hyper-v to esx conversion

V2V cold clone process for SBS / exchange / sql / DC’s etc…..    (works in vSphere)

Steps to convert from hyper-v guest to vmware guest

  • Remove hyper-v integrated services while hyper-v guest is running. (if possible)
  • Note down NIC networking details first
  • Clean shutdown hyper-v guest
  • Use StarWind Converter (free) to convert VHD to “dynamically growing VMware” image and use “IDE” as type. Note “SCSI” does NOT work if you have not got the LSI / BUS drivers in the source image, just use the default options – dynamic vmware and IDE.
  • Create VMware guest shell (virtual machine equivalent to hyper-v specs but without the disks) – remove all hard drives, iscsi controller should also disappear.
  • Upload the VMDK to same data store as virtual machine and attach to the virtual guest in the right order. They should be detected as “IDE”
  • Start new vmware guest
  • If you could not remove integrated services (i.e. hot clone), then you MUST disable hyper-v services immediately.
  • Install vmware tools – reboot
  • Remove hidden NIC and other orphaned devices, and reconfigure network card as per original.
  • Windows may need to be re-activated – do this.

Note : converting a machine to use an IDE controller will limit its performance!

create usb install for esx / esxi

First format your usb / flash drive with FAT. Then copy all the contents of the installer .iso onto the drive.

Next delete isolinux.bin and rename isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg

Edit syslinux.cfg and append “usb” to the line starting with “append” … i.e. similar to this

append vmkboot.gz — vmkernel.gz — sys.vgz — cim.vgz — ienviron.tgz — image.tgz — install.tgz usb

Next grab the latest syslinux.exe (zip for windows) from here and run syslinux -s –ma <driveletter>:


boot esx from usb drive

Its quite easy to boot esx from a usb device or flash card..

First download the .iso, then browse with winrar or similar. See if you can find the “big”.dd file this is the file we need.

i.e. the ESXi 4 file is called VMware-VMvisor-big-208167-x86_64.dd

Next grab WinImage and “restore image to physical harddrive” choose the .dd file the select your usb / flash drive.


ESX 4 (vSphere) – installation issues

I’ve had a couple of installation issues with ESX4

One was particularly strange, the install process would freeze every now and again until i pressed a key on the keyboard. This was related to AMD’s power saving C1 mode – disable this in the bios to fix this problem.

Secondly it was a problem with my nic. Essentially i didn’t have card that was supported (realtek). After inserting a intel card all was well. This fires up a ambiguous error and cans the whole install. (lvmdriver error)

It was nice to see that my pata drive was supported – i’ve been using it for quick tests but was unsure if it was supported in vSphere. Note: i’ve got a flash card enclosure that i’m planning on using in the future, just awaiting the card.   (hopefully this saves me some power)

Opensolaris : Citrix XenServer / ESX – Hooking into ZFS

To share your zfs pool via NFS (that works with Citrix Xen / ESX) to a host called “esxhost”;

zfs set sharenfs=rw,nosuid,root=esxhost tank/nfs

Note : You MUST have a resolvable name from the opensolaris box. i.e. you should be able to ping it. I have tried with ip’s only and it will fail. I have edited the /etc/hosts file to include the following line for my config;

# Copyright 2007 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved.
# Use is subject to license terms.
# ident “%Z%%M% %I% %E% SMI”
# Internet host table
# esxhost

This also requires that you are using both DNS and Files in your /etc/nsswitch.conf file. You should have a line like so;

# You must also set up the /etc/resolv.conf file for DNS name
# server lookup. See resolv.conf(4). For lookup via mdns
# svc:/network/dns/multicast:default must also be enabled. See mdnsd(1M)
hosts: files dns mdns

# Note that IPv4 addresses are searched for in all of the ipnodes databases
# before searching the hosts databases.
ipnodes: files dns mdns

i’ve also run this before hand; (to allow full access)

chmod -R 777 /tank/nfs

Update : check this guide http://blog.laspina.ca/ubiquitous/running-zfs-over-nfs-as-a-vmware-store

Update 2: there are known issues with waiting for sync when using both NFS and ZFS together…. There are reasons why you shouldnt do this, but in a test enviornemnt disabling sync at ZFS level may help performance (zfs set sync=disabled)

I like this idea of spliting up your SSD too… again in test enviornment no problems, in production i would utilize the entire drive to the tasks https://blogs.oracle.com/ds/entry/make_the_most_of_your