This week I was working with a colleague in bringing up a staging environment as a replica from the production one and off course we used Hyper-V to host the virtual machines and System Center Virtual Machine Manager “SCVMM” to do the Physical to Virtual “P2V” operation. The installation of the SCVMM was extremely easy with no glitches, after that we decided to start the P2V operation and here we started to feel the heatJ. The experience was amazing and I can summarize the bit falls as following:
1. If you are doing an offline P2V operation for a server such as a domain controller, make sure that you download the Vista 32-bit driver for the server network adapter and extract the driver package under the SCVMM\Drivers\Import folder. This is to allow for the network communication with the server when it boots to the WinPE phase. I failed to find the vista 32-but driver for my server NIC so I was forced not to use the P2V and promoting an additional DC and cleaning it up from the production environment after isolating it in the staging environment.
2. Before you start the P2V operation make sure that you allocate not less than 2 logical processors (I’d recommend 4) and not less than 2 GB of memory to the guest. This is to allow for the installation of the Integration services to succeed. This is because the first time the virtualized windows will start as part of the P2V process to install the integration services the guest processor will be 100% and if you didn’t allocate enough processing power to the guest machine it will timeout before It can manage to install it
3. If the installation of the integration services insisted to fail during the P2V process make sure that you allocate around 4 logical processors cores to the guest and use the SCVMM to force the installation of the integration services. Once the machine boots and you see the logon screen insert the integration services disk through the Hyper-V console menu, I’m not sure that this is necessary but my colleague advised me to do that and it succeeded so we didn’t change the process for the rest of the serversJ
4. After you successfully finish the integration services installation and manage to logon to the guest uninstall all of the hardware vendor tools and monitoring software. In case of clustered servers uninstall the vendor multipath software. Also uninstall any monitoring or backup agents if you are not bringing its servers to the virtual environment.
5. In case of doing virtualization for cluster nodes, don’t forget to prepare the iSCSI target software that you will use to present the SAN disks to the cluster nodes so you can bring up the cluster and fix whatever necessary.
After all, the SCVMM P2V rocks!!!