1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply on Oct 6, 2011 5:04 AM by Blackburn

    Convert to ESXi and store to disk?

    danf201110141 Novice

      I am wondering if it's possible to convert a Workstation 6.0 file to esxi and have it stored on a usb hard drive.

       

      The reason I'm asking is that converter is taking forever to convert and upload an image I have, but if I import it directly into the datastore it easily uploads it 10x faster.

       

      I used a MOA boot CD to take a cold clone for testing, and wasn't aware it was in a format that ESXi did not understand. I used the import to datastore feature and just discovered it won't boot (error message mentions make sure it's been converted/imported.)

       

      I think it was uploading a 50 GB file at 1 mbit through Converter, but I can upload it directly at 60-70 mbit, so I was hoping to just do the conversion to local disk and upload the image afterwards.

       

      If you need more info I can try to provide it. (ESXi 5.0)

        • 1. Re: Convert to ESXi and store to disk?
          weinstein5 Guru

          Welcome to the Community - Have you tried exporting the VM to an OVF upload to your ESXi host -

          • 2. Re: Convert to ESXi and store to disk?
            continuum Guru
            vExpertCommunity Warriors

            Hi
            I am the author of MOA by the way
            so in a case like yours I would convert the system and select a growing split vmdk format to store the result of the Coldclone on the USB disk.

             

            This format can then be uploaded to ESXi and can be imported via vmkfstools

            • 3. Re: Convert to ESXi and store to disk?
              danf201110141 Novice

              continuum,

               

              What's the best way to use MOA/converter for a cold clone?

               

              I've done this using the conversion wizard:

               

              1.  Select volumes to resize/save -> choose partition to convert

              2.  Destination -> the only option to save to disk is 'Other virtual machine'

               

              'VMware Infrastructure Virtual Machine' requires a user and password for a ESXi host which is unusable as networking fails on the boot CD.

               

              So I choose 'Other' and I'm given the choice of:

              -Workstation 6.x

              -Workstation 5.x

              -Workstation 4.5x

               

              Only then can I save to USB hard drive.

               

              3. Options -> 'Allow virtual disk files to expand'

              4. Network - configure 1 nic

              5. Choose 'Install VMWare tools' and 'Remove all System Restore checkpoints'

               

              This is what gave me a vmdk. However, I've found difficulty in converting it in a reasonable time.

               

              Do you have any suggestions?

               

              Edit: For some reason the MOA boot cd finds no network adapters and it fails if I tell it to try to load them. I used the big driver pack so I'm surprised no nics are detected? I just booted moa on a laptop and it finds the wireless card but none of the onboard nics? When I booted on a server with Intel nics as a test they weren't detected either?

              • 4. Re: Convert to ESXi and store to disk?
                continuum Guru
                vExpertCommunity Warriors

                Hi danf

                personally I only very rarely have driver issues at all with the MOA -LiveCD.

                 

                I use a special tool created by a friend of mine - it is called DriverImportPE and allows to load drivers after boot.
                This is incredibly useful if you do P2V a lot.
                It even has a function to "steal" the drivers of the local installed system ...
                So either you can use the drivers of the p2v candidate itself - or you plugin a USB-stick with a few Gb worth of drivers.
                The folks at driverpacks.net make nice packages which can be used by the DriverimportPE tool

                 

                I also have two versions of Converter on my CD - the 3.0.3 starter edition and the newer one from the VMware Coldclone CD 4.1

                 

                If you are interested in details let me know - if I get a chance to talk shop with another MOA-user I like to take it ;-)

                 

                Ulli

                • 5. Re: Convert to ESXi and store to disk?
                  Luciano Patrao Hot Shot
                  vExpert

                  Hi

                   

                  First in my opinion you should never convert a physical server with an USB external disk attached. If this is the case, removed, and connect to another server and save the converion into this new location.

                   

                  The Converter will treat this disk as an internal disk, and always will crash the conversion.

                  But I always recommend that you try to convert to local disks, then if you want, copy to a USB device.

                   

                  Regarding the destination, you can choose any VMware version. But of course you should choose the last one.

                   

                  Please  take a look at an article that I have written "How to P2V  Windows  Servers". Even the article is around an cold migration, you use  the same  tasks(pre and post P2V tasks) with a online migration using  VMware  vConverter.

                   

                  Check here:

                  http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/A_3639-VMware-vConverter-P2V-for-Windows-Servers.html

                   

                  Included   in the article there is some scripts to perform a pre and post P2V  that  can give a lot help and save lot of time on this P2V.

                   

                  If you have any question, please feel free to ask

                   

                  Hope this can help

                   

                  JailBreak

                  • 6. Re: Convert to ESXi and store to disk?
                    continuum Guru
                    Community WarriorsvExpert

                    First in my opinion you should never convert a physical server with an USB external disk attached. If this is the case, removed, and connect to another server and save the converion into this new location.



                    in my experience using a good Coldclone CD with a large USB-drive is maybe the most failsafe procedure.

                     


                    ... and yes - we have all seen your blog by now.

