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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, SVCMM Online P2V of Active File Server in Technical; I need to P2V my Main staff file Server. I can only do this during work hours, and I cannot ...
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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    SVCMM Online P2V of Active File Server

    I need to P2V my Main staff file Server. I can only do this during work hours, and I cannot afford any downtime (15 mins - half an hour excepted) so I was going to run the P2V when I left in the evening, and hope that the ~ 1TB over 2 drives was done by the time I got in in the morning.

    My question is, if staff are writing files to the file server during the P2V process, will they be picked up? Will it do a scan after it has made the VHD and bring accross any files it missed?

    Or am I going to have to take an incremental backup the minute before i shutdown the physical, and then a incremental restore from that backup once Ive brought up the virtual machine?

    Also, is there a recommendation for the type of VHD for a fileserver? I know for exchange / SQL etc I need to use a fixed size, but will an expanding size be OK for just a file server?

    Thanks in advance.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    you will have to take an incremental backup I'm afraid. I did this before and things went missing so I learnt from my mistake. As for the VHD...fixed works best as expanding size can cause issues later on (a HDD fails and you need to replace it, as the drive expands and shrinks, you could find it will shrink to less than you have available, so a set amount works best.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    It will only do one trawl through the server and so any changes made after the first conversion of any files will be lost.

    For stability sake I would suggest you always go with a fixed size VHD - dynamics should only be used in testing and when space is a serious limitation. However with a file server the size of the VHD would almost always be expanding and it would be all too easy for it to become corrupt.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, I will try and just cut off the staff access on a weekend and do it so I dont have to mess about with backups etc..

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    I've got to do the same task with a similar amount of data in a few weeks, all be it I plan to do an offline p2v to avoid missing anything. I'd be curious to know how long it takes you as I've been unable to find any info how long it would be expected to take over BITS.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Took me the better part of 18 hours to do a 500GB drive - hope that helps

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    Took me the better part of 18 hours to do a 500GB drive - hope that helps
    how fast is your network? most of my servers have at least 2GB to the core and all switches are at least 10gb so I think my limitation will be how fast it can read off the crappy R5 the files are currently on.

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    Damn! Working by those figures it could take a while for the bigger drives, I've got 3 drives in a R5 array - 1 @ 115GB and 2 @ 875GB. Thats the best part of 36 hours per drive!

    In terms of network speed - 1GB to the server switch and a 3GB trunk between that and the core.

    Will an offline conversion be quicker than a online conversion?

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