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P2V migration to VMware ESXi 5.x using System Recovery 2011

Created: 03 May 2012 • Updated: 04 May 2012 | 9 comments
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I need to do a P2V migration of a SBS 2003 to a VMware ESXi 5.x. We have Symantec System Recovery 2011 installed on the SBS. What's the best way of doing this:

  • Hotclone
    • Run a System Recovery backup (creates a .sv2i and .v2i images)
    • Use System Recovery to restore the .sv2i to the ESXi host
      • OR...
    • Use VMware Converter to convert the .sv2i to the ESXi host
  • Coldclone (is this even possible to an ESXi 5.x?)
    • Boot off supplied Symantec Recovery CD
    • Run backup direct to the ESXi host

Is there a preferred method? Any other tips (i.e. hot vs cold clone)? Anything I should watch out for (i.e. DC, Exchange DB)?

Many thanks.

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Chris Riley's picture

P2V to ESX5 using SSR is currently not supported: http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH169327

I would recommend a hot backup using SSR 2011 and then:

  1. Create VM manually
  2. Configure VM to boot from SSR 2011 SRD
  3. Run restore

Hope that helps.

SOLUTION
Oliver Buckie's picture

Thanks for your feedback Chris.

Any ideas when SSR 2011 will support VMware's 5.x?

Is it not best to do a cold backup from the SSR boot CD so that there are no issues with DBs etc., and then use this image to restore into VMware?

 

Chris Riley's picture

Any ideas when SSR 2011 will support VMware's 5.x?

It is currently supported to install SSR and backup virtual machines running on ESX5, it's just the P2V functionality that is not supported yet. I don't have any timeframe on this I'm afraid.

Is it not best to do a cold backup from the SSR boot CD so that there are no issues with DBs etc., and then use this image to restore into VMware?

Nope, hot backup is recommended as this ensures that application data is in a 'clean' state when backup is done.

Oliver Buckie's picture

Thanks - OK, hot backup is the way to go. Should I be using any particular advanced options (i.e. Perform full VSS backup) or Compression (Standard) when performing the backup image?

I believe that the "VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5" tool can open a .sv2i image and use this for a P2V conversion to ESXi 5.x? This could also be a way to go, right?

Oliver Buckie's picture

hot backup is recommended as this ensures that application data is in a 'clean' state when backup is done.

Hi Chris... just a quick clarification question... in the 'old days' it was always best to do a "cold backup" - no services and DBs running and no chance that they don't get backed up. However, you mention that we should do a 'hot' backup - that means with everything running (services, DBs, Exchange...) - because this ensures that application data is in a 'clean' state. Sorry, don't understand - please can you expand on this point, thanks.

Chris Riley's picture

If you want to truncate your Exchange logs, use the Perform Full VSS Backup option - this is all that option does.

Compression level is entirely up to your choice.

The last time I looked, VMware Converter did not officially support recovery points created using SSR 2011 so you need to look into this. It may work but not sure if you will get any support from VMware if you run into problems. Worth testing though I guess...

Oliver Buckie's picture

Oh dear - what a shame that SSR 2011 doen't support VMware ESXi 5.x.

So what you are saying is create a clean VM (no OS installation required) on the ESXi 5.x host, and then boot the SSR 2011 CD within this VM and run a restore into the empty VM? What about the VM settings (disk parition size, NIC etc.) - anything I need to watch out for here?

Chris Riley's picture

That's correct.

As for the VM settings, you can pretty much choose what you need. Obviously the disk needs to be big enough to restore your data..