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Thread: Physical to Virtual Conversion of Linux Servers with VMware Converter BootCD

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Physical to Virtual Conversion of Linux Servers with VMware Converter BootCD

    VMware Converter VMware technology that converts a physical or virtual machine into another virtual machine. VMware Converter will load after the import into the architecture of your company and VMware to host a server on ESX / ESXi or other office products such as VMware Workstation or Fusion.

    Use the intuitive wizard-driven interface of VMware Converter to convert your physical machines to virtual machines. VMware Converter Quickly convert Microsoft Windows based physical machines and image formats in real property to VMware virtual machines. It Also Converts Between VMware virtual machine platforms.

    Automate and simplify physical to virtual machine conversions as well as Conversion Between virtual machine formats with VMware Converter. Automate and simplify physical to virtual machine conversions as well as "Conversion Between virtual machine formats with VMware Converter.
    • Large scale server consolidation projects.
    • Centralized management of multiple simultaneous conversions.
    • Hot cloning (convert physical machines while still running They Are)
    • Cold cloning (using a BootCD)
    • Multiple simultaneous conversions
    • Local conversions
    • Remote conversion

    There are two versions of VMware Converter

    VMware Converter Standalone, we will present in this article, can convert a physical machine or virtual hot (operating) and import it into a product as Datacenter Server and ESX, ESXi and vCenter or a Desktop Product .

    Plug-in VMware Converter,
    which can be integrated with VMware vCenter, also allows the conversion to hot & Datacenter Server products but also the conversion to cold through a BootCD. It has additional functions related to VMware Infrastructure or vSphere 4. It is controlled using VMware Infrastructure Client or Client vSphere.

    This software dedicated to virtualization on server machines were already available for free in its beta test. The gratuity is finally retained for the final version. VMware hopes to attract users to the paid version of its software: ESX Server. The difference between the two products lies in the operating system. VMware Server does require a host operating system to operate, while ESX Server can do without.

    As a reminder, VMware Server provides, like its competitors, to run multiple operating systems simultaneously on a single physical machine through virtualization technology. VMware Server runs on any machine with a processor x86 supports 64-bit instructions. VMware runs on Linux, Windows, Netware and Solaris. The dual-processor machines are also supported.

    Converting a physical server to Linux virtual server

    I used to virtualize the old Linux server that you have to work
    Imagine you have installed a Linux server for some time that interests you virtualize, but you have software installed that would be problematic to install again. One option you have is to virtualize the physical server. I've used for that tool Virt-P2V and XEN I managed to migrate to Linux servers without some old problems.

    Virt-P2V is a Live CD, and these are the steps:
    • Insert the CD into the server and restart cloning.
    • In the menu that appears you enter the server IP and configure XEN ssh connection (username and password) and say that XEN server remote folder you need to stop image
    • You can go for a coffee while sending the clone ssh. Well, it's going to take a while, the better you take your coffee and go back to work, you will definitely have things to do :-)
    • You see, the process is simple.
    • Once complete, the XEN server folder that is configured, you'll see two files:
    • An image in IMG format
    • Xml configuration file
    • I often left with the image file and I load the XML.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: Physical to Virtual Conversion of Linux Servers with VMware Converter BootCD

    Linux P2V-convert to Hyper-V

    I was interested in the possibility of P2V-converting physical machines with Linux on board, by SCVMM 2008 R2. Of course, directly by SCVMM this operation to fail, it is contrary to party policy, even though all the vaunted postulates interoperability. A real opportunity P2V-converting physical machines declared solely at Vmware, and only with restrictions. As the supported systems appear all the same enterprise solutions from SUSE and RedHat. As a nice addition, supported by Ubuntu 8.x and above.

    Theoretically, SCVMM can convert a standard virtual machine vmware, but supported as usual only the OS family of Windows. Converts as it can from its own library of virtual machines, and the server ESX. Since the ESX server at hand was not, but to deploy it was not on anything, had to choose the option file conversion.

    As a separate joy, I want to mention that the 4-th version of Vmware Converter for Linux P2V conversions, as an endpoint requires an extremely ESX server and not the other way. Therefore it was necessary to use the previous version in the mode of the boot disk. Only with such tricks, I was able to remove the cast system in a format Vmware Workstation 5.0 and add it to the repository server SCVMM.

    After this, the server will be able to find our SCVMM virtual machine in the depths of its own library and mark it as unknown, the standard ESX Server (even though she and Workstation 5.0 and higher).

    Next, choose the hypervisor, which we will try to add a new virtual machine. In my case, a cluster of two machines, and the default virtual platform will create a fault-tolerant.

