P2V (Physical to Virtual) conversation option had been removed from SCVMM 2012 R2 version for some reason. I’m sure you will be searching for this option if you have upgraded System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 to 2012 R2 or later versions. Then how can we convert (Export) a physical server to Hyper-V or Azure Cloud? Even if you are migrating VMs from VMware hypervisor, which tool can be used to convert them for Hyper-V?
Here I will be guiding and giving 3 options that will be helpful for this conversion.
Usually, P2V tools will convert the existing physical servers to the virtual hard disk format of the destination server virtualization software like VMware or Hyper-V. Then we need to create and configure a virtual machine and attach the converted VHD/VHDX. The below methods would be helpful as we know theatSCVMM 2012 R2 and later versions don’t’ have P2V feature now.
3 Methods Convert Physical to Virtual for Hyper-V & Azure
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 that is running with 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 to the target physical computer. Also, MVMC should be running on a 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 with the conversion. You can configure the volume (disk) configuration (on the physical computer), VM configuration (on Hyper-V host) and select the Hyper-V host (you must provide valid credentials for Hyper-V host) to export the newly converted virtual machine to Hyper-V 3 host.
You can check how to fix a slow VM guest network issue on Windows 2012 R2 Hyper-V host.
This method will work mostly if the Operating System of the target computer/server 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 the virtual hard disk (VHD) format of Hyper-V. Then you can create a new virtual machine on Hyper-V host by SCVMM and import the converted VHD. That will enable you to run the same virtual machine (as a physical machine) on Hyper-V.
You can follow this guide to know how to use Disk2VHD and convert the physical machine to a VHD disk format.
Remember, Disk2VHD should be used from the Physical computer. If you are doing P2V by this method in a production environment, it’s recommended to shut down the main applications, disconnect the network clients and any other activities which could possibly change the system files and folders.
Once the P2V is completed successfully, shut down the physical computer. Create a new virtual machine with the appropriate configuration in Hyper-V but 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 other 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 servers.
Here we need to use another tool, StarWind V2V free tool to convert the VMDK file to VHD/VHDX 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 Microsoft Hypervisors products such as on-premise Hyper-V and Azure cloud to create a new virtual machine.
Convert Existing VMs from VMware vSpeher/ESXi to Hyper-V
- If you have SCVMM and vCenter connected together, then the migration can be done in SCVMM (System Center Virtual Machine Manager) console itself. We can convert a virtual machine that is running on VMware t Hyper-V easily.
- When you have an environment that doesn’t have vCenter, then you need to follow one of the above 3 steps we mentioned. Though we talked about the physical server in most of the cases, you need to install those tools such as Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter and Disk2VHD inside the Virtual machine that is working on VMware. Once you get the exported VHD of the virtual machine, then it can be uploaded to Hyper-V or Azure storage to create a VirtualMachine.
Other Methods to Do P2V in SCVMM 2012 R2?
1) Microsoft suggests installing SCVMM 2012 (or SP1, earlier versions) which is having the P2V option to do the conversion. In my opinion that is not a good idea. It is not the best practice to install another 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 a physical computer) to the new virtual machines 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 that can convert a physical machine to the desired virtual machine (virtual hard disk) format.
In the end, it’s a kind of separate P2V process in SCVMM 2012 R2 and later versions other than doing it through the System center virtual machine manager 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 into the latest Hyper-V successfully.