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A brief story of virtualization, even in the environment that seems not appropriate

10/05/2010

Attend a client that uses servers and desktop machines as we saw the need to resolve the problem from the point of failure that these older machines represented. As there were no equal machinery and hardware already was getting obsolete did a proposal.

The customer’s current environment were Core 2 Duo machines without support VT, some with 4 GB and other with 2 GB. Had 6 servers: Exchange 2007, DC and network services, Dynamics CRM with SQL, file server and TS, DPM and ISA Server.

Our proposal was keeping the DPM servers and ISA Server because these are easy to be redone and weren’t the LOBs and company easily be replaced. The other four servers would be consolidated into 2 machines Core i3 with 8 GB RAM with 500 GB disks. This would reduce to almost zero a physical problem in hardware make a service network stop for hours, which of course would happen with the old hardware that were already slow and crashing. With virtualization, even if there is a machine equal to the current, either can be used simply by installing Windows 2008 R2 with Hyper-V, even though at a ratio of 1-to-1.

We did all the work in one night and the results were very good, new machines, despite also being desktops, gave the and each safe 2 VMs with Hyper-V 2.0 ‘s Windows 2008 R2. We didn’t need nor sufficient hardware to wheel VMM then chose Disk2VHD from Sysinternals (tool to convert HD physical (in use) for VHD)

The interesting Disk2VHD usage is that the servers do not need to be stopped, so how can also be done by hyper-V with VMM. The utility generates the VHDs exactly the same way as the physical disks are, including partitions, mirrors and other resources, enabling you to make the image already on the destination server using shared folder. The process of creating the VHD is fast, a 320 GB disk was converted in 45 minutes.

The next step was to create the VM in hyper-V VHD pointing to the created by Disk2VHD, for best performance we use different physical disks to each one of the VMs hosted … After rising to VM, automatically Windows 2008 recognised that it was virtualized and updated drivers asking to be restarted after a few minutes. If the server was a Windows 2003 we make installation of additions and restart, but has not been the case since everybody were Windows 2008. The last step was to reactivate Windows since after the updated drivers activation is required, but without the need for additional keys or by phone.

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