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17Nov/110

Automated P2V Cleanup: Remove/Uninstall Dell OpenManage & Broadcom/Intel Drivers v1.2

This is another updated version with more Intel removal goodness...see my previous post for more information on Automated P2V Cleanup: Remove/Uninstall Dell OpenManage & Broadcom/Intel Drivers Updated so it removes all the new Dell/Intel/Broadcom stuff released since the last update.

This Removes:

  • Dell OpenManage Server Administrator
  • Broadcom Drivers and Management Applications
  • Broadcom NetXtreme II Driver Installer
  • Intel(R) PROSet for Wired Connections
  • Intel(R) PRO Network Connections
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26Oct/110

P2V Tips

Pre-P2V

  • Cleanup Irrelevant Data
    • Don't bring over that downloads folder on every server full of drivers, hotfixes, patches, service packs, etc.  Remember storage is now shared among many VMs now, try not to duplicate things like that.
  • Stop transactional services during P2V
    • MSSQL, mySQL, etc.
  • Disable Windows Updates
    • You don't want your source to reboot due to automatic updates mid-P2V
  • Do not resize volumes during P2V
    • Resizing volumes will increase P2V time significantly because instead of doing a block-level copy the convert would have to use file-level copy
  • Set Target disks to Thin
    • Take advantage of thin provisioning--make sure you have vCenter Alarms setup to alert you when datastores near capacity

Post-P2V

  • Move the Page File to a seperate volume (if it isn't already)
    • If you are moving away from traditional backup methods to new vStorage methods you can't exclude the page file from backups typically--however if it's on a dedicated volume (separate vmdk) you can typically exclude it then
  • Don't Team NICs
    • You should build redundancy at the vSwitch level and use a single NIC for the VM (having a separate NIC connected to another vSwitch for backups, or Internal/External Interfaces is still ok)
  • Cleanup
    • Get rid of all the extra software/agents physical servers require--Dell OpenManage, HP Insight, Broadcom/Intel Teaming Utilities - If your using Dell Servers use my Cleanup Script to automate the process
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1May/112

VMware Capacity Planner: Guided Consolidation

VMware Partners get access to a very nice tool called Capacity Planner--this is what VMware Partners use to come in and do an assessment of your environment and determine what can be virtualized, and how many hosts are required to make it happen.  VMware Partners use the tool free of charge from VMware--the partners and are encouraged to do these assessments at no cost for customers (after all, the results from a capacity planner assessment leads into a vSphere PoC for new customers typically).  However that left customers crying that they should have something they can run themselves--why should they have to bring in a partner to do this?

VMware answered customers by creating  vCenter Guided Consolidation--it doesn't pack anything near the features VMware Capacity Planner does--but it offers the very basic functionality of if a particular server (and associated workload) is a good candidate for virtualization.

Installing Guided Consolidation

So you need vCenter for this if it wasn't apparent.  It's simply a plugin to vCenter--now the install process actually stumped me for a bit, I browsed the vCenter media for the installer and came up empty handed...then a college pointed me to the Autorun menu on the vCenter media and I face palm'd...I never let Autorun actually run--haha.

Poking around wanting to find the installer after seeing it in the Autorun menu I found that damn installer.  It's at ./vpx/VMware-gcs.exe on the media.  GCS-Perhaps Guided Consolidation Server?

Using Guided Consolidation

This is broken up into 3 main steps:

  1. Find - Discover your physical servers
    • Find offeres these ways to discover
      • Manually enter Hostname/IP Addresses
      • Domain Discovery -- via Active Directory Domains
      • Scan an IP Range
      • Suck in a text file containing a list of Hostnames/IP addresses to scan
  2. Analyze - Perform analysis on the servers to determine if they are good candidates for virtualization
    • Once a machine is actually being analyzed this is where Guided Consolidation can use some improvement--there is no log or status as to what is happening--you typically have to wait at least an hour before any status changes appear.
    • Also note that confidence won't change to High until it analysis has been in-progress for at least 12 hours (might be 24 actually) so don't be alarmed
  3. Consolidate - Complete the actual consolidation by P2V
    • Another area that has ALOT of room for improvement in Guided Consolidation
    • After you are happy with the analysis of a server select it then click the Plan Consolidation button.
    • A wizard appears that one would think would offer similar functionallity when doing P2Vs using regular VMware Converter--but no, it's not the same at all.
    • Select your destination(s) vcenter/cluster/hosts
      • Guided Consolidation will analyze the hosts and recommend the best destination for the VM with the Amazon-esc 5-Star rating icons.
    • Review the recommendation--you can change the destination host as well as destination VM name in this window
    • Once you click next, you have one more chance to review....and then a finish button?! what?--I want to change vCPUs, Memory, Target Disk Layout!

And so now you can see the limitations of Guided Consolidation--it's great at the core function of determining if a server is a good canidate to virtualize or not--however the built in P2V process leaves alot to be desired for the seasoned VMware Admin.  I recommend you use the analysis portion and continue to use vCenter Converter to perform the actual P2V so you have more control over the P2V process--changing Target Disk Layouts, vCPU count, Memory amounts, etc.

