I have one 2003 Server running on a Win2k3 Virtual Server R2, and after reading the documentation and the forum, can't decide what the best way would be to migrate this VM over to ESX 3. I don't have virtual center running, so enterprise is out. They also say you can't use the free converter to move a machine to ESX. Should I
1) Install the free converter on the virtual machine and convert to the ESX server.
2) Install converter on the Virtual Server host and convert the image of the virtual machine (either saving locally or directly to ESX... I haven't tried it yet and don't know what the options are).
Will either of these two methods work, or is there perhaps a better option I am missing?
Yes, you can use the free Converter starter edition to move a VM to ESX Server. Just make sure the VM is powered off, and you run Converter from an OS that is greater than or equal to the OS of your VM.
You can also use the free Converter starter edition to hot clone a running machine to ESX Server-- the only catch is that you have to install Converter on that machine; with Converter Enterprise you can also initiate the import from Converter that is running on a different (remote) machine.
I used step 2 the other day, and once I removed the MS VS R2 mouse driver I was good to go (using it in VMware Server).
Keep in mind, that if you resize the disks, as you are importing, a file based copy will occur, as opposed to a block based copy.
You have to install it on the running machine (local hot clone) if using the starter edition to go directly to ESX Server. You don't need to put it on the running machine if you want to send it to a network share (a standalone VM not ESX Server).
Thanks for all the info everyone (I just realized I had to check the box for "question" - sorry - I'll do that next time).
Regarding sending it directly to the ESX server, does the converter actually create a VM on the ESX server, or does it just dump the VM files in a folder of your choice?