Understanding a Physical to Virtual (P2V) Migration


Congratulations, your business has begun to think about going Virtual.  Virtualization is the number one technologies businesses are using as we move into 20111.  It has become such a powerful tool that Microsoft has built the technology into its Premiere Operating System – Windows Server 2008.  

In virtualization there are two main terms to understand, the Host & Guest.

The Host is the Operating system that is installed on the actual Hardware.  In most cases C3SD will recommend Windows Server 2008 as the host Operating System.  This OS provides the means for the Guest to securely and independently connect to the Hardware.

The Guest or Guests are the Virtualized Servers that run on top of the Host Operating System.  The limit to the number of Guests is based upon licensing and Hardware specs.  With Microsoft’s Hyper-V platform it is possible to virtualize over 100 servers on one physical piece of hardware.   For an additional in-depth overview please give us a call or visit these Wikipedia sites;
Hyper-V : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyper-V
Virtualization: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platform_virtualization

Microsoft also understands that in some cases it may be necessary to migrate an existing physical server to a virtual one and C3SD Inc can provide this service.  This process is called a Physical-to-Virtual (P2V) conversion.  Benefits in doing so, included the use of newer hardware and little to no downtime for employees while moving to the new hardware.

Steps to Perform a P2V Conversion

  1. Planning
    1. Ensure current server can be virtualized
    2. Determine specs for new Hardware purchase -based upon current servers and what will be virtualized
    3. Purchase new hardware
    4. Setup
      1. Unpack and Setup new Windows 2008 Server
      2. Create  C & D Drive Partitions
      3. Join New Server to Existing Domain
      4. Configure Microsoft Hyper-V Role
      5. Install and configure Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager  2008 Trial
      6. Migration
        1. Install VMM client on Current Server
        2. Perform prerequisite check on Current Server
        3. Begin bit-by-bit migration of Current Server to a virtualized platform on Server 2008
        4. Confirm completion of P2V conversion – Old Server is now a Guest OS
        5. Shutdown old server
        6. Post Migration
          1. Remove VMM trial from Server 2008
          2. Configure backup scripts on Server 2008 to perform full backup of Guest OS
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