It’s Time for a Change: Vembu to the Rescue


In this, the fifth article in our series investigating the benefits of Vembu BDR for Virtualized Environments, we examine Vembu’s migration capabilities. We all know that backing up your data is only one part of the equation. The ability to recover is the other, and arguably more important, side. This is where Vembu BDR really shines.

It’s time for a change: Vembu to the rescue

Once again, you are sitting in your cube, monitoring your environment. OK, you know the score—playing Gorf. All is calm in the world. It has been several weeks since the data center migration. Your management now really believes you wear your underwear on the outside of your trousers, and you are content—and not just content, but happy. You have just left the annual all-hands IT meeting, at which you were regaled with the year’s successes and failures, and happily, you have managed to bag a promotion. You knew about this but had to keep quiet until it was officially released. You even received a small pay raise to go with the extra responsibility.

You hear your name and see that your boss is calling you over to an impromptu meeting. What is interesting is that sitting in the office is your IT director and the finance director. You wonder what the high and mighty could possibly want with you, so you “secure your workstation.” Well, you don’t want Steve from storage to be sabotaging your top score, do you?

Sitting in the office, it soon becomes apparent that this is no ordinary meeting. The finance director and the IT director are talking about the costs of renewing the ELA for the company’s virtualized environment. It has been decided that the time has come to move to a different hypervisor, or even the cloud. Suddenly, you are aware that they are all looking at you.

It seems that you are to lead this project. The powers that be have not finalized their decision about which hypervisor, but it suffices to say that the company is moving. This may be a move to Hyper-V, AWS, or maybe KVM. You are to investigate the quickest options.

You go back to your desk. You are not worried. You have a plan, and yes, it may once again be “Vembu to the rescue.” You’re getting the hang of this now, aren’t you?

If you cast your mind back to my previous adventure, you will recollect that I used Vembu ImageBackup to help migrate from a legacy data center to our new, shiny one. This allowed us to create new virtual machines at our new data center from the VMDK flat file that is created as part of the backup image creation process. As part of this same process, there is a raw image file and a VHD file. The VHD file means that I can move my virtual machines to Hyper-V with minimal reconfiguration or interruption. This will please the powers that be. Again, I need to create some Hyper-V hosts to hold the soon-to-be-created Hyper-V guests, so we evacuate a couple of existing ESXi nodes, eject them from their relevant clusters, and install Windows 2012 R2 Core with the Hyper-V role. Now, we are not going to delve into the vagaries of Hyper-V and vSphere networking or the benefits and drawbacks of one hypervisor vs. another; that will be for another post. Anyway, “mine is not to wonder why, mine is just to do or die,” or so the saying goes.

Next, I verify our backups are complete, mount the VembuHIVE datastore, and create the first Hyper-V virtual machine. We have to manually inject the storage controller in some cases. Now, if we had used Cristie Software CloneManager, this would have been automated; that said, it is still better than having to rebuild the full machine, so I can live with it. As this is an in-place migration, there is no need to change any machine personality. However, we do have to clear out any superfluous applications and legacy device drivers, and we also need to install the Hyper-V integration services. I could have used Microsoft’s Virtual Machine Converter tool, but that would have been a lot slower.

We continue this rolling migration process until we are complete. Once again, a successful project, all thanks to the versatility of our Vembu BDR version 3.5 and associated products.

Life is good, and my Gorf score is rising.

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Tom Howarth
Tom Howarth is an IT Veteran of over 20 years experience and is the owner of PlanetVM.Net Ltd, Tom is a moderator of the VMware Communities forum. He is a contributing author on VMware vSphere(TM) and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment, and the forthcoming vSphere a Quick Guide. He regularly does huge virtualization projects for enterprises in the U.K. and elsewhere in EMEA. Tom was Elected vExpert for 2009 and each subsequent year thereafter.
Tom Howarth

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