Friday, January 6, 2012

V2V from Hyper-V to VMware ESXi

So you finally came to the realization that Microsoft Hyper-V really isn't as mature as you were lead to believe. Good! You can attend the Gullible Anonymous meetings later. First, let's get you over to something that can keep your servers up and running and performing like the $10k you spent on your hardware should provide you.

Assuming that you have a free server available, doing a V2V from Hyper-V to VMware ESXi is extremely easy. Just think of this as doing a P2V, and ignore the wasted resources in between...

Take one of your spare servers, and load up VMware ESXi on it (you can do 4.1 or 5, or whatever strikes your fancy). Get it all ready for the VM to run on it, and get it on the same network and gig switch as your Hyper-V box.

Login to the VM that you want to convert, and download and install VMware's Standalone Converter on it (current version is 5.0). Current supported platforms are:

  • Windows XP Professional (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2, R2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit)
  • Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)

  • Next, you will want to run the Converter against the local machine, and convert it to ESXi server that you just created. There are several settings to change to verify that it's done properly:
    • Prep your computer for a P2V by stopping ALL unneccessary services. You only need core services to make sure that it's successful.
    • Select Powered-on machine; local machine

    • Put in the IP/Hostname of your new ESXi server and root/password

    • Give it a destination Virtual Machine name
    • Select a Resource Pool (if used), datastore, and Virtual Machine hardware version (unless you have a driving reason, go with Version 7)
    • Set your disk drives the way that you want them to be on the new environment - I prefer Thin on all my disks, but it's up to you and your application. To change this, Edit the "Data to copy," Advanced, and Destination Layout tab. Change the type to Thin

    • Change the Disk controller to SCSI. To change this, Edit the "Devices" and go to the Other tab. I typically select SCSI LSI Logic SAS for newer OSes and SCSI LSI Logic for older OSes.

    • Set all services that say Hyper-V to disabled. To do this, Edit the "Services" and go to the Destination services tab. The ones I came across on my most recent migration were (your mileage may vary based on the version/options you have):
      • Hyper-V Heartbeat Service
      • Hyper-V Data Exchange Service
      • Hyper-V Guest Shutdown Service
      • Hyper-V Time Synchronization Service
      • Hyper-V Volume Shadow Copy Requestor
    • Edit Advanced options and go to the Post-conversion tab and check "Install VMware Tools on the destination virtual machine"
    Off it goes converting. Once it's done, power down your Hyper-V VM, power up the VMware VM, and wait for the VMware Tools to install. Once that's done, uninstall the VMware Converter, and your off and running.

    Now you can wipe your Hyper-V server, load up ESXi on it, and build yourself a nice little redundant cluster.

    Dustin Shaw


    1. very nice, I am thinking of moving some servers to esxi at work,hyper-v seems a bit overrated for me, and is V2V virtual to virtual?

    2. V2V stands for Virtual to Virtual. Sorry that I didn't spell it out more clearly in the article.

      I've been watching the latest version of Hyper-V with Server 2012. It is a LOT closer to Enterprise class than it has ever been, but is still not there yet. Maybe in 2012 R2 there might be a chance; of course, Enterprise businesses will still need to watch it for a couple of more generations to see it prove itself as stable.