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Building Your Virtual Landscape Without Messy Disruptions

Using PlateSpin Solutions to Implement and Test Your Virtualized Data Center

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Step 4: Discover Your Servers

Discover source and target servers, which can be either physical or virtual machines:

  • Click the Discover Server Details button in upper left of screen.
  • Enter a host name or IP address. (See Figure 3.)

Step 5: Run the Migration Wizard

  1. Select Move Workload. The migration wizard will pop up.
  2. Choose a source server, using its discovered host name.
  3. Choose a target server, using its discovered host name.
  4. Click Start Wizard. (See Figure 4.)
  5. Enter your Credentials for both source and target servers:)
    • For Windows servers, you need a minimum equivalent of a local or domain admin account.
    • For Linux or ESX servers, you need a root or sudo account.
  6. From the menu on the left, select the Transfer Method:
    • Take Control takes the source server offline during migration. Use Take Control transfer when you want to migrate legacy Windows NT 4.0 servers, Linux servers and domain controllers.
    • Live Transfer copies the workload from the source to the target without interrupting the source machine. Use Live Transfer when you want to reduce the service downtime during Windows workload relocation. Choose the File, Block or Snapshot option:
      • File transfers are typically only used today for X2I migrations. That’s because block-to-block transfers are faster in every way. If your license permits block transfer, use that instead.
      • Block transfer is appropriate for migrating database servers, mail servers and application servers.
      • Snapshot uses Volume Shadow-copy Service (VSS) technology, found in Windows Server 2003 and later, to copy large SQL and Exchange databases without stopping services. (See Figure 5.)
  7. Again, from the menu on the left, select Host Name if you would like to modify the host name. This is mainly used on the provisioning side, when cloning a server.
  8. Select Networking to examine the network configuration, including IP address, DNS and WIN settings.
  9. Select VM Configuration from the left-hand menu lets you preconfigure the virtual machine name, CPU and memory settings for the target virtual machine.
  10. Choose which drives will be part of the move by selecting Volumes in the menu on the left. You can also modify drive sizes prior to data migration.
  11. Through the Services menu, you can start, stop and disable Windows services during file transfer, while preparing the target or at the target’s end state.
  12. Add a script to perform any action you want to include as part of the migration process using Post Conversion. For example, add automated testing or validation.
  13. Advanced options allow for an even more granular job configuration:
    • The Schedule option lets you prepare migrations in advance and run them at a later time.
    • Notifications send up-to-date progress reports by e-mail during migration. You can also be alerted when a failure occurs or when a job finishes. (See Figure 6.)
  14. Finally, click Start to run the job. (See Figure 7.)

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Best practice: When migrating a Microsoft Exchange server, disable the services on the target during the cutover. During configuration, you will need to reboot several times. If you leave the services enabled, Exchange will start up with every reboot, potentially adding an hour or more to your migration. When the migration is complete, resume the services.

Testing: Ensuring a Natural Extension of Your Environment

Thorough testing once a project has begun is perhaps the most often overlooked item in drafting a blueprint for success. By recognizing testing as an integral part of the project, you are able to build transformation projects as safely as possible.

Staged server consolidation works well for testing too. Using PlateSpin Server Sync, you can transfer a running workload onto a target virtual machine, test the workload in the new location while continuing to run the source and then perform a “top-up” transfer of any changed data before cutting over the workload.

Harvesting Success

Thorough planning and testing—both before and after migration—help ensure a successful project. This approach allows data center managers to look at data center transformation from a holistic “big picture” view, and lays the groundwork for not only a one-time transformation but also true ongoing data center optimization.

The third and final article in this series will examine using PlateSpin Recon for ongoing performance optimization of your virtual infrastructure to help minimize risks and maximize ROI.

For More Information

For additional resources on server consolidation, check out these tools:

  • 5-minute online demo
  • PlateSpin Recon Quick Start Guide


  • article 1 of 3:
    Designing Your Virtual Landscape
  • article 2 of 3:
    Building Your Virtual Landscape Without Messy Disruptions
  • article 3 of 3:
    Environmental Sustainability
  • Figure 1

    PlateSpin Recon allows simple export of your consolidation plan for use in PlateSpin Migrate.

  • Figure 2

    PlateSpin Migrate features a clean, well-organized interface.

  • Figure 3

    ource and target servers can be either physical or virtual machines.

  • Figure 4

    The Migration Wizard will guide you through the process of migrating or converting a physical server to a virtual machine.

  • Figure 5

    PlateSpin Recon can project the 24-hour profile of each type of host being considered.Choose your Transfer Method based on whether you want the source server to stay online or not, and whether you want the transfer to be file- or block-based.

  • Figure 6

    Advanced options provide extremely granular control over your server migration.

  • Figure 7

    Once you’ve configured your transformation job, PlateSpin Migrate does the rest automatically.

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