                    • 7. Re: Convert to ESXi and store to disk?
                      Luciano Patrao Hot Shot
                      vExpert

                      Hi

                       

                      Using cold clone from VMware converter, and having a USB external drive attach to the physical server, the cold clone will treat this external drive as a normal drive in the conversion, then it will crash the conversion. Because cannot convert a USB device into a VM.

                       

                      If you plan to do this, you need to edit disks in the vConverter options, and convert only the right disks.

                       

                      This is what I have learn with my experience with this type of issues.

                       

                      PS: Regarding the article(not a blog), since I have answer some questions regarding P2V I added in the answers. Not planning to advertise, but only help. And the article have 4 month old, is not new

                       

                      JailBreak

                      • 8. Re: Convert to ESXi and store to disk?
                        danf201110141 Novice

                        The slow conversion from Converter was a success, it just took 16 hours for a 50 GB file. I was able to boot the imaged VM from MOA (although WGA kicked in - it noticed I moved it.)

                         

                        So I guess the conversion will be slow and painful for me.

                         

                        MOA -> USB hdd

                        Convert image with converter (in VM on host that will store the VM)

                        Convert old server to ESXi host

                        Download virtual machine from datastore on ESXi host

                        Upload virtual machine to newly converted ESXi host datastore

                        Register newly uploaded virtual machine

                        Success?

                         

                        It's coming together slowly, it's just a little time consuming. Most of the servers I'm migrating are not time sensitive. The only one that will be is the Exchange server, but even then our spam filter will queue incoming messages until it comes online.

                         

                        continuum - the MOA CD I've tried simply states "Unable to install network adapters" when I try to get the network interface going.

                         

                        Maybe I will try to make another MOA-cd. It was my first working MOA-cd, maybe I didn't quite get something right on it.

                         

                        What's the difference between converter 4 and 3.0.3? Are there any significant benefits to using it over 3.0.3? I didn't see it on your site when I went to build my MOA-cd a few days ago. It works pretty well, other than then network problem.

                         

                        Jailbreak: I don't use the experts-exchange site. It's a pay-site that in a lot of cases has worse answers than a lot of free forums out there. That and the questionable tactics of hiding answers unless you use a google-search. Shame on them.

                        • 9. Re: Convert to ESXi and store to disk?
                          Luciano Patrao Hot Shot
                          vExpert

                          Hi

                           

                          @danf to read the article you do not need to login, or register in EE site.

                           

                          Regarding the P2V slow, if you defrag the disks, and also run a check on disks, this will give more speed on the P2V. Also networking can be an issue regarding connections between source and destination.

                           

                          Jail

                          • 10. Re: Convert to ESXi and store to disk?
                            Plamen Master
                            VMware Employees

                            Hi danf,

                             

                            two more tips for speeding up the conversion. Converter uses NFC (a proprietary VMware protocol) for transfering data during P2V to ESX. The implentation comes in two falvors depending on whether you connect to vCenter Server or directly to ESX (or ESXi). The first one is significantly faster. So if you are targetting directly the ESX, try going through vC.

                            The second point is valid if you use Converter 5.0. Security has been enhanced by encrypting the data transfer, which of course is at the detriment of speed. If this is not a concern, you may disable encryption; search for "Switch off the NFC SSL" in the release notes (https://www.vmware.com/support/converter/doc/conv_sa_50_rel_notes.html) for how to do it.

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: Convert to ESXi and store to disk?
                              continuum Guru
                              vExpertCommunity Warriors

                              16 hours for 50 Gb ?
                              that seems to slow for my taste

                              in some rare conditions USB devices connect with USB 1 speed only when you boot MOA.
                              When you notice that file transfers to USB-disks are very slow - reboot and keep the device plugged in.
                              In most cases that helps.

                               

                              The Converter 4.1 comes with the original VMware Coldclone CD and so is not available to every one.
                              If you have that CD you can copy that version to your MOA CD easily. I have instructions in my old forum - or make a date and I do it for you via teamviewer.

                              • 12. Re: Convert to ESXi and store to disk?
                                danf201110141 Novice

                                patanassov: Thanks for the tip! I disabled SSL and the transfer rate from within the virtual machine went from 10% to 100% (of the network adapter.) I haven't tried it on my laptop yet, but I suppose it'll have similar results.

                                 

                                The estimated time before was ~20 hours and now it's ~8 hours. That's a BIG difference.

                                • 13. Re: Convert to ESXi and store to disk?
                                  danf201110141 Novice

                                  continuum: I don't have access to that I don't think...

                                   

                                  I've sped up my speed now, the virtual machine that is running converter is doing much better now. It only has a 10mbit network interface right now but it's maxing it out versus only having 5-6% of it before. I will try on my laptop which has converter as well.

                                   

                                  I guess there's no way to do the convert other than using converter and having it upload it directly to the host, so I'll mark this as solved for now. Disabling the SSL had a profound impact so that should work better for me now.

                                  • 14. Re: Convert to ESXi and store to disk?
                                    danf201110141 Novice

                                    I got my laptop conversion and upload time down to about 4 hours (from 20+!)

                                     

                                    Thanks everyone. That's a little more tolerable.

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