P2V a SQL cluster with RDM – step by step

The P2V process for servers has always been pretty straight forward. You find a physical server you can consolidate into VMware, you evaluate the load using tools, asses the virtual infrastructure for the expected load (cluster capacity, recovery model, CPU, RAM and disk size / IO) and properly convert it into a virtual machine. After the machine is converted, you shut down the physical server, clean up the new VM and everything is off and running.

But what about MSCS servers? This introduced a new dynamic to the conversion process. Do you P2V into a one node cluster? Do you use RDMs or VMDK files? How do you move the clustered services around? Where do I use the paravirtualized controller? What about disk signatures in the cluster for RDMs? What happens to the heartbeat network? If you are going to use an exact mirror of the two node cluster, what is the process?

There are many different methods you can usa to complete this process. You could create new VMs and restore. This is the method I will demonstrate:  P2V a SQL 2 node MSCS cluster into VMware, using the exact same cluster setup as the physical model. During the conversion process we will use RDMs in physical compatibility mode, this is required when clustering with a physical server according the VMware SQL cluster best practice guide.


SQL P2V blog