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Goodbye Esxi hello hyper-v


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PunyEarthling76

Had some time on my hands and I’ve been running ESXi since I first got the microserver and upgrading until 6.5 update 2 with all the faff from downgrading drivers. I saw a path to migrate all my guests to hyper-v with Microsoft VM migration tool. So long story short, HP b120i raid driver with windows server 2019 hyper-v image works. Was a bit concerned as only listed for Server 2016. Installed openssh packages and windows admin center as I don’t use enterprise/pro windows at home. Even put on the windows subsystem for Linux so from command line I can be in a more familiar  shell. Not a powershell user for the most part.  
 

I shutdown all guests and copied them off somewhere safe. Biggest VM disk was 1TB. Used pigz to speed up compression when I tar them all up, the 1TB was actually mostly allocation, Not data,  which shrinks massively when compressed.

linux subsystem was very handy to move back and expand after wiped the disks with windows install. 
All images needed connecting to new virtual router and reverted to DHCP on NIC and had to be readdressed where I had statics.  Windows Admin Center allowed RDP to consoles for all to do this. I have one pc with windows home and edge on it. 

 

Had a mix of freebsd, linux and one windows image. 
Amazingly pain free, faster and solid. Only painful part was the time it took to convert all the virtual disks. 
I kind of wish I had done this sooner but I think the advent of windows admin center is what made it possible as I can build a guest over web interface just like ESXi from anywhere. I don’t do any hardware passthru so can’t speak to this or complicated guests. 
 

If like me your wondering if dumping ESXi for something else because you used the b120i softraid and are too cheap to buy a raid card to replace it I think this is the least worst solution. I was going to try proxmox if I failed miserably but it worked out fine. 
 

Found this guide helpful 

https://www.nakivo.com/blog/how-to-convert-vmware-vm-to-hyper-v/

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radaxian
Posted (edited)

Awesome work! I also tested this out recently and had it set up the same way you have. My main issue is the 16GB RAM limitation, so running multiple VM's is a bit limited...

 

Can I ask what you actually do with the VMs with such low RAM? A RHEL webserver would be fine, or a dev box of some sort.

 

I ended up just using Windows Server 2019 and storage spaces for this server and moved my other machines to a PC with a truckload of RAM installed.

 

 

Edited by radaxian
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PunyEarthling76
16 hours ago, radaxian said:

Awesome work! I also tested this out recently and had it set up the same way you have. My main issue is the 16GB RAM limitation, so running multiple VM's is a bit limited...

 

Can I ask what you actually do with the VMs with such low RAM? A RHEL webserver would be fine, or a dev box of some sort.

 

I ended up just using Windows Server 2019 and storage spaces for this server and moved my other machines to a PC with a truckload of RAM installed.

 

 


I tend to do short contracts and frequently get told you need to know one thing and get to work only to discover...nope you need to know something else. Like I thought I was doing some firewall management upgrade but turned out I was going to configure a network management system with a policy that checked configs for compliance with security standards. Which made me unpopular because previous checks fabrication and suddenly failures meant bonuses go bye bye. I tend to recreate customer inspired management and couple of nodes from virtual appliances manufacturers seem to be decent at making available.  Let’s me do a build and learn and as with last job template  how to get the regex to confirm or deny compliance. So usually manager 4-6GB and nodes are .5-2GB. Can be a bit of a sweat at build time for the poor micro server but devices mostly idle once up as I’m don’t model network traffic so it’s fine really.  
Used to be customers had own labs, model environments for these things. However that practice seems to have disappeared. I once did a job where I built company super flexible lab with just gone out of support kit so was all fully populated. Gave a guide of how to quickly overlay production infrastructure on it. I used to great effect to prove dangerous stuff was easy once stepped and let stuck infrastructure projects move forward with confidence when before they were stalling out of fear. I returned for another job in same place and lab was gone because comms room audited for power usage to keep green and anything that not claimed was binned. None of the managers wanted to own it even though all staff used it. This was when I looked at micro server for home as was all HP kit I retasked and iLO meant I could build lab from open plan desk and not go deaf in comms room.

 

too much I know but I stopped caffeine in lockdown and just started up again as I’m furloughed and stated a programming course. 

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