The way to migrate VMware to Hyper-V: SCVMM V2V

In this second blog of the blog series The way to migrate to Hyper-V / Azure , i will explain the first option of how to migrate VMWare to Hyper-V using System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)

System Center Virtual Machine Manager is part of the Microsoft System Center Suite (Read here the System Center Data sheet). Till the writing time of this blog, we are at the 2012 R2 version (We expect the VNext version in the first quarter of 2016).

Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) is a management solution for the virtualized datacenter, enabling you to configure and manage your virtualization host, networking, and storage resources in order to create and deploy virtual machines and services to private clouds that you have created.

VMM provides a way to manage non Hyper-V hosts like VMware ESX/ESXi and Citrix XenServer.

To be able to manage ESX hosts using VMM, you must have VCenter deployed and managing your ESX hosts. Managing ESX/ESXi hosts by VMM without VCenter is not possible. You need also to manage you Hyper-V hosts using the same VMM server. The Hyper-V servers will host the converted VMs (You can place the converted VMs in the VMM library too)

Once your VMware platform is added to the VMM management, you will be able to convert ESX/ESXi virtual machines using the V2V (Virtual to Virtual) feature.

There’s some requirements that need to be met before you can convert a VMware virtual machine using VMM:

  • VMM does not support converting VMware Workstations.
  • VMM does not support converting VMware virtual machines with virtual hard disks that are connected to an integrated drive electronics (IDE) bus.
  • Online V2V conversions are not supported. This means VMware virtual machines must be offline (powered off) –> Down time
  • You must stop any anti-virus applications that are running.
  • You must uninstall VMware Tools on the guest operating system of the virtual machine.

VMM  2012 supports the V2V machine conversion of virtual machines that are running on the following versions of VMware ESX:

  • ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 5
  • ESX/ESXi 4.0
  • ESX/ESXi 4.1
  • ESXi 5.1

VMM  2012 SP1 and 2012 R2 support the V2V machine conversion of virtual machines that are running on the following versions of VMware ESX:

  • ESX/ESXi 4.1
  • ESXi 5.1

You can find here the list of the common V2V issues that can be encountered. You can also find here the issues/limits encountered in a real scenario.

If the requirement are met, you can start converting your VMs (From technet)

VMM V2V

  1. Open the VMs and Services workspace.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Create group, click the Create Virtual Machine drop-down arrow, and then click Convert Virtual Machine.The Convert Virtual Machine Wizard opens.
  3. On the Select Source page, next to the Select the virtual machine that you would like to convert box, click Browse.
  4. In the Select Virtual Machine Source dialog box, click the VMware virtual machine that you want to convert, and then click OK.
  5. On the Select Source page, click Next.
  6. On the Specify Virtual Machine Identity page, either keep or change the virtual machine name, enter an optional description, and then click Next.
  7. On the Virtual Machine Configuration page, configure the number of processors and assign the amount of memory in megabytes or gigabytes, and then click Next.
  8. On the Select Host page, select a Hyper-V host for placement, and then click Next.
  9. On the Select Path page, do the following, and then click Next:
  10. In the Storage location box, configure the storage location on the host for virtual machine files. By default, the default virtual machine paths on the target host are listed. To select a different location, click Browse, click a folder, and then click OK.
  11. To add the path to the list of storage locations on the virtual machine host, select the Add this path to the list of default storage locations on the host check box.
  12. On the Select Networks page, select the logical network, the virtual network, and the virtual LAN (VLAN), if applicable, to use for the virtual machine, and then click Next.
  13. On the Add Properties page, configure the settings that you want, and then click Next.
  14. On the Summary page, review the settings. Optionally, select the Start the virtual machine after deploying it check box. To start the conversion process, click Create.The Jobs dialog box appears to indicate the job status. Verify that the job has a status of Completed, and then close the dialog box.
  15. To verify that the virtual machine was converted, do the following:
    1. In the VMs and Services workspace, locate and then click the Hyper-V host which you selected during placement.
    2. On the Home tab, in the Show group, click VMs.
    3. In the VMs pane, verify that the virtual machine appears.

Conslusion

Maybe Microsoft has provided a way to convert VMware virtual machines to Hyper-V using VMM, but honestly, we are faced to many constraints here:

  • You need to purchase VMM to to it : No one will invest in VMM just to make some V2V operations (unless this concerns thousands of VMs)
  • You need VCenter to do it. Customers not using VCenter will not be able to make V2V operations using VMM
  • Not all the VMware ESX/ESXi versions are supported
  • Offline V2V is not possible causing a considered downtime (Tens of minutes to hours depending on the VM size and the network/storage performances)

So i think that using VMM to make V2V operations is suitable when/for:

  • Customers how already meet the V2V requirement regarding the VMware integration: VCenter, ESX/ESXi versions…
  • Customers with wide maintenance window to stop the VMware VMs during V2V operations

So, this was the first option to convert virtual machines from a VMware virtualization platform to Hyper-V.  In the next blogs i will continue discussing:

  • The way to migrate VMware/Physical to  Hyper-V / Azure: MVMC/MAT
  • The way to migrate from anywhere to Azure: Migration Accelerator (MA)
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