P2V Tools & Plugins For Virtualisation Projects

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P2V, (Physical-To-Virtual), is the acronym that describes the gear and plugins which can be to be had to transport pictures from a bodily host to a digital host.

Lets perceive the nomenclature first:

  • ‘Physical’ refers the {hardware} (pc/server field) atmosphere. This is the ‘conventional’ and maximum not unusual manner of turning in server services and products / assets to the community.
  • ‘Virtual’ refers back to the atmosphere which is created via digital tool, and is in a position to enhance / host a couple of circumstances of an running device/s.

So, if you happen to like, the Physical is, most certainly, what you could have, and the digital is, most certainly, the place you need to be. How you get there’s the place the P2V gear and plugins are available.

P2V works via copying the bodily state of an put in running device as a picture. If you could have used Ghost, or Acronis, you’ll know what I imply. This picture is a compressed report, similar to an ISO. It may also be saved, or used, each time it’s required. It comprises the entire device information, drivers, and so on, that it must make it viable when it’s decompressed and put in to every other pc or right into a digital system (atmosphere). Images can be all of the state of a whole running device and put in programs.

Imaging an running device isn’t new. We were doing that for years. Most workstation rollouts have been performed the usage of Ghost pictures (most certainly nonetheless are). Microsoft delicate the method of running device deployment when it presented RIS, Remote Installation Server/Service. Unfortunately, RIS was once a little restricted via NIC drivers in lots of environments and did not all the time paintings neatly. RIS takes good thing about DHCP (BootP) and DNS to find and ship an running device to a goal system. P2V does simply that. But it is going one step additional, it deploys from an ordinary picture taken from a bodily pc and puts that picture right into a digital system. P2V too can transfer digital servers from one Host to every other Host, without reference to the kind of {hardware} that helps both Host.

Virtual Machines constitute an atmosphere very similar to the previous NTVDM (NT Virtual DOS Machine). The NTVDM tried to create an remoted atmosphere inside the structure of Windows NT, above the Executive Layer. It enabled 16bit (DOS) programs to run inside of a 32bit atmosphere, it nonetheless does if truth be told. The idea was once that if the DOS utility crashed, as they have been more likely to do, it would not take another programs or the running device down with it. The utility would crash inside the NTVDM and the NTVDM would include that match inside the Win32 subsystem, and no longer permit it to get admission to the {hardware} (Microkernel). This did not all the time paintings because it must, and most often resulted within the notorious BSOD. Fortunately issues are changing into a bit extra strong at the Windows entrance, and we see much less BSODs than we use to.

In a virtualised atmosphere the important thing to potency and luck is so that you could simply set up the entire infrastructure with out too many reboots and downtime. In a standard / bodily infrastructure, downtime is inevitable when control is carried out successfully. When, in a bodily infrastructure, it’s required that new servers are put in, previous ones decommissioned, and current servers upgraded or moved round, redeployed and so on, downtime will occur, no matter you attempt to do to keep away from it. In that state of affairs it is a case of restricting the wear and tear and looking to do the paintings when the community is ‘quiet’. Virtualisation can allow all of those actions with out the over the top downtime. P2V gear are used to create and set up the virtualised venture.

P2V permits the shifting of pre-made server running device pictures, (with programs), from a {hardware} founded atmosphere to a digital atmosphere. This process can happen when the community is getting used. However, as you will squirt a big picture across the LAN or around the WAN, it is a good suggestion to make a choice a extra quiet duration, slightly than in the midst of the operating day, or when the backup methods fan the flames of.

Using a digital system to host the picture that you just created from a physical-based running device has positive benefits past the decreased downtime. Virtual machines don’t get admission to the {hardware} without delay. Like the previous NTVDM, there’s an ‘air-gap’ between the VM and the {hardware}. This is occupied via both a HyperVisor, or every other running device that has been put in as a Virtual Host. VMWare is put in as a digital host. It is Linux with a changed kernel. Microsoft Virtual Server is put in into an current Windows running device. Other digital gear are put in without delay at the steel, comparable to Xen and XenEnterprise. Virtuozzo makes use of a distinct technique to virtualisation. It walls the running device. That makes it distinctive among virtualisation gear.

