VMWare image for Win2003

Heeter

Overclocked Like A Mother
#1
Hi all,

Does Symantec have a product to create vmware images from existing setups?

I am looking in their site but cannot locate it.

I have a Win2003StandardServer bare metal installation that I would like to image and load into a vmware server.


Thanks

Heeter
 

fitz

Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
#2
Are you trying to do a sysprep kind of thing and use the image as a template, or just completely migrate the machine..

If all you want is to migrate from VI3 to VMware Server, I have two words: VMWare Converter
 

Heeter

Overclocked Like A Mother
#4
Do I need two seperate server towers for this?

Or can I create a file from this and use it at a different time?

My intent is to create the image, then take the actual server, do some work to it, replace the OS with another OS, then run this image through vmware.

Thanks

Heeter
 

Dark Atheist

OSNN Veteran Addict
Staff member
Political User
#6
Do I need two seperate server towers for this?

Or can I create a file from this and use it at a different time?

My intent is to create the image, then take the actual server, do some work to it, replace the OS with another OS, then run this image through vmware.

Thanks

Heeter
run that through a sense filter please - because its not making any atm :p
 

Heeter

Overclocked Like A Mother
#7
Hahaha

Okay, let's try this.

I need to reuse this server tower. I will like to image the existing OS (Win2003) and all it's applications/settings into a usable vmware image file. (Maybe burn a dvd of it, or move this vmware file onto an external hd for the time being)

Once that is complete, then I will remove the physical tower from the network, and install another, clean install OS, and install vmware server.

Once that task is complete, I would like to run the vmware image of the Win2003 that I created earlier.

I am retaining the license for Win2003 for one machine, this time it will be a virtual machine.


Hopefully this is a little better.


Thanks again, Guys,


Heeter
 

Dark Atheist

OSNN Veteran Addict
Staff member
Political User
#8
sounds do able but im not sure about the change of hardware as if im correct doesn't vmware use generic hardware for its virtual pcs, if 2003 is anything like xp it wont like it at all if it thinks your trying to move it about.

But not having used such software im not 100% sure, someone who has used this software will more likely be about soon to offer a better explaination :)
 

Heeter

Overclocked Like A Mother
#9
Well, I am thinking that if it moves back into the same tower, albeit in a virtualized environment this time, hardware issues will not be met.


Heeter
 

fitz

Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
#10
There are a couple ways to do what you want.

1) You can use Symantec Ghost (v9 or 10) to create a regular image file and offload it somewhere. Load VMWare Server onto the same physical server, and use VMware converter to convert the ghost image into a virtual machine.

2) You can setup another server with VMWare Server running on it and use VMWare Converter to perform a straight P2V migration into the VMware server. Reload the physical box you want to reuse, load VMWare server and migrate the virtual server back.

One word of note:
I am retaining the license for Win2003 for one machine, this time it will be a virtual machine.
I need to look at this very carefully. Depending on what version of Windows 2003 you have, you may need to have two Windows 2003 Server licenses to run in this setup. One for the host OS, and one for the guest OS.

edit: you *could* take the ghost image and/or acronis image directly into the new vmware server, but you WILL run into all kinds of hardware changes and issues that VMWare Converter (mostly) takes care of.

Well, I am thinking that if it moves back into the same tower, albeit in a virtualized environment this time, hardware issues will not be met.
Wrong.

The whole concept of virtualization is that the guest OS has no idea what the actual physical hardware is. The guest OS is presented with an entirely different SCSi/Video/Hard Drive/etc.. info compared to what is running in the actual physical server.
 

Heeter

Overclocked Like A Mother
#11
Thanks for the absolutely perfect detailed explanation.

I will mention that with the licensing, this particular WinServer2003 is the "Standard" version, the host OS is Linux.

In your opinion, what can I expect, issue-wise, when I load the image into the vmware server?


Thanks again

Heeter
 

fitz

Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
#12
if you're using linux as your host, you should be ok licensing wise. I shoudl also mention, if you're hardware supports it, the most basic version of ESX (ESX 3i) is now free and provides a true hypervisor and much better performance over VMWare Server.

As for what to expect issue wise.. if you are using VMWare converter, your problems should be mostly minimal.. Depending on what your server is and how your original partitions are setup and how you migrate them over, you may need to modify your boot.ini to select the correct partition.

It's been a while since I did any major P2V conversions so I don't remember everything involved. It should detect a whole bunch of new hardware and install most of the drivers automatically.. make sure you install the vmware tools afterwards too.

edit; to get back to ESX3i - it is a VERY different animal both to understand and manage than VMWare server.. but I do highly recommend the ESX product as a whole.
 

Heeter

Overclocked Like A Mother
#13
Awesome,

will definitely locate ESX3i. You are a wealth of valuable info. I talked with the big bossman here. Looks like we will be going with fresh server hardware for this setup, instead of reusing this tower. Looks like the Convertor option you mentioned will be our way to go now.




Thanks,

Heeter
 

fitz

Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
#14
No Problem.. I'm a big VMWare fan..

Grabbing multiple hosts with the full VI Enterprise edition paired with shared storage (ie: SAN) allows for huge opportunities of coolness like VMotion where virtual machines hot migrate between hosts with no downtime or impact to the end users.. and DRS which dynamically balances load across multiple hosts by automatically migrating machines from a loaded host to a host that isn't being hit as hard and back again as needed..

They have experimental power resource scheduling which if the hosts aren't being used very hard will migrate the machines to a smaller number of hosts and suspend on of the non-used hosts to save power.. and if the load increases power the host back on and migrate the machines accordingly..

Wonderfully cool things and miles ahead of Hyper-V in performance and features at least for right now..

It's pricey to get into the enterprise ESX level, but it is quite well worth it.. but you pair ESX VI3 Enterprise with a Windows 2003 datacenter license that allows for unlimited number of virtual machines per physical host and you have a nice savings if you load it up.. I have 2 ESX hosts running a total of about 30 virtual machines.. total infrastructure cost (minus the SAN) was ~$45,000 which is ~$1500/server but I could comfortably run another 10-15 guests before needing another host.. so, if I get to 45 guests on my two hosts, the total cost would be only about $1000 per server. If I pushed it, I could add another 20-25 guests driving the savings further down.
 

Dark Atheist

OSNN Veteran Addict
Staff member
Political User
#15
i didn't think xp/2003 did the same as win95/98 - and allow itself to be moved about and find new hardware, last time i seen someone try and do it with xp it wouldnt boot
 

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