Documenting a virtualization project

Experiences in Virtualization

Platespin issue resolved…. and new one gained

Posted by martijnl on August 31, 2006

Platespin logoI’m glad to report that the Platespin issue we had wasn’t a license issue but an error on our part. Although the documentation that Platespin provides is a little sparse in certain areas, their customer support talked us through and we found out what we were doing wrong.

What we did was to try to deploy a P2I image of a server to the Virtual Center Management server instead of deploying it to one of the VM host cluster members. Second problem was that the user that we used to discover the ESX server with did not have the correct access rights to complete that process successfully (because you can’t use root for that). You need a user that is allowed to log on through ssh and has the correct rights to the management console.

After resolving this problem deploying the image worked with the addition that Smartstart deployed servers (in this case: Proliant DL360) have a lot of HP/Compaq device drivers that load on startup (as service). As that hardware no longer exists in the VM you get the Windows error message about services that failed to load on startup.

Solution was to remove these programs after conversion as we don’t need them anymore.

This concluded the test conversion of a bog standard Windows box with SQL server on it. Having gone through all the steps the test conversion of a SLES9 box went smoother, at least for the first part.

This particular server (and 90% of our other Linux boxes) has LVM on it to manage the diskstorage and PowerConvert seems to be incompatibel with that. First try delivered a kernel panic to suggest that. After removing the LVM partition and making it a reiserfs volume conversion worked to the point that the new VM server saw it’s own storage and could eventually boot.

We don’t know yet if and when LVM support will be added to PowerConvert so until that time only the Windows servers can be PowerConverted. Which is unfortunate as roughly 50 servers are Linux (50% of the total). A call has been placed with Platespin and our distributor to find out about the LVM support.
We’ve been thinking about a workaround for the Linux servers and so far can only think of just deploying a bunch of new VM’s based on our working SLES9 image and then copying the config files and data over. It’s not really creative and has the potential of becoming a lot of manual work so we’ll keep on looking for alternatives.

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