Converting VMware Virtual Machines to Hyper-V using VMM 2008 V2V

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VMware based virtual machines can be converted to run with the Microsoft Hyper-V and Virtual Server environments using the Virtual to Virtual (V2V) feature of Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008. Virtual machines created using VMware Server, VMware Workstation and VMware ESX can be converted using this process.

Unlike the VMM 2008 Physical to Virtual (P2V) conversion process covered in the Performing Physical to Virtual (P2V) Conversions using VMM 2008 chapter, the V2V conversion cannot be performed on a running virtual machine instance. Instead, the V2V conversion process involves shutting down the virtual machine and importing the VMware virtual disk (.vmdk) and configuration file (.vmx) into the VMM 2008 library prior to performing the conversion. If a conversion that does not involve shutting down the source system is required, a P2V online conversion can be performed, simply treating the virtual machine as a physical system.

Once the VMware virtual machine files have been placed in a VMM Library, the conversion process converts the VMware .vmdk virtual disk file to a virtual hard disk (.vhd) file and reproduces the virtual machine hardware settings within the Hyper-V or virtual server environment.

Supported V2V Source Guest Operating Systems

A VMM 2008 V2V conversion can be performed on virtual machines running the following guest operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2008 (32-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 (64-bit)
  • Windows 2000 Server SP4 or later
  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server SP4 or later
  • Windows XP Professional (32-bit) SP2 or later
  • Windows XP Professional (64-bit) SP2 or later
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (32-bit)
  • Windows Vista SP1 or later (64-bit)

Adding the VMware Files to the VMM Library

A VMM Library is essentially a network share folder in which files are stored. The default location for the VMM Library share on a VMM Library server is named MSSCVMMLibrary and may be located by selecting Network from the Windows Start menu and navigating to the appropriate server.

To add the VMware .vmdk disk and .vmx configuration files to the library simply copy them into the library share folder of the library server. Once the files have been copied, it may be necessary to refresh the library before the files will be added to the library catalog. To achieve this, start the VMM Administrator Console (for details refer to the chapter entitled A Guided Tour of the VMM Administrator Console) and select the Library view from the pane located in the bottom left hand corner of the window. From the Library view, right click on the library to which the files were added from the list in the top right hand pane and select Refresh. Once the refresh has been performed the files will be visible in the library and ready to be converted. The following figure illustrates a library containing a Windows XP Professional VMware virtual disk file:


A VMware vmdk file imported into VMM Library


The .vmx configuration may be viewed by selecting the VMs and Templates link as illustrated below:


A VMware .vmx configuration file imported into VMM Library


The virtual machine properties contained with the VMware .vmx file may be viewed and modified prior to the V2V conversion by selecting the .vmx file in the library (as illustrated in the case of the WinXPPro.vmx file in the above figure) and selecting Properties from the resulting menu. The following screen shows the memory settings for the WinXPPro .vmx configuration file:


Viewing and changing the properties of a VMware vmx file inside the VMM Administrator Console

Any changes made to the configuration will be reflected in the converted virtual machine. An opportunity to alter these settings is also provided by the Convert Virtual machine wizard during the conversion configuration process.

Performing a VMware to Hyper-V V2V Conversion

The conversion process is largely the same regardless of whether the destination for the VMware virtual machine is a Hyper-V or Virtual Server environment. The conversion begins by clicking on the Convert virtual machine link located in the Actions pane of the VMM Administrator Console. Once selected, the Convert Virtual Machine wizard will appear, prompting for a virtual machine to be converted. Click on the Browse button to view a list of VMware files in the library suitable for conversion:


List of VMware files located in the library


Once a virtual machine has been selected for conversion, click Next to give the destination virtual machine a name and to assign an owner (if the default owner is not acceptable). Clicking Next displays the VM Configuration screen where the number of processors and amount of memory to be assigned to the destination virtual machine may be altered from those configured for the source VMware virtual machine.

The next screen is where the target host for the converted virtual machine is selected. A list of known hosts is provided and may be filtered using the provided search options located above the list. Having selected a destination host, click Next to configure the location on the host's file system for storage of the converted virtual machine files.

On the remaining screens, configure the virtual networks on the destination host to which any pre-configured virtual network adapters are to be connected and additional settings relating to the behavior of the virtual machine when the host system starts and stops.

Clicking Next displays the Summary screen:


The V2V wizard summary screen


Review the summary information and click Create to begin the V2V conversion process. The duration of the conversion process will vary depending on a variety of factors such as the size of the disk image files and the performance and location of the destination host. The progress of the conversion process is reported on the Jobs dialog which is displayed by default at the start of the creation process. If the Jobs dialog is not configured to appear by default, it may be launched by clicking on the Jobs button in the VMM Administrator Console toolbar.


The progress of a VMM 2008 V2V conversion


Once the conversion process completes (and assuming it completes successfully), the converted virtual machine will appear in the inventory of the destination host ready to be started.


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