Wednesday, December 02, 2009

P2V Happiness

It worked. I was able to use the Citrix Xenconvert to P2V a Windows XP Home system to a VM on a XenServer 5. There were a few lessons learned that should have been obvious... or maybe documented.

Citrix XenConvert works differently than some other P2V utilities in the respect that most of its operations are offline. It creates the image on the local hard drive, and does not contact the virtual infrastructure until the image is finished and ready for import. This is good because it prevents network issues from preventing image creation. The downside is that it requires the source machine to have 60% free space. (Preferably on a second disk.)

On the server side, you have to have a default landing zone (Storage Repository) for the imported VMs. I forgot to define the default SR, so my import failed. The good news is that the image was retained on the source machine, so I was able to transfer the image, and import directly.

It took about an hour to create on the source side, but about four hours to import the image on the server side. This is because the server is "governed" to prevent impact on production VMs. (In the real world, I'd have a staging server just for imports, deployments, and installs.)

Last detail is that once on the server, I had to strip the hardware specific software. The drivers were already loaded.

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