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How to convert a server to Boot from SAN using PlateSpin PowerConvert


For reasons such as Disaster Recovery of a server to like hardware, possibly using replicated LUNs on a Disaster Recovery site SAN, it may be necessary to convert a server from booting from a local disk to booting from a SAN LUN.


Ideally the smallest possible amount of data will be captured in an image and redeployed to the SAN LUNs used to boot the OS, typically C: and possibly D:. Prior to commencing the migration process large local disks, should be migrated as SAN LUNs. This can be achieved by creating the LUN, presenting it to the server, and then mirroring the existing LUN. Once the mirror is complete, services can be shutdown to release file locks, the mirror can be broken, the local disk can have the drive letter assignment removed, and the SAN LUN can have the drive letter assigned.

Update SAN Software

- Install MS Hotfix 941276
- Update HBA Firmware
- Update HBA Driver
- Update Multipathing software (SAN Surfer/HDLM etc)

Discover Server
From the PowerConvert console:

- Browse to the server
- Right click on the server and select Discover Server Details... from the context menu
- Enter Administrator credentials (DOMAIN\Username) and click Discover

Capture Image
From the PowerConvert console:

- Right click on the server in the discovered servers pane and select Capture Image from the context menu
- Select the PowerConvert server as the Target and click Start Wizard
- Enter the credentials (DOMAIN\Username) and click Next
- Click Next to accept Take Control
- On the Temp IP dropdown select <Configure...>
- Enter the a temporary IP Address and other network configuration and click OK
- Click Next
- Select only the disks that do not currently exist as SAN LUNs (typically C:) and click Next
- Click Next to accept the Image Name
- Click Next as Transfer Services is not applicable to a Take Control image
- Click Start

Create and Present LUNs
Create LUNs for the drives captured in the image. Note the following important points:

- LUNs should be created approximately 100MB larger than the existing physical drive, to allow PowerConvert to deploy the disk image as the captured size.
- PowerConvert does not support multipathing. Only a single path should be zoned in from a single HBA to a single Storage Processor.
- Present C: as LUN ID 0

Configure FC HBA to Boot from SAN
QLogic Fibre Channel Adapter Preparation:

- Press CTRL+Q to access the BIOS setup utility (Fast!UTIL) during system boot-up
- Select the first HBA
- From the Fast!UTIL Options menu, enable the adapter BIOS by selecting Configuration Settings | Host Adapter Settings | Host Adapter BIOS
- Select Configuration Settings | Selectable Boot Settings | Selectable Boot option, and press Enter to enable the option
- From the (Primary) Boot Port Name, LUN field, press Enter to select the primary boot device.
- Press ESC to exit Fast!UTIL.
- Select Save changes
- Power down the system

Note: The Fast!UTIL BIOS setup utility may crash if there are no LUNs presented.

Remove Local Disks
Unplug the local disks to ensure there is a roll back mechanism, then boot the server.

Start the PowerConvert Controller
Note: This boot CD currently supports Auto Negotiate Full Duplex only
Boot from PlateSpin TakeControl ISO:

- Press N to block transfer prompt
- Enter the PowerConvert URL: http://<PowerConvert>/PowerConvert
- Enter an administrator username (DOMAIN\Username)
- Enter the administrator password
- Enter 1 to select the first NIC
- Enter IP Details
- Enter a temporary server name e.g. <servername>_TEMP
- Press N for SSL
- Press Enter for the Default PowerConvert Network

If errors occur the process can be re-run by using the RegisterMachine command

Deploy the Flexible Image
Within a few minutes the temporary server name above should appear in the PowerConvert discovered servers pane.
Note: PowerConvert does not support multipathing. Only a single path should be zoned in from a single HBA to a single Storage Processor.
From the PowerConvert console:

- Expand the PowerConvert server in the discovered servers pane
- Right click on the image created previously and select Deploy Image... from the context menu
- Select the Target as the temporary server name allocated above
- Click Start Wizard
- Enter the credentials (DOMAIN\Username) and click Next
- Click Next to accept the hostname defaults
- Click Next to accept the networking defaults
- Click Next to accept the volume sizes
- Select D: under Storage Layout
- On the Map to dropdown select Disk 2

Note: There is a bug in PowerConvert 6.8.2 that will not retain these settings in Wizard mode. Use Advanced mode to retain these settings

- Click Advanced
- Click Yes to use Advanced mode
- Click Start

Wait for image deployment to finish completely before logging on to the console.
Note: The existing machine name will appear on the network as the deployed image is reconfigured.

Enable Multipathing
The server can now have multiple paths enabled in the Fibre Channel fabric.


PowerConvert fails to deploy a flexible image to a server configured for Boot from SAN


PlateSpin PowerConvert 6.8.2

Created: 4th July 2008
Updated: 6th July 2008

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