By no longer gaining access to the {hardware} in the similar manner {that a} conventional running device does, the VM can act as a Host for quite a lot of other running device pictures. It will settle for the Guest running device calls for and serve them up as asked. The running device does not are aware of it’s virtualised. CPU and RAM is dropped at the digital running device Guest, as regardless that that Guest was once put in to the steel within the conventional model. This method no {hardware} conflicts, no reminiscence conflicts, and no downtime, as there aren’t any device information to generate or exchange, and subsequently a reboot isn’t vital. It is most effective vital to reboot the VM, no longer the Host.

P2V gear can be utilized for greater than shifting running device (pictures) from the bodily to the digital atmosphere. They can be utilized for crisis restoration functions. Images may also be saved in an o/s image-bank for long run deployment. P2V can be utilized as a backup software and as an ordinary manner of o/s deployment all the way through the venture.

**Beware the usage of P2V as a backup software for on a regular basis backups. The pictures can develop into huge, which is able to grind your community to a standstill if no longer deliberate correctly. Tape is not super-fast for restoring gigbytes of information, however in comparison to P2V as a repair software, it is undoubtedly frictionless.**

The digital {hardware} offered via a digital system is all the time other from the bodily {hardware} at the unique server. P2V migration gear are one clean technique to clear up the issues inherent in making the transfer. The marketplace leaders on this section of the virtualisation business are PlateSpin and VMware, however different notable competition exist, comparable to Leostream. Here is an inventory, and a few knowledge, about a number of the P2V gear and plugins that I’m acutely aware of. If you realize about others, why no longer write it up and allow us to all know.

VMWare P2V Assistant:

This is one of the in style of the P2V gear. With this software you’ll drag and drop your pictures anyplace you wish to have them.

The VMWare P2V Assistant copies all information which can be resident on a bodily supply disk connected to a supply pc and shops them to a digital disk report, often referred to as a goal disk. If an running device is provide within the supply disk, that also is copied onto the objective disk. This goal disk is the brand new clone. The cloning procedure calls for a P2V Assistant Boot CD this is used as well the supply pc and retrieve identity details about the supply pc. In addition, the P2V Assistant will have to be working on a pc (bodily or digital) that isn’t the supply pc. The ensuing clone is contained in a suite of information, in .vmdk layout. This form of clone can be utilized in VMware GSX Server and VMware Workstation digital machines.

VMWare say that this process is complicated and a migration of a picture from a supply to a goal isn’t an unattended task. VMWare additionally state that the process must most effective be performed via competent Administrators or technicians who’ve long gone thru an legit VMWare P2V Assistant coaching route. Hmm, no longer certain about that. Having performed a couple of migrations myself, I will be able to record that it isn’t a specifically complicated process. If you’ll arrange and run a a success RIS deployment, then you’ll do that task conveniently. Could be that VMWare is making an attempt to promote pricey coaching classes? I’ll depart you to come to a decision.

VMWare P2V helps Windows NT, 2000 and 2003. VMWare P2V calls for a 3rd ‘helper’ system. This could be a bodily or digital system. You can even want a boot CD. You can use P2V to create the clone, or Ghost, Acronis, PowerQuest Image Center, or another imaging software you’re accustomed to, and that may create the picture within the required layout for VMWare P2V.

In my opinion, VMWare has made this procedure a little extra difficult than it must be. Other gear do the similar task, enhance a much broader vary of running methods, value so much much less, and do it and not using a ‘helper’ system. But, in case you are at ease in a Windows atmosphere or must paintings in a single, then this software is completely high quality and is value efficient on the venture degree relating to money and time.

Leostream P2V Direct 3.0:

This P2V software is used with VMWare and Microsoft virtualisation gear. It is a control interface, however has some fascinating and helpful application purposes which may be endearing to the venture Administrator for a virtualised infrastructure.

The drawback is that it most effective works with Windows running methods. As Windows is the dominant datacentre running device, presently, that is not in reality a limitation. However, this situation is converting, and Leostream will, certainly, trade with it.

The Leostream device is composed of a Wizard and a Host Agent, which may also be on other networks so long as there’s a routable connection for the next ports (8080, 9400, 9401, and 9402). Wide space community connections are supported.

The Leostream P2V Direct Wizard is put in at the starting place bodily server, and is suitable with all 32 bit variations, carrier packs and all safety patches of Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003. For NT4 it helps carrier pack 6a and all safety patches.

The Leostream Host Agent is put in at the vacation spot host server working the virtualization tool.

