VMware vCenter Converter plug-in is Removed in vSphere 5

VMware vCenter Converter plug-in is Removed in vSphere 5

This question of what happened to the vCenter Converter plug-in has been coming up a lot lately in the communities, and here are some official/unofficial references about what happened.

(1) The vSphere 4.1 release notes from July 13, 2010 announced that "VMware vSphere 4.1 and its  subsequent update and patch releases are the last releases for the  VMware vCenter Converter plug-in for vSphere Client. VMware will  continue to update and support the free Converter Standalone product,  which enables conversions from sources such as physical machines, VMware  and Microsoft virtual machine formats, and certain third-party disk  image formats."

(2) A discussion showed up from http://communities.vmware.com/people/bchanana in the Converter forum stating the following:

"With the release of vSphere 5.0,  we will no longer provide vCenter Converter Integrated however, vCenter  Converter Standalone will continue to be available as a stand-alone,  public software binary. We will continue to provide support for vCenter  Converter Integrated on the existing vSphere platforms per the VMware support policy and we will continue to provide vCenter Converter Standalone as a free  download. You can find out more about vCenter Converter Standalone here:  http://www.vmware.com/products/converter.

Best regards,
VMware Product Management"

(3) The vCenter Server Installer application does not list the vCenter Converter plug-in, and the media does not contain it.

The standalone version of Converter 5.0 was released on September 8, 2011 and may be downloaded at https://www.vmware.com/tryvmware/?p=converter.

Thanks for reading,


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But why would you do this?

Seriously, why would VMware devs take out such a handy plugin? This makes as much sense as the previous pricing model.


VMware why would you take a perfectly good function that made our life simpler and that worked very well and TAKE IT OUT!! This is about as stupid as Windows Millenium Edition. Who ever made this decision should be TERMINATED!

I don't know the official reason(s), but in many ways it does make sense to decouple the integrated Converter. I can appreciate the fact that it is one less piece of software on my vCenter Server system that could have problems. I personally like the idea of keeping the vCenter Server system simple.

I don't understand the strong emotion on this, but that doesn't mean it isn't justified. Can anyone elaborate on why this is such a pain point? Or, why Is installing the standalone Converter so much different than using the integrated Converter in previous versions. I'm just curious and trying to understand why there is such negativity around this.


When you have multiple VMware administrators in an environment the ease of use with being able to right click on the server you want the physical server on and clicking import from your simple to use client. You now have to physically go to your Standalone server or RDP to it to start the Converter then start converting your machines. Why remove ease of use when it was already developed into the product.

For me, it's about simplicity & centralization.  Now, there are two places to go to when I wan to import a physical machine.  It just doesn't make sense to me, but I also don't know the reasoning behind it.

If I had to guess, I'd say it was due to the number of support calls related to it.  I know that some imports (converions) would fail and the solution and/or first step in troubleshooting always seemed to be "install the standalone converter."  In my experience, this never resolved anything, but when I was stuck, all of my searches resulted in posts where this had helped people complete a stubborn conversion.

The only time I really had an issue was when my Exchaneg server had the /3G switch.

Its all about efficiency. I never had an issue with the plugin and it was super handy. Maybe I've gotten spoiled. Smiley Happy Like the other guys, I find it just kind of odd that the devs (or maybe it was a C-Level) decision to leave out the converter plugin is a head-scratcher.

I think it might be more about what markpiontek markpiontek states about support. Again, I don't know for sure but it might have just been easier to have development of the Converter be separate from vCenter Server. By making it a standalone product, it also frees it from being part of vCenter Server Ux patches and should provide a better product to the users at a much faster rate.

You could always still install it on your vCenter Server, but the integration still won't be there. I agree that it was convenient to use the context menu from within vCenter, but I am willing to trade that convenience for a Converter that offers more features and is available faster.

I agree with the separate development/support rationale. With diverse cloud/hypervisor technologies gaining traction I think VMware would rather have a separate product for migrations rather than embedded in the core product. That frees up the release cycle, licencing and support to be better tailored to any given market.

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