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  • Question regarding converting physical machine to ESXi

    Hello all,

    I have a Dell SC440 that's currently running Windows 2003 x64. I run Exchange 2007, Backup Exec 12, Spiceworks, etc. I want to convert this machine to ESXi VM (because now it's free).

    My roadblock is that I want to install ESXi on this server. So what I need to do is convert/image this server to some sort of intermediary VM platform, build the ESXi server on the server currently running 2K3, and then place the image/convert the image over to the ESXi server.

    I tried converting an Acronis image to VMWare format... did not work. I also tried running VMWare converter to convert an Acronis image... this did not work.

    I tried using VMWare converter to convert the physical machine to VMWare Server format and run that temporarily on my 32bit Vista box... this didn't work either.

    Any body know the easiest, quickest way to do this while maintaining the image and not having to start all over?
    Last edited by PhoenixTekBC; 24th August 2008, 01:41. Reason: formatting issue

  • #2
    Re: Question regarding converting physical machine to ESXi

    Here's what I would suggest:

    1. Capture a new image of this server using Acronis as a fallback in case things go horribly wrong.

    2. Re-convert this machine to a new VM using VMWare converter and put this image on removable storage or on your network.

    3. Install ESX3i on this server and load the VM image from the converter process. The ESX3i install takes all of 10 minutes.

    4. Restore the Acronis image to the server if the above doesn't work.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Question regarding converting physical machine to ESXi

      Originally posted by joeqwerty View Post
      Here's what I would suggest:

      1. Capture a new image of this server using Acronis as a fallback in case things go horribly wrong.

      2. Re-convert this machine to a new VM using VMWare converter and put this image on removable storage or on your network.

      3. Install ESX3i on this server and load the VM image from the converter process. The ESX3i install takes all of 10 minutes.

      4. Restore the Acronis image to the server if the above doesn't work.
      Great advice from joeqwerty. Joe provides a solution that should work, as well as a backout plan.

      I'd add also if you have a hardware RAID array on this box configured as a mirror set, power down the server before conversion and pull a mirror drive for safe keeping. This would allow a very quick recovery.

      Jas
      VCDX3 #34, VCDX4, VCDX5, VCAP4-DCA #14, VCAP4-DCD #35, VCAP5-DCD, VCPx4, vEXPERTx4, MCSEx3, MCSAx2, MCP, CCAx2, A+
      boche.net - VMware Virtualization Evangelist
      My advice has no warranties. Follow at your own risk.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Question regarding converting physical machine to ESXi

        Besides the fact that a SC 440 is not the HCL for ESX3i
        Maish
        ----------------------------------------------------------
        Technodrone|@maishsk|Author of VMware vSphere Design
        VMware vExpert 2013-2010,VCAP5-DCA/DCD,VCP
        MSCA 2000/2003, MCSE 2000/2003
        A proud husband and father of 3 girls
        ----------------------------------------------------------
        If you find the information useful please don't forget to give reputation points sigpic.

        Have a good one!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Question regarding converting physical machine to ESXi

          Excellent feedback guys. I have the OS mirrored on 2 250GB SATA disks.

          The thing is when I try to convert the machine to ESXi format it looks for the ESXi server in the environment... which doesn't exist yet...

          Any ideas?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Question regarding converting physical machine to ESXi

            I don't understand. The VMWare converter isn't dependent on any host maxchine being in place. What exactly are you using to do the conversion and how are you doing it?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Question regarding converting physical machine to ESXi

              This is what I see. It's looking for a VirtualCenter Server.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Question regarding converting physical machine to ESXi

                OK. When you select the destination type you have to select "Other Virtual Machine" then on the next screen select the middle option from the "type" section and give it a name and location to create it in.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Question regarding converting physical machine to ESXi

                  What about version? I don't see ESX listed... but GSX is (Version 4.5x)

                  I did try all of these before, tried saving to a local partition as well as USB drive and it won't get passed 1% and sometimes locks up.

                  I'm struggling a lot with this.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Question regarding converting physical machine to ESXi

                    It's the second option, VMWare Server1.x.

                    I know I've done this before but now I'm having trouble remembering how to get the converted machine into ESX3i.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Question regarding converting physical machine to ESXi

                      Tried that. Another failure. Not sure why it's saying I don't have disk space. It's on an NTFS partition with 150GB free space. Here is the log.

                      Last edited by PhoenixTekBC; 24th August 2008, 22:12.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Question regarding converting physical machine to ESXi

                        Did you convert the machine with keeping the original disk sizes intact (step 4) - if so then you will run out of space...
                        Maish
                        ----------------------------------------------------------
                        Technodrone|@maishsk|Author of VMware vSphere Design
                        VMware vExpert 2013-2010,VCAP5-DCA/DCD,VCP
                        MSCA 2000/2003, MCSE 2000/2003
                        A proud husband and father of 3 girls
                        ----------------------------------------------------------
                        If you find the information useful please don't forget to give reputation points sigpic.

                        Have a good one!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Question regarding converting physical machine to ESXi

                          Heh, I don't even see that option.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Question regarding converting physical machine to ESXi



                            The fourth step on the wizard
                            Maish
                            ----------------------------------------------------------
                            Technodrone|@maishsk|Author of VMware vSphere Design
                            VMware vExpert 2013-2010,VCAP5-DCA/DCD,VCP
                            MSCA 2000/2003, MCSE 2000/2003
                            A proud husband and father of 3 girls
                            ----------------------------------------------------------
                            If you find the information useful please don't forget to give reputation points sigpic.

                            Have a good one!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Question regarding converting physical machine to ESXi

                              Yes that option was checked.

                              Comment

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