Leostream’s P2V Direct Wizard is put in, run, and un-installed at the starting place system with no need a reboot. It sees the system in its running state so it might map the entire working services and products and drivers and decide the adjustments wanted for a a success conversion. It then instructs the virtualisation layer to create a suitable VM, attaches a small running device and boots the VM. The disks are then copied throughout via the usage of the present drivers. Once the disk switch is entire then the VM is rebooted into Windows and the Leostream Wizard robotically un-installed. What might be more effective?

Two variations are to be had; The Windows model is suitable with VMware Workstation 5.x working on Windows XP (any carrier pack), VMware GSX 3.x, VMware Virtual Server, and Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 working on 32 and 64 bit variations of Windows Server 2003 (any carrier pack). The ESX model is suitable with VMware ESX Server v2.5.x and v3.0.

Leostream declare that it might do a one-time migration and not using a reboot. I have never examined that but. If you could have, let me know the way it went. Leostream additionally say that this is a simple procedure and calls for no coaching (!). Well, that is a blessing.

PlateSpin PowerConvert:

The declare this is that PlateSpin decouples the knowledge, running methods, and programs from the servers on which they’re hosted. This permits anywhere-to-anywhere automatic conversions between bodily servers, digital machines, and picture archives. PlateSpin’s PowerConvert can be utilized for server consolidations, crisis restoration, {hardware} migrations, test-lab automation, and extra. You can movement servers in any course between bodily machines, blade infrastructures, digital machines, and picture archives over the community.

Using drag-and-drop, a bodily server or digital system server working Windows or Linux may also be transformed into an absolutely useful digital system hosted on VMware Infrastructure 3, VMware ESX Server, VMware Server, Microsoft Virtual Server, or a PlateSpin Flexible Image. No bodily touch with the supply or goal machines is needed, permitting the versatility to accomplish the consolidation from anyplace. Likewise, migrate to subsequent technology blade, SMP or rack {hardware} with out time eating server rebuilds.

Restoring with backup merchandise is ceaselessly time eating and contains manually development new servers, putting in programs, and restoring information from tape or rigid pictures. PlateSpin PowerConvert for Recovery is designed to duplicate a server totally via streaming it over the community periodically to any to be had bodily or digital system which may be used as a standby.

Live Transfer capability permits such migrations to be carried out with out taking the supply server offline. In case of number one server outage, the standby device may also be activated to take over the workload briefly and resume customary processing. This is a sexy helpful facility, however I nonetheless suppose that you just must be very cautious while you check out this kind of process. PlateSpin has quite a lot of platforms supported via it is quite a lot of utilities. I feel it’s the widest vary of the entire P2V gear. Virtual Machines Operating Systems Image Archives Backup Solutions o VMware® Infrastructure Three o VMware® ESX Server 2.1 and better o VMware® Server o Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 & 2005 R2 o Windows NT Server (SP4, SP6a) o Windows 2000 Server o Windows 2000 Advanced Server o Windows 2003 Server o Windows 2003 Server R2 o Windows XP Professional (SP2) o Redhat Linux (7.3, 8.0) o Redhat Enterprise Linux (AS, 3.0, ES 3.0) o SUSE Linux Enterprise (9) o Acronis® True ImageTM o Symantec® LiveStateTM o PlateSpin Flexible Image Packages o Symantec® GhostTM o Raw Volume Data o Veritas® Backup ExecTM o CA BrighStor ARCserv r11 o Double-Take® via Double-Take Software

For servers with out an running device put in, it is important to use a boot CD to take keep an eye on of the server. In nearly all different instances, PlateSpin is used remotely and you wish to have no longer cross to the servers in any respect.

Ultimate P2V:

This is a unfastened plugin this is used as a part of a boot CD. The most well liked boot CD is Bart PE. The easiest way to make use of Ultimate P2V is to put in it at the Bart PE CD, together with Ghost, or Acronis (or your favorite imaging tool), and another utilities you suppose may well be helpful. Maybe come with a password converting application, or a report supervisor, or no matter you suppose can be useful for your deliberate process.

This is an ‘off-ramp’ product. That method you by no means set up the rest to the servers. You simply boot to the CD after which use the utilities to create the picture. Once you could have created the picture, you’ll use Ultimate P2V to switch it to a digital server.

Oddly sufficient, this technique of P2V does require that you’re a competent technical individual. That has a tendency to be the case, once you progress from the industrial gear to the unfastened gear. You must paintings more difficult if it is unfastened.

I have never used this software. I’ve used Bart PE, and it is without doubt one of the most dear RAMDisk gear available in the market within the wild. Mostly utilized by crackers to get admission to servers and alter the Admin’ password. I’ve a Bart PE disk with me always!


