Hey Checkyourlogs fans,

Today I wanted to talk about moving non-standard workloads to your new Storage Spaces Direct Clusters. We recently ran into a real issue with some older Hyper-V Hosts that had been built using ISCSI from a Dell/EMC VNX SAN. The setup included a variety of directly presented ISCSI disks inside of the VM’s as well as pass-through disks. Well, this is where the rubber was about to come off the road for our project.



Here was a quick list of the VM’s that needed to be migrated as part of this project.


Our new configuration had the above workloads moving over to a brand new All Flash DataON Storage Spaces Direct Cluster.


Moving all the workloads that were green in the spreadsheet above was super easy. We just used Shared Nothing Live Migration and moved them over without any production outages.

What we were left scratching our heads with was how were we going to get the remaining 4 VM’s over. We couldn’t use Live Migration because they were configured with either ISCSI Targets or Passthrough disks. We wanted to use a native configuration for our Storage Spaces Direct cluster and didn’t want any of this inside. What we thought about was using Robo Copy, or some other Agent-Based Replication tools.


Then I remember that Veeam Agent for Windows could be used to both P2V (Physical to Virtual) and backup Virtual Machines with ISCSI disks. I wasn’t sure about Pass-Through disks so I figured I would give it a shot. I downloaded and installed Veeam Backup and Replication 9.5 UR5. When you install it without a product key, it goes into what is called community edition. This makes it free for up to 10 instances.

Below is one of the jobs that were run to backup the data from the Pass-Through disk. In essence, this converted it to a VHDx file which is easy to the stand-up inside of a new VM.


I configured these the Veeam Agent for Windows (Server) backup jobs to run nightly and the at the time of the final Migration I would have a minimal outage window. This was the best way that I have found for dealing with this issue, and the best part is that this is 100 % free of charge from Veeam.

Veeam has once again saved a project that I’m working on and now I know that Veeam Agent for Windows is a great tool to have in your back pocket for migrations.