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How do you do....it? Thread, Physical to virtual copy in Technical; I'm setting up a virtual test lab, to kind of mirror my physical network. It will include both domain controllers ...
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    leco's Avatar
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    Physical to virtual copy

    I'm setting up a virtual test lab, to kind of mirror my physical network. It will include both domain controllers and a couple of workstations. The virtual network will not be on the physical domain, in fact it's not even in the same building.

    Rather than do the whole thing "by hand", is there a way that I can copy, say the active directory structure and the GPOs across to the virtual environment? Or the folder and files tree perhaps? If I do that will access and security permissions be copied as well?

    Should I invest in some software to turn hard drives into virtual discs or is there an other way?

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    You could just convert your main DC to a virtual machine, and start from there, suppose the only down side to that would be you would have to not have it in the same IP range as your main network.

    I'm guessing though you would of already thought of this and you wanted to use a different domain but with the same config.

    James.

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    leco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EduTech View Post
    You could just convert your main DC to a virtual machine, and start from there,
    Good point but I don't have anything that will enable me to do that
    suppose the only down side to that would be you would have to not have it in the same IP range as your main network.

    I'm guessing though you would of already thought of this and you wanted to use a different domain but with the same config.

    James.
    The idea behind the project is to try things out, a learning environment if you will. I make sure something works the way that I think it will, before installing or initiating on the actual domain. That way I figure I can iron out a lot of the creases without disturbing the users, or the servers, too much.

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    VMware Converter:
    VMware vCenter Converter, Convert Physical Machines to Virtual Machines - VMware

    Thats what i use, does the job no problem and if your using ESXI you can send it straight to that server.

    Yeah that is what i am looking at doing at the moment, just got to get around to doing it.

    Good to have though! like you say you can test things on an enviroment that is the same as what you have LIVE, and iron out any problems.

    just make sure you dont have the virtual DC on your main network, nasty things might happen. maybe keep it disconnected while you give it a new IP etc and the create a virtual network.

    James.

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    leco (19th April 2009)

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    Looks useful, do the resulting virtual discs have to be used in VMWare though? I'm not using ESXI either.

    The virtual lab is also for recreation of user issues in order to troubleshoot. Don't know how long it will take me to set up, longer than I thought by the look of things.

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    The converter will convert the files to work with any of the vmware products, so no you dont have to use ESXI.

    If i was you i would use Vmware Server as it's free and does the job nicely.

    Or are you thinking of using something like MS Virtual Server/PC? If so there might be an option to convert them to a file type which other software will use. but if it was me i would Vmware.

    I dont think it should take too long, the longest part is waiting for the machine to convert, after that its just a matter of editing any hardware settings and turning it on

    James.

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    leco's Avatar
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    Using MS Virtual PC - did try VMWare server but couldn't get it to work, I "lost" all my virtual machines MS Virtual PC works fine, keep it simple which is good.

    How long does a conversion take - does it need to be when there's no traffic like at night or a weekend?

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    Oh right that's odd i have never had any problems with Vmware, i have had a few issues with the virtual networks but that was mainly down to me..

    the conversion depends on how big the hard disk is really, i would recommend you do it when there is no one in school as you would have to stop any live services etc.

    Your best bet is probably to do this kind of stuff in the holiday, unfortunatly one has just gone so maybe it will be a few late nights or weekends. i dont know where you stand there.

    suppose you could start the process to complete on a friday, and then login remotley saturday and start any services you have stopped. (if you have the ability to do that ofcourse).

    btw, did you use vmware server 2?

    James.

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    leco (19th April 2009)

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    Before you convert you need to do some stuff.

    For DC's disable replication. You can get allot of problems once you put them into the virtual environment. For other servers such as SQL stop the services.

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    leco (19th April 2009)

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    Smile

    I've recently done this myself...

    What you could do is clone the DC using whatever virtual tools you like - but in the Virtual PC/VMWare PC manager, change the network interface to INTERNAL so that only your host PC's internal NIC and the VMs can talk, so your VMs can't talk to the outside.

    This allows you to use the same IPs and such without danger of interacting with the live network.

    I've done this using Hyper-V and it works really quite well.

    HTH,

    Az

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    leco (19th April 2009)

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    I think it was probably me that got the network in a twist with VM server - not sure what version it was, have uninstalled it all now.

    Thanks for the tip about replication and stopping of services - do I stop everything and if so how exactly, just in Server Manager somewhere (sorry still trying to find my way around Server 2008)

    I have the virtual network set so that the machines are only talking to each other, local only connections with a loopback adaptor 'pretending' to be the gateway, that seems to be working OK. That's one of the things I've been working on over the hols. Might download VM converter and have a go with that. Could I set it as a scheduled task and if so what would I need for that?

    Thanks guys, most helpful info.

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    You can stop the services in the services section in administrative tools.

    Even better do it in safe mode to be sure. But if you have more than one DC bring them all offline together before you convert. Don't take DC1 offline then convert then back online then take DC 2 offline then convert.

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    leco (19th April 2009)

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    Looking like a bigger job than I thought. Maybe I will leave it for the next holiday as I don't fancy stopping the Exchange server during term time. Thanks anyway.

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    I would do it in a holiday if i was you, no point in trying to rush it

    i know some people find vmware server 2 to be a pain as its web based, but try vmware server 1.x.x virtual machines by default get saved to c:\virtual machines

    If you need any help feel free to pm or email me.

    James.

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    I like VMware server 2 its pretty good. There are tools out there to convert VMware images to hypervision images if you needed to also.

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