Migrating physical servers

In addition to migrating virtual machines with common operating systems to Google Cloud Platform (GCP), you can use Google Cloud Migrate for Compute Engine (formerly Velostrata) to migrate physical servers or VMs running any OS that is supported by GCP. Migrating physical servers has the same prerequisites as migrating VMware VMs.

For more information about these prerequisites, see Migrate on-premises to GCP.

Migrating a physical server

You can migrate a physical server to the cloud by booting a Migrate for Compute Engine Connector ISO image into RAM from a virtual or physical DVD ROM/CD ROM device. See the Migrate for Compute Engine physical server connector in the Downloads page.

The Migrate for Compute Engine connector maps the local storage of the physical server and creates a stub VMware VM as a management object for Migrate for Compute Engine cloud migration operations.

The migration proceeds the same as the migration of other VMs, except that migrations are performed in write-isolation mode, where data changes made in the cloud are not synced back on-premises.

System requirements

  • Disk types: supported include SAS, SATA, SSD, virtual disks presented by the hardware controller, and SAN volumes mounted on physical HBAs. PATA/IDE disks are not supported.
  • RAM: A minimum of 4GB RAM is recommended. For machines with less than 4 GB RAM, press any key during the boot splash screen (the screen with the keyboard icon), and choose the Velostrata Connector low memory option from the menu. This option reads on-demand from the CD image.
  • DVDROM/CDROM: A physical DVDROM/CDROM or virtual CDROM from which to boot the Velostrata Connector ISO.

Before you begin

  1. Configure GCP for migration.

  2. Complete the prerequisites to migrate from an on-premises to GCP.

  3. Check the supported OS versions with Migrate for Compute Engine.

  4. For Linux, install the Velostrata-Prep package.

  5. Download the Migrate for Compute Engine physical server connector (Downloads page).

  6. Burn the ISO to a CD or DVD.

  7. Check for an iSCSI software adapter (see the next section).

Adding an iSCSI software adapter

Migrating physical servers requires a VMware iSCSI Software Adapter.

Verify that you have this adapter as follows:

  1. In vCenter, select the VM host.
  2. Select the Configure tab, then the Storage Adapters option from the middle pane. If you have an iSCSI adapter software, it is listed in this panel.

If you need an iSCSI adapter:

  1. Navigate to Configure > Storage Adapters and add an iSCSI Software Adapter.
  2. Under Networking, select VMKernel adapters and click the Edit icon.
  3. Click the Port properties option.
  4. Under Enabled services, check the box next to Provisioning and click OK.

Booting from the Velostrata ISO

You can do this using ILO (on HP Enterprise servers) or iDRAC (on Dell servers). The procedure below uses HP ILO.

  1. Launch the ILO remote console.
  2. Select Virtual Drives > Image File CD/DVD-ROM, and select the Velostrata Connector ISO that you downloaded.
  3. Select Power Switch > Reset.
  4. After the server is up, ensure that it boots from the ISO.
  5. Log in to the ISO using the following credentials: ubuntu\Welcome01
  6. Run the ./VelosConnector.sh script to view the VelosConnector menu.

Registering a stub VM

A stub VM is a management object created on vSphere. Migrate for Compute Engine uses the stub to interact with the physical server.

To register a stub VM:

  1. In the VelosConnector menu, select 1 for Register a Stub VM for Migrate for Compute Engine operations and follow the on-screen instructions. Registering the OS properly is required in order to create the instance in GCP and enable proper migration. The iSCSI target associated with the VM is created when registering a stub VM with the same source IP address.
  2. Verify that the stub VM appears in vCenter.

Now that the VM is registered in vCenter, you can perform the migration as you would any other VM.

Deleting a stub VM

After your migration is complete, you can delete the VM and the iSCSI target configuration on the ESX.

  1. In the VelosConnector menu, select 2 for Delete a Stub VM.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. In vCenter, verify that the VM and the iSCSI target are deleted.

Viewing the iSCSI Target settings

You can view the iSCSI qualified name (IQN), portals, and logical units of storage (LUNs) to be migrated to the cloud.

  1. In the VelosConnector menu, select 3 for Show iSCSI Target Settings.
  2. Ensure that you can see all the disks of the server.

Managing your physical server's IP configuration

You can view the IP configuration of the server to be used for the iSCSI target configuration. By default, the server requests IP configuration from DHCP, but you can configure a static IP address. It is necessary to have a valid IP address before the stub VM can be registered.

  1. In the VelosConnector menu, select 4 for Show IP Configuration.
  2. In the VelosConnector menu, to configure a static IP address, select 5 for Setup Static IP.
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