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cr4zy1w4n

windows 2008 server clone

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Hi guys

I would like to clone one of my win 2008 server machines on to virtual one

As I never did that before I would like to know how does it look like in practice and which tool I should use? we do have some cloning software like ghost and acronis but which is best? Another thing I read somewhere that if you use one of those tools you might have issues with SID and someone recommended sysprep instead.

and the last question is will all roles programs and features stay the same? I mean will it clone all configurations like dhcp dns ad? It is a domain controller so it is quite important. I know that works on normal machines but I never cloned servers before.

 

 

thanks

pete

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Well if your need is only that virtualizing the machine then use the VMware standalone converter, you can download free of charge from VMware website and does exactly what you need.

 

And yes everything will be exactly as the physical machine. Being a Domain Controller be careful to shut down one of the two machines as of course you cannot have both on at the same time, as you cannot have both machines running at the same time o need to worry about SID or other stuff.

 

Sysprep is a tool used to reset attributes like the SID, network configuration, serial etc. when you need to deploy a huge number of servers/clients and it applies to a base image of the machine for sure not to domain controllers.

 

If you give me more details on what you are trying to accomplish I can give you more info.

 

Lethe.

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Thanks Lethe i will try that VMware converter

and im doing it only for redundancy and a bit of experience in virtualization :)

basically this server is on its last legs but the worst thing is only im bothered... all my manager said is dont worry it will be fine without even looking at it :)

so once it dies i let them panic for a while and then i will save the day with virtual one :D

sometimes i dont get my management.. we do have server specially bought for virtualization and they are using it as a print server!!??

 

few final questions: will there be any downtime during the cloning? and is doing this with every single server a good idea? and how does it look performance wise i mean phisical one vs virtual?

many thanks

pete

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Ok first easy questions, nope there will be no down time during the conversion process as the VMware converter will install a small agent on the physical machine and through that everything on that machine will be copied to virtual machine files (vmx for the configuration, vmdk for the disks).

 

Keep in mind this cannot be used for redundancy or backup, what I mean is the machine is a Domain controller and as such Active Directory is pretty "picky" about internal counters (I will not go much into details here) suffice to say that you cannot take offlne a DC for let's say 20 days, the suddenly turn it on and expect everything will work... specially if that's the only DC in your environment.

 

I will never get management my friend, not a single time I agreed with them :)

 

As per virtualizing everything well that's a totally different story and I think is not enough for tell it in full :) You would need servers with enough steam to keep all your machines up and running, storage etc. etc. etc. Basically you would need a budget and specific plan to go virtual :)

 

Cheers Lethe.

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riiiight so in my case best thing to do is to set up another dc on our virtual server and add it to our domain?

and yeah you are absolutely right leaving dc offline for period of time makes no sens because there is about 100 changes made everyday to it :)

i dont know what iw as thinking asking this question :)

Anyway thanks for advice and im pretty sure i will find that converter useful in testing :D

regards

pete

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Nah no worries it happens from time to time to me as well, you're so focused on something that you forget about details :)

 

Yes your best bet is just to install another machine on the virtual server and promote it to a DC and let AD take care of the repliaction over the network, being on the same lan it will be fast and easy to implement :)

 

Yes the converter is a great tools, not without limitations (specially when dealing with old Linux boxes like I do from time to time), with which you can have fun... Just to test it out I used it to virtualize my Windows and Linux workstation: so yes you can test and have fun with it.

 

Cheers Lethe.

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