    However, in the process of conversion, my hopes for a successful outcome began to melt. Rained down on service errors \ agent BITS, which supposedly is not running or is not available on a hypervisor. Oddly enough, given that the physical machines are converted correctly. It's also unclear why you need to 90Gb on a virtual machine, which totally takes only 9Gb.

    After you disable firewalls on all machines, and several failed attempts to repeat the operation, I use a special analyzer VMMCA (System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 and 2008 R2 Configuration Analyzer), but its use is not found any faults, and incorrect settings.

    At this point I decided to end attempts to convert P2V a Linux machine, at least until the appearance of a hand car with ESXi or adequate tool from Microsoft. After all this tinkering, I began to guess why the network there is no comprehensible descriptions of Linux P2V to Hyper-V.

    Convert a physical PC Linux (redhat) in VMware (P2V)
    • You must have the CD1 of your distribution (redhat). Buy or borrow a VMware Converter Enterprise license.
    • Download VMware Converter Enterprise latest version and creative cd. (Must be version coldclone)
    • Start the machine from CD in VMware Converter CD.
    • Wait WinPE to load and check the network settings. If you have a DHCP server, set the values manually.
    • Once that is done you will get the screen to import VMware Converts your machine.
    • Click on Import machine and follow the instructions.
    • What matters is that you need to select all disks and not resize during the import operation.
    • If all information is entered correctly should import your server machine in your ESX / VC.
    • This will start creating the machine on your ESX.
    • It could happen that the process stops at 97% in the step of changing parameters cmq but this phase occurs after the copy of the disks.
    • Open the console of the ESX server where we have imported the server and edit the settings.
    • Check all the settings of the VM that there are bad parameters. In my case I had to change the OS type from other32bit on REHL 4.
    • The first time we turn on the virtual machine that will go into kernel panic.
    • Steps to fix this problem. (The procedure is for RHEL but cmq It can go well with other distributions.
    • Start the VM with a CD distribution.
    • at the boot prompt type: Linux rescue and press enter.
    • This process will try installing Linux. In some cases it might not find the disks and then turn off the vm and change the SCSI controller from BusLogic to LSILogic.
    • Now we can mount the root filesystem (it already offers by default). Once the shell we type chroot / mnt / sysimage
    • This should bring us back to the prompt. Now we type kudzu to search for new hardware.
    • This command will ask you to remove the old hardware and install the new one. Follow the onscreen instructions.
    • At the end of the procedure at the prompt type: ls / lib / modules and take note of the version / image. For example, my version 2.6.9-5.ELsmp. Take note of this
    • At this point we recreate the ramdisk with this command: / sbin / mkinitrd-v-f / boot/initrd-2.6.9-5.ELsmp.img 2.6.9-5.ELsmp Reboot.
    • Once the machine is restarted and if you have done everything correctly, your VM will restart without kernel panic
    • If you still kernel panic, go back to the 20th step find the correct module.
    • Once broken check that everything works as it should
    • Now you just need to install vmware tools and your VM is ready

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: Physical to Virtual Conversion of Linux Servers with VMware Converter BootCD

    Linux P2V Physical to Virtual - Converting a physical server into a virtual (Remote)

    Unfortunately, VMware has not yet released a converter p2v (physical to virtual machine to machine) worthy of that for the Windows platform. But we already have Linux by default all the tools to make a perfect copy of a disk on the network. To do this we need only two simple applications: dd and netcat.

    For simplicity we will call Master (ip: the physical machine and the virtual slave (ip:

    • Create a new VM with a hard drive larger than or equal to the master disk
    • Start a live distro ( knoppix or "Try ubuntu without installing" are fine)
    • Set as ip address

    open the terminal and type:
    • nc-l-p 9000 | dd of = / dev / sda or
    • nc-l 9000 | dd of = / dev / sda
    • (Depends on what you work on the version of netcat)

    NB1 is important from the slave

    NB2 replace / dev / sda with the hard right. A fdisk-l can solve your doubts
    Master: Here are three alternatives for preparing the copy:
    • Turn off your computer and start a live distro. (And never creates a perfect copy errors)
    • Remove one disk of the raid and use it for copying. Then you can do an rsync of the last copied data (you can do a p2v continuing to provide services associated with your server)
    • Stop all services and programs that access the disk (in case you do not have a live distro ready)

    Warning! Making a P2V with a mysql or a samba server running (with many I / O) makes the target disk unusable because the filesystem is corrupt.
    Ok now open a terminal and type:
    • dd if = / dev / sda | nc 9000

    Now arm yourselves a lot of patience because the process will take a long time:
    • On a megabit network: copying 8 MB / s about 2 minutes per GB of hard drive, 3 hours for 100 GB
    • On a gigabit network: copy of 80 MB / s about 12 seconds for every GB hard drive, 20 minutes for 100 GB

