ESXi - when to pull the plug from the physical server?
A colleague and I have been looking into virtualisation recently and we seem to have settled on free ESXi (vSphere 5.1). The host server is up and running and I copied a physical server yesterday onto the ESXi host using the standalone converter installed on the physical server. The server that I copied wasn't a vital server (it has some printers but isn't a DC, file server etc.) just in case something went wrong! The process went smoothly - I assigned a static IP address and set the server name as quite distinct from the physical server. Both the physical and virtual server have been running overnight.
This morning, users who use the printers associated with the physical server couldn't do so, so the physical server has been unplugged from the network and the virtual server name changed to that of the physical server and everything's working fine again. Obviously, this is what we planned to do eventually, but we wanted to go at our pace with this new experience, rather than be forced do do so in an emergency by the situation that we faced.
Eventually, we'll need to migrate more critical physical servers, such as Exchange, Web, DC and File Server so we need to get everything completely clear. I realise that there will be an automatic entry in DNS for the newly created virtual servers but, as the names will be quite distinct (initially) from the physical servers, will it be possible to have the physical and virtual servers all up and running simultaneously? We'd like to implement the physical to virtual in stages, rather than have to pull the plug on everything and then (potentially) have to run around like headless chickens sorting out any mess that might ensue.
Finally, I posted here because I know there are several who use ESXi or other virtualisation platforms and this is the most active IT-related forum that I visit.
Thanks for your time and patience!