P2V (Physical to Virtual) conversation option has been removed from SCVMM 2012 R2 for some reasons. I’m sure you will be searching this option if you have upgraded System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 to 2012 R2 version. Microsoft has removed it, therefore we need to do P2V in SCVMM 2012 R2 in different ways. Here I will be guiding and giving 3 options which will be helpful to convert your existing physical servers to virtual machine on Hyper-V 3 or earlier versions.
Usually P2V tools will convert the existing physical servers to virtual hard disk format of the destination server virtualization software like VMware or Hyper-V. Earlier SCVMM versions had an option to connect physical machines from SCVMM console, convert them to virtual machine format and import in to Hyper-V host as a single process. Below methods would be helpful as we know the latest SCVMM 2012 R2 doesn’t have P2V feature now.
3 Methods Worked for Me in P2V SCVMM 2012 R2
1) Let’s start with Microsoft, Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) 3.0
Microsoft has released the latest MVMC version 3.0 on this October 2014 with P2V support. Earlier versions of MVMC did not have P2V support, because of the requests from MS community and P2V support removal from SCVMM 2012 R2, Microsoft added P2V in MVMC 3.0 by demand. You can use this tool to convert a physical machine which is running Windows Server 2008 or above server operating systems or Windows Vista or above client operating systems to Windows Hyper-V host. You must provide administrative privilege access of the target physical computer. Also, MVMC should be running on the different computer where you have network access to target physical computer and destination Hyper-V host.
The tool will install a client package on the destination physical computer to get the inventory details and proceed the conversion. You can configure the volume (disk) configuration (on physical computer), VM configuration (on Hyper-V host) and select the Hyper-V host (you must provide valid credential for Hyper-V host) to export the newly converted virtual machine to Hyper-V 3 host.
You can check how to fix slow VM guest network issue on Windows 2012 R2 Hyper-V host.
This method will work mostly if the target physical machine Operating System is supported by Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0 and you have enough disk space and valid credentials on target/destinations.
2) Use Disk2vhd
This small tool will convert the physical computer’s hard disks (volumes) to virtual hard disk (VHD) format of Hyper-V and virtual PC. Then you can create a new virtual machine on Hyper-V host by SCVMM 2012 R2 and import the converted VHD. That will enable you to run the same virtual machine (as physical machine) on Hyper-V.
You can follow this guide to know how to use Disk2VHD and convert the physical machine to VHD disk format.
Remember, Disk2VHD should be used from the Physical computer. If you are doing P2V by this method in production environment, its recommended to shutdown the main applications, disconnect the network clients and any other activities which change the system files and folders.
Once the P2V is completed successfully, shutdown the physical computer. Create a new virtual machine with appropriate configuration in SCVMM 2012 R2, instead of creating a new virtual hard disk, select the existing hard disk option and browse the VHD file you have converted.
3) VMware Standalone converter
In some cases, the above both methods may fail due to compatibility issues. The next option would be by using VMware stand alone converter. The procedure may look long but we do not have any choice to do P2V with free products. You can install the VMware stand alone converter on a network computer or target physical computer (I prefer on target physical computer) and start the P2V conversion. Unfortunately VMware converter will convert and give the virtual hard disk format as VMDK file which is not supported in SCVMM 2012 R2 or Hyper-V 3 servers.
Here we need to use another tool, StarWind V2V free tool to convert the VMDK file to VHD format.
You can follow this guide to learn how to convert VMDK to VHD by StarWind free V2V.
As said in method-2, converted VHD can be used on SCVMM 2012 R2 to create a new virtual machine.
Other Methods to Do P2V in SCVMM 2012 R2?
1) Microsoft suggest to install SCVMM 2012 (or SP1, earlier versions) which is having P2V option to do the conversion. In my opinion that is not a good idea. It is not the best practice to install another install SCVMM 2012 version on the production environment and re-associate with your Hyper-V hosts while R2 is working fine.
2) Create a new virtual machine, install OS and restore the applications and system settings (of physical computer) to new virtual machine by backup/restore. This could be a good solution if it works in your environment.
3) Use another third party conversion tools. You will find plenty paid and free of tools which can convert a physical machine to desired virtual machine (virtual hard disk) format.
At the end, its a kind of separate P2V process in SCVMM 2012 R2 other than doing it through System center virtual machine manger console.I hope this post would be helpful. In my experience, I have used first all three methods to convert a physical machine and export it in to latest Windows 2012 R2 Hyper-V 3, which worked fine.
Share your thoughts.