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Virtualized my existing WHS V1 = perfection.


edamiga1
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I posted a month or so ago about virtualizing my existing WHS V1 and wanted to provide an update after about a month of use.

 

First off I wanted to go this route to preserve all of my existing data, backups, etc... I have about 8TBs of storage and just wanted to move it over. Secondly, this is part of my mid term strategy of keeping WHS around till around 2013 at least, so I can have drive extender. I have been using virtualization technologies for over 5 years, so am very comfortable with the technology, but had not set up hyper-v before. I can now migrate to WHSv2 at my own pace and I won't have to touch hardware, or even connect to the server.

 

Hardware: Gigabyte Motherboard, with two 500GB WD black 2.5 HDs in Raid for System and vms, 8GB memory, 4 core intel box.

Virtualization: Hyper-V Core. wanted lean install. This ended up posing some challenges, but gave me what I needed.

VMs: 4 currently, WHSv1, Media Center W7, W7 Professional for development, Vail Beta.

Tools: Disk2Vhd from microsoft great tool, works perfectly. mmc addins for hyper-V that work on Windows 7.

 

I actually did the conversion twice, not by choice, but after I accidentally destoyed my System Raid and had not done a backup yet. Lesson relearned, backup your system drive and backup often!!!

 

I am not going to get into the details, that would require a full blog post, but will highlight the main steps and can answer questions as needed.

 

Step one was to install Disk2Vhd on my existing WHS and run it while it is running. It has to be this way, I tried it just capturing the drive when attached to another box. Took a little over an hour to backup my 130GB WHS System drive. I then moved this to my new HyperV machine and create a WHS V1 Virtual machine with the new vhd as the ide system drive. Set memory to 2GB and cpus to 3. Hyper-V allows over subscription. The "tricky part" I created two virtual scsi adapters. one for all of my attached storage and one for my swappable backup drives. This was just so I never mixed them up. I used direct attached drives to improve performance and also it just allowed the existing 8 drives to just work. Added all of the drives, you have to first set them as offline on the main computer, and then started the server. It just came up and worked. Now I can add/remove drives, change memory, CPUs, etc via the admin console and the OS just picks it up after a reboot. One thing that I thought was magical was the the physical server I converted was an AMD 2 core box, and it is running on a virtual server with Intel cores, and it just worked. The System drive is now just a backup of vhd onto one my offsite drives. This means I can recover a system drive failure with minimal issues. Make sure to do all of your backups before attempting this, since I did have to manually restore my system backups, when I went through the process the second time.

 

 

So now I have my existing WHS v1 running virtually with only about 2 hrs of effort and I can expand and change things quickly and without touching the hardware. I can now migrate from WHS v1 to v2 without touching the box and data will transfer very quickly between the two servers, due to no network or usb, it is all SATA 2.

 

I am now running for about two weeks and no issue and performance is better, given the better cpus. Looking forward to the new beta and will probably move music and movies over first. My old physical V1 server is now being repurposed for my young son and I only have a single box still, which makes the wife happy. I am very happy and basically could not have hoped for a better outcome.

 

Let me know if you have done the same thing or how I can improve on my existing setup.

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I am also in the process of moving my WHS over to a virtual server. I really like the idea of not having a dedicated box for this and running it as a virtual machine, with or without DE. I am sure I will load Vail beta 3 and the RTM version as soon as they are available. However, I will not need to be rushed into moving it from the testing phase over to production.

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Are you using the disk2vhd process or building from new. The only downside is that my system drive is 128GB and if I started new I would create the minimum of 70GB.

 

Do you know if there is a way to compress a system drive down to the 70GB minimum?

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Right now, I am using new, but after your post I am going to try the disk2vhd method and see how that works. I am in the process of moving most of my data over to my unRAID server and I want to get that done first.

 

Not sure how you would go about compressing the data/disk down to 70GB.

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A curious thought just entered my mind..

 

Is it possible to implement disc encryption with virtualized WHS?

 

Hi Guys!

 

I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction. I have recently built a server that I intend to do some other virtual software testing with Hyper V and thought I would like to virtualize my home server and consolidate power, etc to one main box. The specs for the new PC are below. So far I have been able to create a Hyper V client for Windows XP Pro, Windows 7 Pro, but I am unable to create a virtual machine for Windows Home Server version 1 or Windows 7 Home Premium. I think I read that the Windows 7 Home Premium may not be compatible with a Hyper V Virtual machine. I guess my priority would be Windows Home server. When I try to create the virtual machine using the ISO, it gets all the way to gathering info spah screen with two drop down lists. I am not able to get the integration services working at this stage, but I am able to use the keyboard to navigate without any problems. The problem is that both drop downs are empty - no values can bee seen or selected. This iso is one I downloaded from TechNet. and just to be sure it was not corrupt, I downloaded the 30 day trial of Home Server version 1 Power Pack 3 from the home server site. Both iso are giving me the same results. Any suggestions? Thanks!

 

 

 

MOBO: Gigabyte P55A UD7 (version 1)

RAM: 8 Gig G.Skil RipJaws (2 4gb sticks)

HD: 400 GB Western Digital (Primary OS)

HD: 400 GB Seagate (Virtual machine storage)

OS: Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (With Hyper V role enabled)

Sans Digital TRM4 Raid enclosure ( I have the ESATA PCI-e card installed with 1 hard drive in the bay - I will be adding more to create the raid. currently I am not using this, but after my inital testing I want to use this for home server raid 5 storage)

 

 

(http://www.sansdigital.com/towerraid/tr4m.html)

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Windows 7 Pro and WHS can run on Hyper-V. I am running WHS and 2 Win7 Pro's on my Hyper-V server. These are from ISO's downloaded from Technet. I had no trouble with the Win7 machines, but ran into a little trouble with the WHS install on the EULA screen until I found out how to move the cursor to the correct location.

 

What specs are you giving the VM's?

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I think I got it figured out. I was able to follow a suggestion another member mentioned about updating the host file, which then populated the drop downs. Then I figured the shortcut (selecting a) when on the license agreement screen. Now I am installing...crossing my fingers that it finishes ok.

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I think I got it figured out. I was able to follow a suggestion another member mentioned about updating the host file, which then populated the drop downs. Then I figured the shortcut (selecting a) when on the license agreement screen. Now I am installing...crossing my fingers that it finishes ok.

 

I got it installed, but now I am trying to figure out how to get host integration services working on it.

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I got it installed, but now I am trying to figure out how to get host integration services working on it.

 

 

Did you ever get host integration services loaded?

 

I just ordered the following for my VM server and it should arrive tomorrow:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817576009

 

I will put some 1.5tb or 2tb drives in there and give WHS full access. As soon as I can get this loaded with some drives, I can re-purpose my current stand alone WHS hardware, which includes a nice 20 drive capable Norco case.

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