Virtualization Pro

Sep 25 2008   6:25PM GMT

How PlateSpin PowerConvert makes migration tasks easier

HannahDrake Hannah Drake Profile: HannahDrake

This post was written by contributor Sander van Vugt.

When consolidating from a physical infrastructure to a virtual infrastructure, you probably don’t want to perform a new installation of all of your servers. That’s where PlateSpin PowerConvert can be useful. This software allows you to convert physical servers to virtual and more, thus allowing you to save on implementation costs.

Imagine the burden, for example, of performing a manual physical-to-virtual conversion. Because it often involves important changes in the kernel of the source server’s OS, migrating from a physical server to a virtual server is a complex task that involves much more than just making a copy of the source server and installing it on the target server. It often involves a completely new installation of the target server, after which you have to copy data and applications from the source server to the target server. This is a lot of work if you only have to migrate one server, imagine the time it would take to do this for hundreds of servers.

Using software to automate this process makes managing migration scenarios much easier. Physical-to-virtual conversion is just one of the tasks that you can accomplish with PowerConvert’s Workload Portability technology. The capabilities go way beyond that. PowerConvert offers the following capabilities:

  • Seamlessly move server workloads between servers
  • Reconfiguration of resources assigned to server workloads
  • Read data from various volumes to deploy new servers or recover servers

These three tasks are centered about the three infrastructures that PowerConvert works with: physical servers, virtual machines and image archives. Different combinations of the three allow you to move workloads among peer servers, capture images and deploy images to physical and/or virtual machines. They also perform various roles in a disaster recovery plan. The migration can be in any direction, physical-to-virtual, virtual-to-image and image-to-physical.

PowerConvert may prove useful in different scenarios. First, you can use it for server consolidation, where you accomplish large scale physical-to-virtual migration. You don’t need virtualization, however, to benefit from PowerConvert. You can do physical-to-physical miogrations as well, which is useful when migration server workloads from one physical server to another. Also, it makes building test labs easier, as you can use physical-to-virtual (P2V) to build a copy of your entire network on a test server. When working with PowerConvert, all of these are reflected in the following tasks:

  • Copy Workload: This is where you create a duplicate of an existing server. The source server can be a physical server as well as a virtual server and that goes for the target server as well.
  • Move Workload: This is where the configuration of the source server (which can be a virtual server as well as a physical server) is moved to a new server, with the intention of removing the source server from the network. This means, for example, that licenses from the old server can be used easily on the new server.
  • Protect Workload: In this scenario you’ll create a standby virtual copy of a source server, which may again be a physical as well as a virtual server. In this scenario you can set up a schedule to synchronize the virtual copy in the image file with the original server, thus allowing you to keep the copy up-to-date. This scenario is ideal for disaster recovery setup.
  • Work with Images: PowerConvert allows you to create, deploy as well as import images. That means that you can easily move data around between physical or virtual source servers to image files.

PlateSpin PowerConvert offers more than automated physical-to-virtual migrations. With PowerConvert you can easily migrate from a physical server to a virtual server, between physical servers and make automatically synchronized images.

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