Note: Here we are using VMware Converter Standalone Version 5.0.1.
Quite a nice way to migrate a file server from 2003 to 2008R2 with minimal downtime, is to run an asynchronous VMware Convert (allows synching of delta changes until a chosen finalization point), and then simply attach the P2V’d data drive to a new Windows 2008R2 fileserver. Alas, it doesn’t always work which is why there are better paid for products out there (like Platespin Migate, Double-Take Move…) and it’s worth doing a trial run first!
Notes on fileserver switchover:
i. First copy the shares from the registry on the old fileserver at HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Shares and merge into the registry of the new fileserver (data drive must have the same letter for this to work)
ii. When the original fileserver is ready to be decommissioned (after final VMware Converter Sync), power off, reset its AD account, join the new fileserver to the domain with same name and IP as the old one.
Quick Step-by-Step Walkthrough:
1. Install VMware Converter on fileserver to be migrated.
2. VMware Converter > Convert machine > Powered-on machine > This local machine
2.1 Conversion: Destination System > Select VMware Infrastructure virtual Machine > Enter vCenter Server, User name, and Password
2.2 Conversion: Destination Virtual Machine > Enter/Accept Name, and Next >
2.3 Conversion: Destination Location > Chose Cluster, Datastore, Host, and Next >
2.4 Conversion: Options > leave everything on default settings, except Advanced options – Synchronize tab
The only option we change is to select the Synchronize changes check box, ignore the Schedule radio button, and do not tick ‘Perform final syncrhonization’ (if perform final synchronization is checked, this removes the option to synchronize later.)
And Next >
Image: VMware Converter > Advanced options > Synchronize
2.5 Conversion: Summary > Finish and let VMware Converter do its magic!
3. When the convert task is complete
From ‘View by: Jobs’ right-click the job and select Synchronize… > Next > Finish
And we can do this as many times as we like!
Image: VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Synchronize…
4. For the final Synchronize, edit the advanced options and tick ‘Perform final synchronization’