Archive for the ‘VMware vSphere/ESXi’ Category

Boot from SAN / physical server RecoverPoint replica to VM

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

2017-01-04 Initial Post

A few months ago I looked into this and could not find much information about it. In theory it seemed like it would work. I even asked two different consultants about it and neither had any experience with this. After testing multiple times, I can confirm that this works.


Use existing EMC RecoverPoint (hardware appliance) to replicate entire physical server (OS and data drives) to DR site and then mount the replicated LUNs as RDMs to a VM at the DR site.

Currently the physical server uses a local direct-attached disk for its OS partition. It does utilize SAN LUNs for data so it already has connectivity to the SAN. One of the major tasks is to move the OS partition from the local disk to the SAN and then enable boot from SAN.


This works pretty much exactly as I expected. The VM boots up into Windows fine. DNS updates the AD DC/DNS server in the DR site and clients are able to access the VM. Failback also works, so any changes made while in “VM mode” will be seen by the physical server.

Why would you want to do this?

If you only have a handful of physical servers and you already use RecoverPoint and SRM to replicate VMs, there’s little justification for bringing in something like Double-Take or PlateSpin since those costs thousands and add more complexity and steps to your DR plan. Yes, you have to manually attach the VMs to the RDMs with my method, but you can prep some of this ahead of time with a placeholder VM so during actual failover it really only takes a few minutes per VM. And you could attempt to automate some of this to make it even quicker.

Hardware and software used during test:

  • Server: HP Blade BL460c Gen8 with QLogic QMH2572 HBA and Dell PowerEdge R620 with Emulex LPE1150 HBA
  • OS: Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Storage: EMC VNX5600 and VNX5200
  • Replication: RecoverPoint
  • VMware vSphere/ESXi: 5.5U2
  • Imaging: Macrium Reflect 6.1.1366

High-level steps:

  • Configure proper FC zoning, VNX LUNs, and RP CGs in both production and DR sites.
  • Install and use Macrium to image the local C: drive to a new SAN-based LUN C: drive.
  • Reboot the server and configure the HBA to boot from SAN (this is one of the trickier parts because each HBA vendor does it a different way).

To test, failover the RP CG then attach the replicated LUNs to the DR VM.

I don’t have time to detail ever little step, but any competent storage/server/VM admin will be able to figure them out. The point of this post was to make it known that this does work and is a viable option for DR.

EMC Grab (Linux Shell Script), How To Run On ESX 4.0 and 4.1 Host

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

2012-10-16 Initial Post

The other week I had to run this and didn't find any really good instructions. This is for EMC Grab v1.3.1 from (as of 2012-10-02). The version for ESXi is a Windows executable, so its easier to run. But for ESX, you need to run it from the service console.

Install and Run VMware ESXi 5.0 From USB Thumb/Flash Drive / Upgrade USB drive from ESXi 4.1 to ESXi 5.0

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

2012-06-20 Initial Post

This VMware KB has instructions for installing ESXi 5.0 on USB drive but doesn't mention upgrading an ESXi 4.1 USB drive.

The upgrade is pretty simple and seems to have worked fine, but now my Virtual Machine Startup and Shutdown settings no longer work. I've deselected "Allow virtual machines to start and stop automatically with the system," rebooted, and then re-selected and rebooted, but it still doesn't work.

Here's how to do the USB upgrade:
Make a CD from the ISO, boot your server off the CD and go through everything like it's a new install and select your USB drive. The installer will detect that ESXi is on the USB drive and give you the option to install (default) or upgrade. You'll get another prompt to confirm the upgrade.

I used this ISO:

VMware ESXi 5.0 Update 1 (CD ISO) Installable
2012-03-15 | 5.0.0U1 | 293 MB | Binary (.iso)

My server is Dell PowerEdge T110. See related post

VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 4.1) Test Lab Configuration Notes

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

2012-06-20 Updated

2010-12-22 Initial Post

I've never had a chance to work with any version of VMware at work. My last company was so far behind in its IT strategy that even in late 2009 it had absolutely no virtualization strategy at all. I did manage to set up one Hyper-V server for them so that one department could use it for software testing. Where I work now, they do use VMware, but they don't use them on any of the messaging servers that I support. So once again, I have no chance to work with VMware. (more…)

Wireless Networking Workaround On VMware ESXi and Hyper-V Hosts Via DD-WRT Client Bridge Mode On A Linksys WRT54G v5

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

2011-01-03 Update

2010-12-19 Initial Post

From previous research I know that Hyper-V (as of 2008 R2) still does not support Wi-Fi/wireless networking for use by virtual machine guests (at least not directly-- see my update from 2010-12-27 below); the host itself will support wireless though. With VMware ESXi 4.1 I couldn't find anything that states that even the host will support wireless. ESXi guests might be able to use wireless via VMDirectPath or USB device passthrough, but I haven't fully researched that.

Anyway, the point of this post is that I found a way to get around an issue with how to give my Hyper-V and ESXi hosts access to my home wireless network. (more…)