Microsoft Brings Back P2V in Latest Release of MVMC

Posted on November 14, 2014


toOne of the principles of running a successful business is to remember the old adage, “The customer is always right.”  Microsoft demonstrated their understanding of this basic truth by returning a “clamored for” feature, that being the ability to convert physical machines to virtual, a feature that was negated in the Microsoft Volume Machine Converter 2.0.  That release only managed the conversion of V2V, specifically VMware virtual machines to Hyper-V virtual machines.  Version 3.0 which was released just last week has returned this desired feature once more.

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) 3.0 is a Microsoft-supported, stand-alone solution that allows you to:

  • Convert virtual machines and disks from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts and Microsoft Azure.
  • Convert physical machines and disks to Hyper-V hosts.

And like the original version, it does it with utter simplicity.  MVMC only has three basic requirements to perform this desired task:

  • The Windows user account that you are using has write access to the UNC path, which is specified on the destination Hyper-V host for copying the virtual hard disks.
  • The Hyper-V host has the required disk space available for the converted virtual hard disks (VHDs).
  • The physical machine must have an operating system of Windows 2008 or greater on the server side, or of Vista or later on the client side.

For those who demand more than basic wizardry, MVMC 3.0 provides native support for Windows PowerShell, allowing for scripting and integration with data center automation workflows.

Besides the return of the P2V feature, the primary update to this powerful tool is the updated list of operating systems that are now supported:

  • MVMC 3.0 supports the new virtual hard disk format (VHDX) when converting and provisioning in Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012.
  • Supports Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 as guest operating systems that one can select for conversion.
  • It also supports a Linux guest operating system conversion

Of course let’s not forget the V2V side of the equation, which in all frankness, is of the most importance features to Microsoft – converting VMware VMs to Hyper-V VMs.

  • MVMC 3.0 supports the conversion of machines utilized within VMware vShpere 5.5, VMware vShpere 5.1 and VMware vShpere 4.1 hosts.
  • It converts and deploys virtual machines from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts on machines utilizing the Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 operating system or later.
  • Besides the disk conversion, MVMC 3.0 handles manages other facets of the conversion process such as memory and virtual processor configurations as well as other virtual computing resources.

It even uninstall VMware Tools before an online conversion process.


A Real Word Example

Let’s say you’ve set up a Hyper-V 2012 and want to virtualize a bunch of your existing physical servers that currently reside within your datacenter.  Using the MVMC, nothing could be easier.  In this example we will assume that you are integrating your Hyper-V Host Servers with some type of SAN and utilizing the assigned LUNs as cluster shared volumes.  Once you have created the necessary cluster shared volumes for your host servers, simply run the MVMC and conduct a P2V conversion of targeted servers and save them as VDHX files on the designated CSVs.  In my practice, I usually create a folder named after the hostname of the machine I am virtualizing.  I then use that folder to store the disk and configuration files.  Depending on the bandwidth within your LAN, the process only takes a matter of minutes to complete.

Once the virtual file is created, you are ready to create the virtual machine.  In this example, I am virtualizing a 2012 domain controller.  In the wizard, select the folder on the designated CSV.

Then simply point to the VDHX file that was created by MVMC.

Using MVMC, you can easily virtualize a small fleet of servers within a nominal amount of time.  If you currently manage a Hyper-V environment or am considering it, MVMC 3.0 is a must have tool to have in your virtual arsenal.  You can download it from here.

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