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Physical to Virtual - a server providing SQL 2000 and Terminal Service
3

Physical to Virtual - a server providing SQL 2000 and Terminal Service

Physical to Virtual - a server providing SQL 2000 and Terminal Service

(OP)
I've got one of those scenarios where a company is using ONE big server to do it all (Dell PowerEdge 840, intel xeon 3050 @ 2.13GHz 4GB RAM with Windows 2003 Std SP2 R2). Anything goes wrong with this server, no one works. I want to make it into a VM. In the past it's been pretty self explanatory. Install the P2V app and 1-2-3. But, something tells me doing this on a SQL server will present problems -- I think. If I'm wrong, please let me know. Should I stop all SQL services, anything? Nothing? I don't even have another server to host the VM I want to create, but I just want to create a FULL flat-file backup of this beast so in the event it does crash, at least I have the full configuration of the server.

It's also on a RAID (5?) array, I believe. There are 3 SATA 160GB 7.2rpm drives in it.

I appreciate any feedback in advance.

RE: Physical to Virtual - a server providing SQL 2000 and Terminal Service

I have done several physical to virtual migrations on SQL servers. Best practices are to have the database dismounted (services stopped) before you begin the migration. You do not want the database to be mounted during the p to v process. Actually if at all possible the best case would be to perform an offline p to v. That being said as far as the array goes when you start the p to v process you just have to make sure that you have that much storage capacity on the box. Hope this helps.

Network+
Inet+
MCP
MCSA 2003
MCTS

RE: Physical to Virtual - a server providing SQL 2000 and Terminal Service

(OP)
Cool, thanks that does help. I feel more comfortable knowing you've done multiple SQL servers and not just one or two. So just by stopping all SQL services, the DBs are unmounted then? Also, I've never done an offline p to v, is that something during boot up? Regarding the array, that is what I thought, just give it one big chunk of space to accommodate whatever is on there now.

RE: Physical to Virtual - a server providing SQL 2000 and Terminal Service

Offline simply meaning that no one has access or users aren't connected to that server during the migration. The key on the database is that no one is actively connected making changes to it. So killing the services is all you need to do. The best way is to disable them that way if a reboot is performed during the p to v then the services won't automatically fire up again.

Network+
Inet+
MCP
MCSA 2003
MCTS

RE: Physical to Virtual - a server providing SQL 2000 and Terminal Service

I have done 18 - 20 SQL server P2Vs and just wanted to chime in and re-confirm for you that it is a pretty simple process.  

Best process from my perspective is, if possible, do a cold clone.  If cold cloning is not an option for you, I would note the state of all SQL services (running or stopped) and the startup type (Auto, Manual, Disabled) and then I would set all to disabled and reboot the server before the P2V.

Beyond that, just follow all the same rules you would with any other P2V with regards to disabling any other services that should be prevented from running on the new VM after the process like hardware vendor specific agents.  Then after the P2V remove any hardware vendor specific software agents and all no longer present hardware from device manager.

Check out Vizioncore's free vConverter which you can use to take care of a lot of these things as part of the P2V process and good luck.

RE: Physical to Virtual - a server providing SQL 2000 and Terminal Service

I'll also chime in on this, as I've P2V several SQL servers with no issues. You can do a P2V with no errors but like others have said a coldclone works best.

However we've found it much nicer to create a new virtual server, install SQL then dump the old DB's and import them into a new server. At least that way you have a fresh server with nothing gunking it up. Especially if you are trying to get away from the "all your eggs in one basket" server.

I'd also agree with cabraun in using the Vizioncore vConverter tool.

Good luck!
Rob

The answer is always "PEBKAC!"

RE: Physical to Virtual - a server providing SQL 2000 and Terminal Service

(OP)
Thanks NetworkTek, Cabraun, and ArizonaGeek. I'm going to coldclone the entire server, but only as a backup. I'm going to create a fresh VM and do what ArizonaGeek said. I'm sure it goes without saying a server that YOU install is perfect because you know what's been done to it. With a server you inherit... you just never know what the last I.T. person did with it! :S

Thanks for the comforting replies all...

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