Benefits of Migration From Physical to Virtual Server(P2V)

Benefits of Migration From Physical to Virtual Server

Physical and Virtual Servers are two of the popular methods of hosting your website or application. In the case of physical servers, you would need to have a full computer system up and running at all times, and it needs to be capable of providing resources to all the users of your website or application at once. On the other hand, a virtual server is actually a virtual machine running on either your system or a cloud platform. This allows you to keep it running at all times and give it the resources needed to run your application with ease.

In this blog, our DEV IT engineers have listed the benefits of shifting your hosting from a physical server to a virtual one. Let’s get right into it.

Migration Requirement (Challenges in physical infrastructure)

Physical servers are usually an excellent place to start when it comes to managing your IT infrastructure. In fact, there are drawbacks to employing physical infrastructure, as each environment has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. However, if you are using a physical infrastructure you will need to be ready for below:

  • Physical datacenter
  • Separate cooling system
  • Physical space
  • Datacenter team

Due to the above factors, it is very difficult to manage physical infrastructure and it also costs you a lot. Below are a few reasons why we are migrating our infra to a virtual environment. However, I will be discussing its advantages and disadvantages later in this article

  • Low cost
  • Easy upgrade/download
  • High Uptime
  • Easy backup/restore
  • Ease of administration

Advantages and Disadvantages

In any setting, there are benefits and drawbacks of employing virtualization. It is vital that you comprehend it before deciding to shift your infrastructure to a virtual environment.

Advantages Disadvantages
Effective resource distribution and utilization May get performance issue in application as well as in server
Ease of administration, backup and restore Deploying and managing virtualized environments requires separate skills
Faster deployment and migration of servers and application Central storage failure can create loss of huge data

Migration methods

There are two common methods to migrate any workload from physical to virtual

  1. Hot Migration
  2. Cold Migration

Hot Migration – Refers to a migration method where your source server will be migrated online. This migration is recommended for static data

Cold Migration – Refers to a migration method where your source server will be migrated offline. This migration method is recommended for dynamic data like AD, SQL

High Level Migration Steps

  • You should begin by performing the audit for the hardware configuration that is present on the source server and acquire all the details like HDD, RAM, Network, etc.
  • Before you migrate, you should ensure that your physical server has all the latest updates.
  • Another thing you need to ensure is that all running services need to be stopped before the migration process begins.
  • Check if the target VM meets all the requirements of your application. Once that’s done, run the chkdsk service on your physical server to check for bad sectors.
  • Perform a disk defragmentation process as well to ensure that the time taken for the migration process is minimized. You  may be required to use a CD to boot into the VM, especially in the case of VMWare and Cold-Clone. If you are using Hyper-V, then you may convert using SCVMM.
  • Avoid changing the physical server in case you may need to rollback anytime soon.

Risks in P2V Migration

  • If you find that your application may not be compatible with the VM, then you may encounter server problems.
  • Cleaning drivers and devices which do not support plug-and-play will require manual effort.
  • Servers that have hardware limits cannot be converted.
  • You may encounter performance drops if your VM server doesn’t meet the requirements of your application.
  • Changing the Hostname in the VM can also result in application problems.

Conclusion

Virtualization is a powerful technique for extending the value of your hardware and software investments. The adoption of virtualization is highly productive for many reasons. Collections of inefficient servers can be replaced with fewer machines; software can be tested while isolated in harmless virtual partitions.

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Amit Suthar

Associate Manager (IT Services) at Dev Information Technology Ltd.
Amit has been with DEV IT for 8 years as an Assistant Manager (IT Services). He has strong troubleshooting and problem-solving abilities in Linux, Windows, and AWS technology. Amit is a Linux and Amazon Web Services (AWS) certified professional. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the guitar, singing, and playing video games.
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