I have a production sharepoint environment for our enterprise which is up and running. I am interested in replicating it to a virtual machine in order to test the deployment of upgrading it to version 2007 and implement some other web parts which might impact our business processes. Has anyone every migrated a live sharepoint environment to a virtual environment? Which is the best way of going around it? Should I use VMware convertor to migrate the whole machine or should I reinstall sharepoint on a test server and restore backups from the live environment?
In both cases, we have thought about switching off SMTP functionality on the test environment after migration in order for alerts not to be automatically sent by the test server. Are there any considerations which we should be careful for?
It will be safer and easier to convert the server into a VM. That is because of the service packs, patches/fixes that you would have applied on your server which keeps it running well.
If this is a very old sharepoint installation and you wish to refresh it, then install a brand new VM with latest patches, security fixes etc and then restore your sharepoint database. You 'may 'initially have some issues because of configuration etc but you can fix that. If you go this route, then enable ftp and other services that you may need for this server. No special requirements that i can think of other than your 3rd party backup agent software, antivirus and any other thing that is standard in your environment.
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We have P2V'ed several of SharePoint 2007 and WSS 3.0 from physical to virtual environment and everything runs fine. Just to make sure you reconfigure your NLB to work other than that its very quick and easy process.
1. Pick your target sharepoint server and clean up all the junk files, recycle bin, and disk defragment so its all good.
2. Record all your TCP/IP settings and NLB cluster if using one.
3. Backup your sharepoint sites, configurations and data first.
4. Install VMware Converter 4.0 and choose "cold" or "hot" cloning option. If you require your sharepoint online while migration than choose hot clone. You can also use P2V Converter Boot CD if you use cold clone.
5. Run the Converter application, point to source server and pick destination ESX hosts cluster and select storage location as well.
6. This is a great chance to increase/decrease disk space and usually decrease your disk drive since physical server tends to have a lot of disk space.
7. And just go through basic process and once it completed (do not connected to network yet (disable NIC)
8. Remove zombie devices and install vmware tools and other best practices.
9. Reconfigure your NLB and TCP/IP to make sure it matches production.
10. Prepare to "Cut Over" to virtual machine and disconnect physical server network.
11. Enable network on virtual machine and do a test ping to see things online. Make sure all sharepoint services running.
www.vmware-land.com has Converter steps by steps how to remove zombie devices. (its critical)
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