Shops looking to standardize on vSphere after running multiple virtualization platforms can ease the transition with VMware’s vCenter Converter, which simplifies virtual-to-virtual as well as physical-to-virtual migrations.
More on VMware vCenter Converter
VCenter Converter, Migrate and other virtualization management tools
VSphere virtual machine migration tools: vCenter converter
Top conversion tools for virtual machine migration
Using VMware vCenter Converter for a P2V or V2V conversion
Converting a VM with VMware Converter Standalone isn't hard to do. From the main program interface, select Convert Machine and select the source type you want to convert. You can choose between current physical machine, a VM that is currently running in another VMware environment, a Hyper-V Server, a backup image or a VM created by a different hypervisor .
If you want to convert a VM from a platform that isn’t listed, select the backup image or third-party VM option. These options are designed to work with disk-image files and does a good job of converting VMs created with software that has open source roots, such as Citrix Systems Inc. XenServer. All you need to do is connect to the storage that contains the VM image file and import it.
Figure 1: The free VMware Converter tool helps you migrate virtual machines from most platforms to VMware.
Beginning the V2V conversion process
The first step in the V2V conversion consists of selecting the source VM. To make sure you're working on the right machine, it's a good idea to select View source details, which gives an overview of the VM’s configuration.
After selecting the source, you'll need to indicate the destination. You can choose to convert a VM to a VMware Infrastructure virtual machine, Workstation VM or other VMware VM file. If you want to write it directly to your VMware infrastructure environment, enter the IP address, user name and password that will allow you to connect to the vSphere environment.
Figure 2: Enter your credentials to migrate a VM directly to your vSphere environment.
You'll now see a list of all VMs found on the destination platform. In the next screen, you can select an alternative inventory to make sure that the VM is stored at a location with enough, available disk space.
Figure 3: Select the inventory where you want to store the VM.
After specifying where you want to copy the VM, you'll see its current settings. From here, you can modify the VM’s parameters, such as increasing the amount of RAM that it is allocated, before moving the VM to the destination server.
Figure 4: You can adjust VM parameters, such as how much memory it is allocated, before converting
After verifying that you've set all parameters that you want to use, click Finish to start the conversion process. The vCenter Converter will now copy over the VM. Once the conversion process has finished, you can start using the VM immediately.
VMware makes V2V and P2V migrations easy. The free VMware vCenter Converter utility allows you to take almost any type of source VM, convert it to vSphere and use it immediately.