so much Alan.

I am doing all balance and checks and even planning to run sbs in my non production environment to see the simplest way of managing this kind of implementation and risks behind every step of the away.

Amazing stuff! Please kindly send me your email address and details to keep in touch with you, much to be learnt and with your experience my company will be a success.

Appreciated it so much and God bless !

Alan Lantz Members
  • #13

Alan Lantz
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Posted 13 August 2017 - 10:58 PM

Glad to hear everything is working out as expected. I will message you my contact info.

 

--Alan--



Chinweike Okoloji Members
  • #14

Chinweike Okoloji
  • 21 posts

Posted 13 August 2017 - 11:21 PM

Thank you

One thing that I have noticed is that the VM network has a yellow exclamation mark even. I cannot browse the Internet or ping 8.8.8.8 or anything, I am not sure why but the users connected to the VM DC can browse the net.

Any clue?

Chinweike Okoloji Members
  • #15

Chinweike Okoloji
  • 21 posts

Posted 13 August 2017 - 11:24 PM

Thank you sir.

The VM' s network has a yellow exclamation mark and does not browse the Internet or ping 8.8.8.8 , it only pings the LAN users but cannot ping the outside world, any clue why?

But am able to manage the DNS switch back and forth and etc for now

Alan Lantz Members
  • #16

Alan Lantz
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Posted 14 August 2017 - 12:17 AM

Does your VM traffic use the same nic as your management interface? Can your host ping 8.8.8.8? Definitely sounds like a routing issue somewhere. How/Where depends on how your nics are setup and if the switches those connect to are routing for you properly.

 

--Alan--



Chinweike Okoloji Members
  • #17

Chinweike Okoloji
  • 21 posts

Posted 14 August 2017 - 02:16 AM

Ok, thank for the contact.

I will look into that thoroughly and give you a feedback.

Thanks a lot !


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