Tech Talk 3 by Jason Dea and Valentin Mihai
Building Your Virtual Landscape Without Messy Disruptions
Using PlateSpin Solutions to Implement and Test Your Virtualized Data Center
This is the second article in a three-part series on how to best assess, deploy and refine your virtual infrastructure using PlateSpin Recon and PlateSpin Migrate products.
In the first article we laid the groundwork for success with tips and tricks for consolidation planning in your virtualized data center using PlateSpin Recon 3.7.
This article picks up with us breaking ground on automating the actual implementation process using PlateSpin Migrate. In this article, we will also discuss the vital role that testing plays in ensuring a successful implementation.
Whether you’re looking to consolidate a large number of business-critical servers or simply minimize your downtime moving individual workloads, PlateSpin Migrate is your workload migration solution. What exactly comprises a workload? At the most basic level, a workload encapsulates the data, applications and operating systems that reside on a physical or virtual host.
PlateSpin Migrate allows you to move server workloads over a local network, wide area network or the Internet via TCP/IP. PlateSpin Migrate decouples the underlying server hardware and transfers workloads to and from physical servers, virtual hosts or image archives—what we call “X2X.” Most competing products limit you to just physical-to-virtual (P2V) migrations.
PlateSpin Migrate provides organizations with a mature, proven solution for testing, migrating and balancing workloads across infrastructure boundaries—from desktops to servers.
PlateSpin Migrate: The All-Purpose Solution
Because of PlateSpin Migrate’s flexible X2X migration capabilities, companies employ the solution in many different ways. Here are four examples:
- Server consolidation – As more and more organizations become aware of the benefits of virtualization technology, server consolidation via a physical-to-virtual (P2V) migration has become an important project in many companies.
- Virtual workload migration – Many times, a company may want to move workloads from one virtual platform to another (V2V), such as when changing hypervisor vendors, while minimizing downtime and investment.
- Virtual workload de-virtualization – As a company grows, it often needs to move workloads from a virtual platform to a physical host (V2P) that is more accommodating to the workload’s resource needs.
- Hardware migration – As business applications grow, organizations commonly have to move workloads from one physical platform to another (P2P) to overcome resource usage issues and aging hardware problems. Another common reason for hardware migration is hardware lease expiration.
In this article, we’ll concentrate on the P2V server consolidation model.
Server Consolidation with PlateSpin Migrate
Today’s IT services are expected to be up and running 24x7. Users do not easily tolerate extended downtime for maintenance or relocation. Server consolidation needs to happen quickly and with as little disruption to users as possible.
PlateSpin Migrate automates all the manual processes that would otherwise be required to move a workload to a new location. This automation enables you to significantly reduce conversion time, lower stress on your network and decrease overall migration costs.
Reducing the Impact of Slow WAN Links
Where a WAN link is involved, such as with relocation projects or offsite consolidation, it can take days to stream even a few hundred gigabytes.
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Through its Server Sync and imaging functionality, PlateSpin Migrate allows you to perform staged migrations through a physical-to-image-to-virtual (P2I2V) model. This allows you to capture an image of the physical server on a portable hard drive, USB drive or DVD; physically ship the image media to the new location; deploy the image on a virtual machine and then synchronize the changes over the WAN. By removing the necessity for a full system replication, Server Sync can dramatically accelerate workload migrations over WANs.
Your How-to Guide for PlateSpin Migrate
Performing a P2V server consolidation migration using PlateSpin Migrate is a simple, five-step process.
Step 1: Use the Newest PlateSpin Versions
Make sure you have the latest versions of PlateSpin Recon and Migrate. If your maintenance is current, the updates are free.
Step 2: Export Your Server Consolidation Plan
Once you have decided on a server consolidation plan, simply export your preferred scenario from PlateSpin Recon 3.7 into an implementation project for use with PlateSpin Migrate.
- In the PlateSpin Recon 3.7 interface, choose a PlateSpin Migrate server. Right-click on your selected server and select Implement Using PlateSpin Portability Suite...
- Point the would-be ESX servers to real ESX servers. This will create jobs that can be modified and scheduled to run in PlateSpin Migrate. (See Figure 1.)
Step 3: Import Your Implementation Project
Import your consolidation plan image into PlateSpin Migrate 8.1.1. This action pre-populates migration jobs based on your plan:
- Launch PlateSpin Migrate 8.1.1.
- Open your implementation project. (See Figure 2.)
Best practice: We recommend PlateSpin Recon and PlateSpin Migrate run on physically separate servers, so they don’t compete for resources during planning, migration or testing.