Just finished another install and migration of one of our sites to virtualization using VMware vSphere 4 and HP P4500 Lefthand storage. I really can’t talk enough about how well these two fit so well together. The simplicity of the HP P4500 storage arrays aids in the success of these deployments from physical to virtualization for these, what I call, medium sized sites.
There is a lot of work with migrating from legacy systems all on physical hardware to a 100% virtualization model. I should point out that this site is not 100% percent yet but it is totally posible. Licensing is the only reason we will have a few applications running on dedicated physical hardware and in time they will be moved as well.
Some tools that were used and which I tend to use all the time for migrations. I happen to believe in keeping it simple so there are no fancy or 3rd party tools being used that we are not using or have paid for, for day to day use. Vmware convertor is of course the main tool of the bunch for migrating from physical to virtual. The tools is great, it works, and come with Vmware. CA Arcerve backup software is another tool that is very important to our migrations. You have to do backups plain an simple but using it to move large amounts of data has proven to be simplified with our backup software. This is mainly in my case for file servers with a cumalitive size in the terabytes that were on different servers and different storage arrays. The restore make dealing with permissions an non issue. Copy scripts are used as well because I can copy data while it’s being backed up and if I have any issues then I can restore the rest. Lastly but this is very important for successful conversion of some operating systems like Windows 2000 is patch updates. By making sure that your system is updated on patches could mean the difference of have a bootable converted vm guest.
I will post another post with the hardware configuration but you could probably search this blog site and find some of my past documentation on the HP Lefthand P4500 and vSphere 4.