Using Fibre-Channel cards and RDM’s to P2V

This week on the VMware P2V Forum there was a question about using the P2V Boot CD with Emulex cards. The physical machine this guy was trying to P2V booted from a SAN LUN. It was probably a blade that was being P2V’d.  Anyone who has read the release notes will know that Emulex cards are currently NOT supported.

“Emulex Fibre Channel devices

All Emulex Fibre Channel devices are currently unsupported in the P2V Boot CD release 2.1. We hope to restore support for these devices in a subsequent release. If you need to use Emulex Fibre Channel devices, continue to use P2V 2.0.3.  Alternatively, you can move your data to your virtual machine by connecting your target virtual machine server directly to your Fibre Channel network. Refer to the KB article, KB 1885, for additional information”

This reference to KB 1885 is actually very interesting. It describes using a Raw Disk Mapping (RDM) to connect the P2V Assistant directly to the LUN where SAN Booting takes place. Then it copies its contents to a blank destination disk. This method would work for any SAN booted system. Clearly, the Blade would have to be powered off, and the ESX would need to have this LUN presented to it using the SAN management tools. The interesting thing is that this method would work with any HBA and SAN supported by ESX. Interested? Read more below:


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This was first published in October 2005

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