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Contributor
Contributor

P2V

I have a question regards to P2V for a large physical server to be virtualised. The source and target environments are in separate datacentre locations and a P2V across the network is not in scope. The volume of data is > 1TB the current planned process is:-

  • Send an engineer to site where the physical server is located
  • Install Standalone VMware Convertor on a laptop with USB attached storage
  • Capture P2V image to USB device (I understand this will be saved as Workstation format)
  • Transport laptop and USB to target datacentre
  • Import image to into VMware environment

My concern regards to the above method is whether the Workstation format image is compatible and can be imported into the VMware environment? i.e. is the Workstation disk format or block size different compared to ESXi? If this won’t work then to circumvent the incompatible I assume another VMware Convertor conversion from image to ESXi is possible?

On another note is the following concept possible:-

  • Install ESXi onto a 4GB USB stick, and run ESXi on the laptop with another external drive that can be presented as storage to the ESXi host running on the laptop
  • Via VMware Convertor P2V to the ESXi host
  • In target environment add portable ESXi host to vCenter
  • Thereafter, Storage VMotion from USB into the datacentre environment and power on VM

Thanks

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3 Replies
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VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hello joeflint2,

In general this is a good idea. One thing you should be aware is a Converter limitation - it cannot do Linux P2V to hosted destination (i.e. Workstation format). If the server runs Windows - it is OK.

Converting from hosted to managed (ESX) is fine, the disk format is almost the same.

On the second approach (which you should probably use in the Linux case) - take into consideration that ESXi has a list of supported hardware (quite large indeed but basically server oriented). Ensure it can be installed on the laptop.

HTH,

Plamen

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Hi Plamen, thanks for the feedback. The source server is an old phsyical server running Windows 2003 Server OS.

Regards to first approach - will this involve two conversions e.g. (1) P2V to workstation format on USB and (2) from USB workstation format to ESXi environment, OR can the image be imported from (1) directly into the ESXi environment?

On 2nd Approach was considering a standard laptop with a 4GB USB stick for ESXi and another USB conection for external storage. Are you saying in this case to ensure specific laptop model is used or the type of USB device?

Thanks

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VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hi

1st question - 2 conversions, 2nd - the laptop

Regards,

Plamen