Think IPM

Monday, April 13, 2009

Testing Virtual Machines on Hyper-V

Recently I was asked how a client could convert a bunch of their ESX Virtual Machines to Hyper-V Virtual Machines for bake-off purposes.  Here’s a quick rundown of the options that, after some research, I came up with.

Pay Options :

PlateSpin’s PowerConvert offers a simple turnkey solution for converting batches of machines to Hyper-V.  Their licensing model is per conversion but if you have to convert A LOT of machines, this will definitely speed things along.  Their GUI interface allows you to literally drag and drop Physical machines and VMware VMs over to a Hyper-V host and let the software do the rest.  image

Vizioncore’s vConverter is another solid option for converting both Physical Machines or VMs to Hyper-V machines.  Although free alternatives exist, paying for a solution like this offers support in the event of an issue and scalability if you are planning to do massive conversions under tight deadlines. 

Alternatives :

If you already have a functional System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) implementation, Microsoft offers P2V functionality in the product.

Free Alternatives :

If you are preparing a test lab and funds are short, you might want to explore some of these more manual cost effective procedures.

BARTPE CD is a free utility that allows you to ‘inject’ drivers into images that are experiencing BSODs due to incorrect Mass Storage Devices.  After dumping a ghost or Acronis image onto the Hyper-V guest, you can use the BartPE Method to inject the appropriate drivers to allow the machine to properly boot to the new Hyper-V hardware. 

For this particular client’s Bake-Off purposes, I think VMDK2VHD will fit the bill nicely.  This simple utility allows you to convert an existing VMware VMDK to a compatible Microsoft Hyper-V VHD file.  This utility will not help you if you are trying to P2V physical machines, but in that case, you can utilize VMware’s free VMware Convertor to first create a VMware Virtual Machine and then convert it to Hyper-V using VMDK2VHD.

Although your mileage may vary with these free solutions and you may be forced to leverage different options at different times, it is good to know that when push comes to shove, you have ways to create the test labs for the different hypervisors without having to recreate all the VMs manually.

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