Physical to Virtual Migration – Paragon Software Adaptive Restore Technology

By: Brian Chee

What Paragon has done is leverage their amazingly good backup and restore system to allow you to slide in additional drivers during the restore process.

So while the VMWare boys have certainly addressed the issue of migrating from a physical server (one OS hogging the entire piece of hardware) what about those of us that have some legacy VM’s from the Microsoft world? So far the answer has been too bad, but now the folks from Paragon Software have created an addon for their version 9 of Drive Backup Pro and will bake it into version 10 when it’s released. So the answer is to bring up your legacy VM’s (remember Virtual Server R2 is still free) and run the P2V migration tool.

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The folks at Paragon seem to be leveraging all that experience in juggling OS operations while doing backups in order to create an amazing tool that not only does a terrific job of backing up live servers/workstations; but also takes a great deal of pain out of the migration from a physical server to a virtual one. The hassle of moving a server really boils down to drivers. Just because you have that abstraction layer in VMWare of Microsoft’s Hypervisor, it doesn’t mean you’ll immediately have all the necessary drivers on your server. So just doing a backup and restore isn’t going to cut it if you’re moving to new technology, especially since you may end up with the blue screen of death as Windows bitches about drivers problems and is stopping your machine for safety… What Paragon has done is leverage their amazingly good backup and restore system to allow you to slide in additional drivers during the restore process.

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So while this slide is where Paragon let’s you slip in drivers into a physical to physical (P2P) move, the exact same mechanism allows you to slide in a set of new drivers in a physical to virtual (P2V)migration. I should also point out that their backup system isn’t limited to only brand xxx drives, nor is it limited to physically attached drives. Backing up and restoring over the network is old hat to these folks and just how migrating a physical server over the network to your virtual host works.

Now here’s my favorite feature….the backup and restore system can also resize partitions on the fly. So if my laptop is fortunately enough to get a larger disk, I can drop in the new drive, boot the Paragon CD and connect my old disk on a USB interface. Since the new drive is bigger, it would be great to resize my partitions in a logical manner. I’d still want to leave my utilities partition the same size, but the OS and data partitions need to grow.

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Now for the hat trick….the backup and restore by partition can handle non-windows partitions! So that means that full backup/restores can be done on a variety of machines and not just Windows. So if the laptop backup system you’re using is leaving you with an empty feeling, perhaps before you leave for the show, you might consider getting a copy of Paragon’s Drive Backup Professional.

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