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This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. The opinions expressed within are my own and should not be attributed to any other Individual, Company or the one I work for. I just happen to be a classic techie who is passionate about getting things to work as they should do (and are sometimes advertised and marketed as being able to?) and when I can I drop notes here to help others falling in to the same traps that I have fallen in to. If this has helped then please pass it on - if you feel that I have commented in error or disagree then please feel free to discuss with me either publically or privately? Cheers, Dave
Thin Clients, VDI and Linux integration from the front lines.... Raw and sometimes unedited notes based on my experiences with VMware, Thin Clients, Linux etc.
Preamble:
Us Citrix Guys have been bouncing against the issue of migration to dissimilar hardware for a while now, with quite a number of customers with Images or Production Servers based on DL360 G2's and G3's and these Images are now needing to be applied to G4's. Obviously there wasn't too much issue between the earlier two, but as we start approaching the G4 platform this has caused some issues with the 5i/6i Array Driver.
 
We do tend to have a policy of trying to Sysprep where ever possible as Best Practice, and to a reasonable extent this has also allowed us to continue without the need to resorting to any specialist tools to over come this - especially if you use the MassStorage heading in the Sysprep.inf file as commented by VMware at http://www.vmware.com/support/v2p/doc/V2P_TechNote.pdf
 
There have been occasions where we get stumped and typically these relate to where two specific issues coincide - Server 2003 SP1 and Remapped Drives. Clearly with us looking after Citrix Servers this remapped drives comes around quite often......
 
In this case the Sysprep procedure, this will typically bomb out when the Drives *collapse* back to the C and D drive, and it all turns a bit ugly after that.
 
Possible Tools to migrate Servers to/from Dissimilar Hardware:
  • Symantec's LSR Anywhere
  • Acronis True Image
  • UltraBAC Gold
Now as much as these tools all purport to be able to "Restore Server Images to Dissimilar Hardware" my main issue with these is the word at the front - Restore - these are essentially Backup mechanisms that expect to backup the Server via and Agent and to a certain extent restore in the same manner. Without even reading the manual for Acronis True Image it would appear that you are expected to install a "Hidden Partition" on the server for where the Agent lives.....
It wouldn't be too bad if these products were either 1 - easy to understand, or 2 - cheap, but they are neither, and as an intended backup mechanism for servers they require something in the order of USD$400 - 600 per Server for the privilege. Not only that you would have to go through the whole palaver of installing Management Consoles etc. just to get your intended Server Image up and running.
 
I also believe HP will be bringing out a Proliant P2P tool by the end of the month that will simplify Server Migrations, but it is also a chargeable item - not a freebie?
 
DDChanger from HelperApps.com:
Now this looks like it is small and simple enough to be exactly what I'm after.
Boot the intended target Server Hardware using BartPE (or similar?), bring over the Image using Ghost, etc., Run DDChanger pointing at the local C:\Windows on the disk and add the appropriate Driver as required, now reboot.
 
Although the 5i and 6i are listed under Compaq, not HP.
 
What is quite handy is that this can be licensed per Server Owner - rather than per Server...   however I have left the best till last...... 
 
FIXVMSCSI:
I had noticed there was a tool called Ultimate-P2V that was a plugin for BartPE, but hadn't really worried too much about it until a colleague (Alex) mentioned that he had been using it and that it worked very well. So given the issues we have been having been having recently AND that I had a suitable candidate that needed fixing at a client I tried it out.
 
I got the files from the links below and these simply need to be unzipped in the plugin directory underneath your PEBuilder location, this will give you the facility to ADD 5i/6i Drivers after identifying the root location of Windows on the Target HDD, there are other drivers as well as some other files available from the web site that will do the same for the PERC Drivers if that's what you need?
 
From the looks of it, it shouldn't be too hard to add additional drivers using the format should they be needed? And it's the right price!!
 
Conclusion:
It would appear from my point of view that although their maybe some benefits to be gained from using the Symantec/Acronis/etc. solution these are clearly focused at a different end of the market from where we are approaching things. I will be using this FIXVMSCSI / Ultimate-P2V solution based on a BartPE CD as a standard when ever I face similar issues regarding migrating Servers to Dissimilar Hardware.
 
I hope this helps others?
Posted on Friday, July 7, 2006 5:49 AM Citrix , IT Management , Real Cool Stuff , Microsoft Tips , VMware and other Virtualization tools | Back to top


Comments on this post: Migration of Servers to Dissimilar Hardware and other P2V, V2P and P2P Options (Specifically DL360 G2 and G3 to G4 and above?)

# re: Migration of Servers to Dissimilar Hardware and other P2V, V2P and P2P Options (Specifically DL360 G2 and G3 to G4 and above?)
Requesting Gravatar...
Please email me because I don't subscribe to your feedback. So, did you actually have success with the FIXVMSCSI with going from G2 to G4? What program did you use for the imaging? I know you can't go from G2 to G4 by just pulling a drive, you have to image somehow, I learned that the hard way (something to do with the way G2 and G4 make the Array SCSI id, one makes it 0 and the other makes it 1) . Anyway, email me and let me know if you had success, G2 to G4. jcook@ccs5000.com
Left by Jeremiah Cook on Jul 07, 2006 11:51 AM

# re: Migration of Servers to Dissimilar Hardware and other P2V, V2P and P2P Options (Specifically DL360 G2 and G3 to G4 and above?)
Requesting Gravatar...
Hi Jeremiah,

I personally use Ghost, but I'll also use whatever the Customer/Client normaly uses, it makes no real difference to me.

As to migrating between a G2 and G4, the main thing that might stop you is the incompatibility between the older drives in the G2 and the fact that the G3 and G4's need the Ultra320 SCSI Drives?

This is when you use the imaging? ;-)

On source Server, use BartPE to boot, connect to the network, run Ghost or simlar and save image to network - when complete - reverse procedure on target Server - now you are ready to try using FIXVMSCSI to sort out the SCSI driver issue that cause the BSOD
Left by Dave Caddick on Jul 07, 2006 4:43 PM

# re: Migration of Servers to Dissimilar Hardware and other P2V, V2P and P2P Options (Specifically DL360 G2 and G3 to G4 and above?)
Requesting Gravatar...
Thanks, have you tried this yet? or actually, I think what I tried to do that didn't work is to take a G4 image and put on G2, go figure, it was a strange situation I know :) That is where I ran into that SCSI issue I mentioned, I'll try the fixvmscsi trick next time.
Left by Jeremiah Cook on Jul 07, 2006 8:49 PM

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