    Warning! The performance of the master disk much influence on performance

    The p2v may fail if:
    • Something has changed in the disk when copying network
    • The kernel of Linux installed is too old and does not support vmware

    Migrating a virtual machine from Vmware to Xen

    From VMware to XEN

    At the beginning we said that something had with VMWare. A couple of years ago we installed the free version of VMWare Server on a debian, and we had a couple of virtual machines working in that facility. XEN is easy to migrate.
    The first thing we do is to install qemu on VMWare server (physical machine Linux debian)
    • vmware01: ~ # apt-get install qemu
    • The following is creating a folder where you work:
    • vmware01: / home / vmware # mkdir vmwaretoxen
    • vmware01: / home / vmware # cd vmwaretoxen /
    • vmware01: / home / vmware / vmwaretoxen #
    • Vmware virtual machine cloning we must be off, so we connect to it and we make a halt. If we do the process will fail.

    Then start cloning:
    • # Vmware-vdiskmanager-r / home / vmware / VirtualMachines / DebianEtch / DebianEtch.vmdk-t 0 temporary_image.vmdk
    • Using log file / tmp / vmware-root / vdiskmanager.log
    • Creating a monolithic growable disk 'temporary_image.vmdk'
    • Convert: 100% done.
    • Virtual disk conversion successful.

    Now create the image compatible with XEN IMG:
    • vmware01: / home / vmware / vmwaretoxen # qemu-img convert-f raw-O vmdk temporary_image.vmdk xen_compatible.img
    • After that we made in the file xen_compatible.img the clone Xen will copy the physical server using scp and have it ready for use.

    Migrating physical or virtual machine vCenter Converter

    Migrating physical machines or virtual machines (reconfiguration) with VMware Converter vCenter involves cloning the source machine and export the image or clone your target server.

    Virtual machines can convert different formats VMware (Server, workstation, HyperV, Microsoft Virtual Server, image) vSphere VMware ESX / ESXi.

    vCenter Converter supports two types of cloning: clones clones based on records and based on volumes. The clone disk mode is only supported for conversions in the cold (cold cloning). This method transfers all sectors of the disk and maintains the metadata for all the volumes that we are cloning. This method also supports all disk drives, both dynamic and basic.

    The volume clone mode is supported in conversions in cold and hot. Fault-tolerant disks in Windows NT are not supported.

    A standalone version of Converter vCenter which has similar functionality to the integrated version in vCenter Server (shown in the video today)
    The operating system on which Converter vCenter installed will determine which virtual machines will be able to be imported, exported and reconfigured. In other words, if you install Windows XP vCenter Converter can only convert physical machines with Windows XP.

    The wizard Import Machine is only available if you installed the plug-in Converter vCenter in vSphere client.

    Turning our physical server into virtual machine

    To do this we will use the utility XenConvert 2.1, fresh from the oven, using the P2V process "Physical to Virtual Conversion" convert our physical server into a virtual machine.

    Without doubt the best of the new features of this new version is the ability to convert and resize multiple volumes. You can see the features on this url:
    If your physical server is Windows:
    1. XenConvert downloaded Web 2.1 that I have set above.
    2. Install.
    3. Once installation is complete we will run it.
    4. The wizard displays a choice of conversion rates. By default creates a VHD file but also can create a file XVA, which then import it as a template or appliance.
    5. A very important feature of this is that if you realize we have not restarted at any time our physical server.

    If your physical server is Linux:
    Will resume our physical server and boot from the XenServer installation CD.
    When you exit the menu Welcome to XenServer we move through the options with the tab and select with the spacebar.
    1. P2V select the option and we will accept.
    2. The conversion process is done through the network between the hardware and XenServer. It is important to note that this process is quite long and that if we have VM in production performance will be affected.
    3. When the process ends we created our virtual machine into XenServer.

    Problems with P2V

    There are many P2V with VMware Converter lately I've been doing in recent months. And while most of P2V migrations with VMware Converter did not give any problems, some of these conversions did not come to fruition. I thought you would have the best practices for troubleshooting with VMware Converter P2V migrations.

    VMware Converter P2V migrations 4.0 supports Linux machines

    At last we have a migration tool from physical to virtual (P2V) supported Linux machines, specifically the next VMware Converter 4.0 will have support for Red Hat, SuSe and Ubuntu. You can subscribe to the beta program for the migration tool, Converter 4.0 from the official site. For users who buy VMware ESX Enterprise edition, were found with embedded Converter VirtualCenter 4.0. For those who do not purchase the Enterprise license, will have the option of using stand-alone version Converter 3.0.3.

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