As above. This software is used with a RAMDisk, ‘off-ramp’ application like Bart PE. This one can most effective be used with Windows servers. You will want an imaging software, like Ghost, and you’ll additionally want to come with a VMWare plugin.

Ultimate P2V is a unfastened plugin that lets you clone a bodily system to a digital system and carry out the vital device reconfiguration required to make it bootable.

Warning: it is important to monitor down and set up a load of drivers to make this application suitable with the usual running methods.

Bart PE is used because the platform for Windows cloning. If you need to clone different running methods it is important to use the Linux Live CD because the platform.

VMWare Converter 3.0:

VMware Converter is a scalable enterprise-class migration software that converts bodily machines to VMware digital machines. Using a snapshot-based cloning mechanism, VMware Converter permits far off conversions with out disrupting the supply server all through the conversion procedure. I questioned how lengthy it will be ahead of VMWare got here out with a P2V freebee. I most effective become acutely aware of it as it was once discussed in a remark about VMware Converter at the VMWare internet website online. Of route, I could not wait to check out it.

VMware Converter is a P2V resolution. It lets you convert bodily machines working Windows to VMware digital machines. The Starter Edition is totally free, the Enterprise Edition can be authorized as a part of enhance and subscription services and products with VirtualCenter Management. The Enterprise Edition lets in a couple of concurrent conversions, while the Starter Edition can most effective convert one system at a time. Another distinction is that the Enterprise Edition helps chilly cloning, i.e. the migration of powered off machines. Since the OS of the supply device is not working in a chilly migration, the cloning procedure is much less error vulnerable. To chilly clone a bodily system you must boot from a Windows PE CD which is able to release VMware Converter.

VMware Converter Three has an easy-to-use wizard which guides you during the configuration of the conversion process. At step one you must come to a decision what sort of conversion you’re making plans. There are 5 choices:

  • bodily pc
  • far off bodily pc
  • VMware digital system
  • Microsoft digital system
  • Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery (or Ghost Nine picture)

The undeniable fact that it is unfastened needs to be a explanation why to make use of it. But, it’s restricted to Windows, even though, that is not essentially a bind as the general public use Windows servers in maximum datacentres.


You will know, if you happen to learn my earlier article when it comes to virtualisation, that Virtuozzo be offering a virtualisation software that walls the running device. This methodolgy lends itself neatly to P2V. You can transfer digital servers between bodily servers with out end-user disruption or the will for expensive garage capability with Virtuozzo for Linux 3.0. No SAN required. The “0 downtime migration” capacity is certainly one of a number of primary new options in the most recent model of Virtuozzo for Linux – which additionally provides new template control, streamlined useful resource control and expanded running device enhance to very much strengthen efficiency and automation.

SWsoft, (the builders of Virtuozzo), additionally presented Virtuozzo for Windows, which provides a “physical-to-virtual” software that allows clean migration from a devoted bodily server to a digital server, efficiency will increase and up to date platform enhance.

Personally, I really like Virtuozzo. It’s a distinct technique to the opposite gear and has that massive plus of most effective requiring a unmarried host running device license (this will likely trade at some point as Microsoft licensing catches up).


XenEnterprise is the most productive virtualisation software to be had. It is correct ParaVirtualisation and is 35% extra environment friendly than VMWare and 40%+ extra environment friendly than Microsoft Virtual Server.

XenEnterprise makes use of the Open-Source Xen kernel to supply it is digital procedure. Added to that is the power to enhance Linux and Windows servers at the similar {hardware}, offering the Intel {hardware} has the V extension, and the AMD {hardware} has the VT extension.

Included inside the product is a P2V toolset this is utterly built-in. From the one browser interface you’ll create a server picture from a server running device on every other piece of {hardware}, and set up it right into a digital system at the XenEnterprise Host server. XenEnterprise gear come with VM Export, Import and Cloning. No additional gear or utilities are required. Everything you wish to have is true there within the XenEnterprise virtualising utility.

Virtualisation is not the solution to all datacentre ills. It brings with it some nasty bits. It can over-utilise your methods, put on out your {hardware} sooner than conventional servers, exchange server sprawl with digital sprawl, and if you happen to reboot a number, you down each and every visitor running device on that host.

Contact PC/Computer Support For Help via Technical Support for your Laptop/PC/Mac/Tablets

Article Source Link via Robb Kimmer