For more information on VMware vCenter Guided Consolidation check out the vSphere 4 Admin Guide @ VMware.com

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3Apr/110

P2V: Cold Cloning via Converter ISO – Unable to determine Guest OS

Your just going about your day, trying to P2V a machine using the Cold Clone when you get the error: Unable to determine Guest OS

You check the client log and don't find anything helpful:

Then you check the agent log and it sheds light on the problem:

Looks like WinPE didn't find a suitable driver for our storage adapter.  Not a problem heres the steps to correct this:
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25Mar/1117

P2V: VolGroup00 not found – Linux LVM

So you P2V'd a Linux box (CentOS, RedHat, Oracle, etc.) that is using LVM and now when it boots you get:

Reading all physical volumes. This may take awhile...
Volume group "VolGroup00" not found
Unable to access resume device (/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol01)
mount: could not find filesystem '/dev/root'
setuproot: moving /dev failed: No such file or directory
setuproot: error mounting /proc: No such file or directory
setuproot: error mounting /sys: No such file or directory
switchroot: mount failed: No such file or directory
Kernel panic - not syncing: Attempted to kill init!

Well that sucks--basically initrd didn't have the right drivers to access the file system.

Reboot the VM with the Linux distro ISO attached

Then it boots from the CD follow the instructions to enter Linux Rescue (usually you type "linux rescue" at the boot prompt)

Now we can rebuild initrd with the missing drivers.

Enter:

 

Type:

Now hit tab and it will auto complete then add the text that was autocompleted when you hit tab except for the .img

So your command should look like:

Hit enter and it will do it's thing with a lot of output coming out, when it's done type exit annd exit again and the VM will reboot automatically.  Should boot up just fine this time.

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7Mar/113

P2V: Domain Controllers in-depth

The official VMware KB 1006996 on virtualizing existing domain controllers recommends 4 options (simplified below):

  1. Demote the DC via dcpromo, do the conversion, then promote the DC back again using dcpromo--With all that trouble why not just build a new one?
  2. Cold Clone--Cool, except if I'm working remote I need a working out of band management solution to boot the DC with the ISO...or setup a PXE server to provide a bootable cold clone image to do this, regardless too much extra leg work.
  3. Use Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) and do a hot conversion, cool, but now I need to reboot these guys and hope someone remembers the DSRM password, or reset it before hand...
  4. Get rid of the old DC via dcpromo and build a new VM and promote it--no conversion at all, wait what?

Having to P2V over a hundred DCs we didn't particually like any of these options, the KB focuses on the possibility of a corrupt NTDS.DIT if you don't follow any of those recommendations.  For our first few we did the DSRM route:

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27Feb/111

Automated P2V Cleanup: Remove/Uninstall Dell OpenManage & Broadcom/Intel Drivers v1.1

This is an updated version with more Intel removal goodness...see my previous post for more information on Automated P2V Cleanup: Remove/Uninstall Dell OpenManage & Broadcom/Intel Drivers

This Removes:

  • Dell OpenManage Server Administrator
  • Broadcom Drivers and Management Applications
  • Broadcom NetXtreme II Driver Installer
  • Intel(R) PROSet for Wired Connections
  • Intel(R) PRO Network Connections
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12Feb/110

Automated P2V Cleanup: Remove/Uninstall Dell OpenManage & Broadcom/Intel Drivers

So how many times have you done a P2V only to have to go back and manually cleanup all the extra crud a physical server requires--Dell OpenManage Server Administrator(Dell OSMA), Broadcom Drivers and Management Applications, Intel Drivers and Management Applications, etc.  Now expand that to having to do over 500 P2Vs in a few month span and you find the need to automate....

Presenting a huge honking script to automate those pesky uninstalls, right now it's only Dell specific, but I plan to expand it to other vendors like IBM & HP.

This Removes:

  • Dell OpenManage Server Administrator
  • Broadcom Drivers and Management Applications
  • Broadcom NetXtreme II Driver Installer
  • Intel(R) PROSet for Wired Connections
  • Intel(R) PRO Network Connections
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24Aug/100

Linux P2V Issues

Took me awhile to get what should have been a simple Linux P2V done at work!

This stuff wasn't clearly stated anywhere--I couldn't find anyone with similar issues, so I'm posting this up hoping to help someone else out in the future.  Working with VMware they pointed out the lack of support for dvSwitches after passing through a few levels of support their.

Error: Unable to connect to the Converter helper server on the target virtual machine

Cause: VMware does not support the usage of dvSwitches for Linux Conversions!  Make sure the network you select isn't a dvSwitch

Error: Unable to obtain the IP address of the target virtual machine running the Converter helper server.

Cause: Related to the above error, relying on DHCP while using a network that is a dvSwitch for a conversion will get you the above error.

FAILED: MethodFault.summary

The last task before removal will be something like: Connecting the Converter helper ISO image to the target virtual machine.

Cause: ESX(i) 4.1 is not supported at this time by VMware Converter--this was with version 4.0.1--the latest version at the time this post was made.

Leave a comment if these notes helped you out or if you have any other uncommon errors you ran into.

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