VMWARE Converter to create DR for Workstations In Remote Locations
Recently I've been working on a project that involves creating an easy to use, quick way to rebuild a workstation in the event of a hardware failure.
The environment is very different to your typical network environment in that the following characteristics hold true
1. There is no internet connection on this workstation.
2. The workstations work in a harsh environment on a network segment of their up
3. There is a manual procedure in place to allow you connect the workstation to a central company network where you can access central file shares etc.
4. This environment is replicated throughout the business at several locations each location been isolated as above.
You can use tools like Ghost or Symantec System Recovery however I came up with this easy to use option that meets with the requirements of my client.
Because each machine is an identical build, we have a central computer in head office which hosts all the pre-installed software i.e. Windows 7, business applications, business database etc.
From this we create a VM Image using VMWARE Converter and we save this image to a shared location.
From this shared location we copy this image to a USB drive or other portable storage device.
At each remote location we run Linux as the host operating system on each workstation, with VM Workstation on top
Simply connect in the USB storage device and locate the VM Image already created.
You may need to change configuration details in the VM Image configuration file. For example in our instance software on the system was bound to specific MAC addresses. You can set these to a manual setting in the VM Image configuration file.
Below is a basic diagram of what it looks like