A simple explanation of Physical to Virtual Migration

This page will explain a virtual migration, and other terms in plain English, and also explain why we do Virtualisations.

What is Virtualisation?

Server Virtualisation is Hardware running as Software on a Physical Machine. The Virtual Machine, or "VM" for short, operates as any other computer does, but it does not physically exist. Each VM running on this one server is separate from each other, and can only communicate through the filtered network.

Although the VM is dependant on it's host Server's Hardware, the VM operates completely separate from it's host. For example, this allows us to operate a Windows server on a Linux machine.

A Hypervisor is a large high-end server that can run several VMs simultaneously, sharing it's Hardware to all the VMs equally. It is responsible for running the VMs and monitoring their health.

What's wrong with the existing server?

As hardware gets older, it becomes more difficult to maintain, because the manufacturers move their focus to supporting their newer servers and hardware. This also causes spare parts to become harder to find and obtain.

Older hardware becomes obsolete, as Server manufacturers release faster and more powerful servers each year.

Due to rapidly changing hardware standards, after a while the server can no longer support newer types of hardware upgrades like RAM, and processors. This limits our ability to upgrade the existing server.

Processors become more increasingly efficient and fast, and also physically smaller, allowing for many Processors to be fit into a single machine.

What can a Virtual Server do that is better than a Physical Server?

Performance

A VM takes a very short time to start up, since it's hardware is already running under the hypervisor, and it's virtual hard drive is loaded into the hypervisor's large amount of memory for almost instant reading and writing.

A hypervisor typically has up to 12 processor cores, this allows it to spread the processing for VMs evenly.

Support and Management

A Virtual Machine is significantly more easier to support, monitor and upgrade, as the hypervisor has control over how the VM exists.

Hardware upgrades that once took a long time to complete (Ordering parts, Physically changing hardware, Lengthy downtime) can now be done almost instantly. This is because the hypervisor can Shutdown, change the VMs Properties and Start it back up again in a very short time-frame.

The VM Can also be accessed directly without having to have the server physically present with a monitor, mouse and keyboard.

Crash recovery is faster with a VM, a single command can be given to the hypervisor to shutdown and then boot up the VM again.

Hardware failure is mitigated to the hypervisor itself. It is monitored 24/7, has a secondary power supply, and is entirely backed up every day. A VM is also very easy to transfer to another hypervisor, allowing for no Service interruption if a hypervisor requires maintenance, or if an even more powerful and faster hypervisor comes into service.

The Migration Process

We take a snapshot of your existing system, and then port it over to a virtual machine. The software we use will be able to assist windows cope with the hardware change, and have very minimal effect on the system itself.

After the system is moved over into the virtual machine instance, it is booted up and quickly configured and checked to make sure it migrated properly.

Network adapters are controlled by the hypervisor, and it can deal with VLANs directly.

After this, the system is fully operational again, and starts it's life as a VM.

At any time during the process, we can immediately revert back to the existing hardware.

If you have any further questions, please email us at support@anchor.com.au or call us at 1800 883 979