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Successful P2V


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I finally got around to virtualizing my old Xpenology server. I thought I would share my experience; basically, it just works :smile:


I have the following setup:


Physical: Motherboard: MSI C847MS-E33, 4GB RAM, 4x 3TB HD - Running Plex, SABNZBD+, SickRage, CouchPotato, etc. I've been running Xpenology on here for several years.


Virtual: Dell PowerEdge T20 - 3.2GHz Xeon, 24GB RAM, Quad Intel NIC, Marvel PCI-e 4 port SATA3, EVO 250GB SSD + WD Black 750GB HDD as data stores - Running ESXi 6.0 Update 2 installed on SSD.


Here's what I did:


1. Backed up all my data to a couple of 4TB USB drives.

2. Setup a new Xpenology VM running the latest version (DSM 5.2-5967). I allocated 4 vCPUs and 4GB of RAM, I also passed the Marvell SATA adapter through to the VM using DirectIO and tested it by creating an SHR volume on a couple of spare 1TB drives and then moving some test files there.

3. Made sure that the physical box was also on the same DSM version.

4. Removed the four 3TB drives from the physical box and installed them in the Dell T20 (after removing the test 1TB drives). The drives are connected to the Marvell SATA controller.

5. Booted the T20 and started the VM (it was actually set to autostart).


Result: The VM has taken on the 'personality' of the old physical server including the hostname. All data and configuration appears to be intact (users, shares, etc.). All applications are running perfectly, Plex is quite a bit quicker!


Next steps: I already have several other Xpenology VMs setup. My plan is to keep the data and file services on the one above, but migrate download duties and Plex to separate VMs. I also have a separate VM for testing Xpenology and DSM updates.


Update: Moved 2 port PCI-e USB adapter (Renesys chipset) from the old server to the new one. I had to pass-through the SATA adapter again as well as the USB and then DSM found them both. I then confirmed that both backup drives are working and run another couple of back-ups to test them. Once you enable a device in pass-through mode, you can hot plug any other devices on the host (like USB drives) - this is why I had to pass through both adapters, rather than just the USB drives on their own.

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Are you happy with the performance of the T20? That's a pretty affordable chassis. Also, since your data store is a single drive how are you maintaining a backup of it?


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In a word, 'yes'. Transcoding a high bit rate 1080p MKV down to 4Mbps 720p for my phone would run at 1.1x realtime on the old Celeron. The same transcode ran at over 12x realtime on the Xeon. Considering that the Xeon is worth nearly £200 on it's own, the T20 is a bit of a bargain.


I have two vSphere datastores, one on the 250GB SSD and the other on the 750GB WD Black HDD. I host my 'production' VMs on the SSD and clone backups and run test VMs on the HDD. I suppose I could mount the datastores from DSM and back them up to my data volume (I think I'll try that later).


I looked at various 3rd party backup solutions for vSphere, but the free versions are all limited in some way (only two backups, not compatible with DSM, etc). I've started using VMware's free vCentre Converter to manually backup VMs as clones (btw, make sure you Google how to disable SSL if you use this tool - it speeds things up a lot!).

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The option to mount via NFS should be under 'Mount Remote Folder'. There are no options for NFS under the Connection Setup menu


In anycase, I've realized that the local datastores are not shared via NFS. I can only access them remotely via the vSphere GUI or via WinSCP. So, I think I would need to setup an SCP connection for this.

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Interest you didn't use the P2V migration tool. Also not sure why you needed the USB card. The T20 has plenty of both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports.


You don't need a migration tool because the machine state is stored on the drive array, only the bootloader has been virtualized in my case. The XPEnology image on a USB thumb drive has been turned into a VM and the physical disks have been presented to this VM.


Once you pass-through a device on a host, you lose the ability to hot-plug any other devices on that host (e.g. USB drives). Therefore vSphere cannot present drives connected to the on-board USB to the DSM VM. What it can do is pass-through another device (PCI-e USB adapter) and let the guest VM manage all the devices attached to it.


The next thing I have to work out is how to get my APC UPS working with both vSphere and DSM. Ideally, I'd want the host to shut down the guests cleanly before the battery runs out.

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