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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    NT Backup & Virtual Images

    OK,

    So at work I have been tasked with creating a complete (including system state) backup of an HP DL580 G4 server configured Windows 2003 Standard and restoring it into a virtual server (VMWare) installed on the same server. The aim of the exercise is to prove that said physical server (now the host) can be backed up and that that backup can be restored (into the guest VM).

    First of all let me say I think it wrong on several levels but the main one is that the virtual hardware is different from the physical hardware and restoring the boot/system of the host into the guest VM is going to be problematic at best, I'm assuming it would work on a server with an identical (or near identical) configuration but that virtual hardware is likely to be quite different. This is probably why VMWare provide a VMWare converter utility but that would not suit the aim of the exercise according to its project manager. They don't have a spare server and would be unwilling to test the backup on the current server.

    So I created the backup, built the VM, got the guest to recognise the host Ultrium drive, restored all but the boot/system and it all went swimmingly but, as I expected (and the reason I simply didn't restore the entire machine but left the boot/system until last), the boot/system restore failed leaving me with a VM which won't get anywhere near the GUI, just blue screens and restarts immediately. I don't think this is a virtual machine vs physical machine issue just a driver incompatibility problem brought on by the restore overwriting the VM's proper configuration.

    I have subsequently told the project manager that this is highly unlikely to work but he is insisting the test continues (meaning a rebuild of the VM and a new set of restores) so my question is, am I right to take the stance I am (that installing a full backup of a physical system into a VM is likely to fail pretty much every time because virtual hardware is so different from the physical hardware)?

    A subsequent question is, is there any way round this issue?

    Thanks

    Kyu

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  3. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: NT Backup & Virtual Images

    There are ways of restoring backups to different hardware configurations. The easiest is probably to use a commercial backup product that provides this functionality for you. What backup software are you using?

    StuartR

  4. #3
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    Re: NT Backup & Virtual Images

    NT Backup (i.s. native Windows 2003 backup)

    The thing is, as so often seems to be the case with service organisations where cost reduction is paramount, they don't want to spend the money (that's why the restore is being done into a VM) ... I was talking to a friend of mine last night (also in IT) and he reckons that given what I am using (NT Backup and, effectively, diffrent sets of hardware) a crash is almost inevitable.

    Kyu

  5. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: NT Backup & Virtual Images

    <hr>given what I am using (NT Backup and, effectively, diffrent sets of hardware) a crash is almost inevitable<hr>
    I agree with your friend. I would go further and say that if you care about your data you need to get fit-for-purpose backup software. The one point where I do agree with your empolyer is the importance of carrying out test restores.

    StuartR

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