You can't get there from here...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

This weekend I'm starting the migration of my production network from Windows 2003 servers running VMware for virtualization to Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V.
I have it all planned out like this:
  • Clone my existing W2K3 VMware VMs (DC and E2K7) to a USB drive

  • Convert the VMware VMs to VHDs using System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007

  • Mount the VMs on my new isolated W2K8 host; test

  • Create a new W2K8 DC VM to upgrade the domain

  • Create a new W2K8/E2K7 VM and migrate all the mailboxes to it

  • Decommission the W2K3 DC and E2K7 VMs

  • Test the new environment

  • Move my blog and websites to the new W2K8 host

  • Turn off my old W2K3 box and re-IP the W2K8 server with the W2K3 server's IP. This will put it into production.

  • Test the web, Exchange, OWA environment again

  • Drink a beer to celebrate. OK, there might be some pre-celebration drinking throughout the process...

By following this plan, I'll minimize downtime to a few minutes and I'll always be able to roll back to the old server simply by turning it back on.

Sounds like a good plan, but here's why it won't work -- the only tool that can convert VMware VMs to VHDs is Virtual Machine Manager 2007 (Hyper-V can't do this on its own), but VMM 2007 can't create or convert x64 VMs. Both my DC and E2K7 server are 64-bit, so at this time there's no way to get there from here. I only wish I'd have remembered this before I spent 4 hours configuring the VMM2007 server and domain. Doh!

By the way, the failure I got during the x64 VM conversion was on step 1.5, "Make operating system virtualizable." This happened right after the plug and play system reported it was "Installing Microsoft Virtual Server Storage devices."

Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager 2008 is expected to create and convert 64-bit guests, but the earliest bits whon't be available for it till around March.

So, my updated migration plan is this:

  • Clone my existing W2K3 VMware VMs (DC and E2K7) to a USB drive as backups

  • Build a new Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V host

  • Introduce a new W2K8 DC Hyper-V guest into the domain

  • Create a new W2K8/E2K7 Hyper-V guest

  • Configure a new Edge server on the W2K8 host

  • Migrate all the mailboxes from the old E2K7 server to the new one

  • Decommission the W2K3 DC and E2K7 VMs

  • Test the new environment

  • Move my blog and websites to the new W2K8 host

  • Turn off my old W2K3 box and re-IP the W2K8 server with the W2K3 server's IP. This will put it into production.

  • Test the web, Exchange, OWA environment again

  • Commence said beer drinking celebration