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Migrating a production physical server to Hyper-V VM by migrating its Hard Disk

    Question

  • Hello,

    I have a production physical server running Windows 2008 Standard and going to migrate it to a Hyper-V VM.

    As Hyper-V supports using a physical hard disk to be used as the VM`s Hard Drive, I want to confirm that is possible to migrate the physical server to the VM by migrating its physical disk to the Hyper-V Host and assigning the disk to the VM.

    Also, If I try to migrate the server by creating a VHD and then transfer it to the Hyper-V host, that would make much downtime for the server as there is about 50GB data, and I think creating a VHD by 3rd-party applications will make some issues for me when migrating a production server running Web Server (IIS7), DNS Server, SQL Server 2005, FTP Server (Gene6FTP) roles.

    Please share all suggestions in that regards.

    Thank you.
    Saturday, January 09, 2010 2:22 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

     

    Yes, you can attach the physical hard disk to the virtual machine, however, that will not transfer all the settings of roles and applications installed on your computer, you have to configure them from scratch.

     

    You can perform a P2V while the physical computer is still running. The following post discussed the similar issue, you can refer to:

     

    P2V migration but keep Physical machine up and running?

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsserver2008r2virtualization/thread/17819d43-e942-4f7d-9528-75aac20c904c

     

     

    Best Regards,

    Vincent Hu

     

    Monday, January 11, 2010 7:39 AM
  • Vincent gives some good links.

    You can extract the physical disk and insert it into a Hyper-V host and then present this disk to a VM as a passthrough.  The VM will boot from the passthrough disk and all will be good (mind you you may have an issue with SCSI to IDE - but with server 2008 the OS should handle it).

    At a later scheduled  time you can then convert this physical disk to VHD using a built-in Hyper-V option (much faster than most tools but the VM must be powered off).

    I mention that one here:
    http://itproctology.blogspot.com/2008/12/you-want-to-convert-machine-to-vhd.html

    As long as all of your applications are installed on the disk - you will not lose anything.
    You will have to install the ICs in the VM after you create it on the host - unless you initially present a Legacy NIC to the VM.

    You will end up with a new MAC address for the machine if you do not manually set it in the settings of the VM.  Other than that, there should not be any big problems beyond having to update the routing tables across the network.


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful)
    Monday, January 11, 2010 4:32 PM

All replies

  • I suggest you use the recommended P2V process and use SCVMM to do a P2V of your physical server.  WHy do you think that will cause problems?  Also, since this is not a DC, I believe you should be able to do an online conversion with minimal downtime.
    David A. Bermingham, Director of Product Management, SteelEye Technology
    Saturday, January 09, 2010 3:09 PM
  • Hi,

     

    Yes, you can attach the physical hard disk to the virtual machine, however, that will not transfer all the settings of roles and applications installed on your computer, you have to configure them from scratch.

     

    You can perform a P2V while the physical computer is still running. The following post discussed the similar issue, you can refer to:

     

    P2V migration but keep Physical machine up and running?

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsserver2008r2virtualization/thread/17819d43-e942-4f7d-9528-75aac20c904c

     

     

    Best Regards,

    Vincent Hu

     

    Monday, January 11, 2010 7:39 AM
  • Vincent gives some good links.

    You can extract the physical disk and insert it into a Hyper-V host and then present this disk to a VM as a passthrough.  The VM will boot from the passthrough disk and all will be good (mind you you may have an issue with SCSI to IDE - but with server 2008 the OS should handle it).

    At a later scheduled  time you can then convert this physical disk to VHD using a built-in Hyper-V option (much faster than most tools but the VM must be powered off).

    I mention that one here:
    http://itproctology.blogspot.com/2008/12/you-want-to-convert-machine-to-vhd.html

    As long as all of your applications are installed on the disk - you will not lose anything.
    You will have to install the ICs in the VM after you create it on the host - unless you initially present a Legacy NIC to the VM.

    You will end up with a new MAC address for the machine if you do not manually set it in the settings of the VM.  Other than that, there should not be any big problems beyond having to update the routing tables across the network.


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful)
    Monday, January 11, 2010 4:32 PM
  • In my opinion I do not recommend to P2V "alive" a server that host transactional app like SQL.
    I never test it but The method explain by brianEh is very interresting (Make a good backup of your disk before anyway) :)

     
    Monday, January 11, 2010 5:09 PM
  • I played with it back with the v1 and beta of Hyper-V.

    It actually works and will show some real IT creativity to your boss ;-)

    It is a case of:  "you can do it".

    Also, like Cedric I agree with the Live P2V - most work, that is true.  However, most conversions are also most successful when the machine is booted into Safe Mode / or the machine is offline (booted into a transfer agent).  Either way, any service that might be running and might cause problems is not around to cause problems.


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful)
    Monday, January 11, 2010 5:25 PM