VMware Converter 4 Standalone version

First software which I’m going to describe will be VMware Converter 4 standalone version.

Most of the administrators involved in P2V migrations knows VMware freeware tool called VMware Converter 4. Because it’s for free is very popular tool used during virtualization projects, I saw projects where VMware Converter was used as a main migration P2V tool but only when P2V was performed within local DataCenter.

If we get into account that it’s a freeware tool list of supported guest operating systems is very impressive, beginning on Windows NT 4 Server SP6 ending in Windows 2008 servers (Win2k8 R2 is not supported) and support for various Linux systems. Full list of supported systems can be found here . Supported destination virtualization platform list is limited to VMware products which is understandable but consists all VMware virtualization products starting from SOHO (VMware workstation, VMware player) ending on the newest enterprise solution Virtual Infrastructure 3 and vSphere4 . Full list of supported platforms can be found here.
If you have to make P2V of some servers, which are not critical for business (test servers, preproduction servers, development servers, servers which you can get outage any time you want for finishing migration) located in this same DC as your VMware environment than – YES – VMware Converter 4 is the tool which are you looking for.

Pro:

  • freeware
  • wide scope of supported systems
  • simple installation
  • simple and intuitive graphical interface
  • good support provided by developer

Contra:

  • missing bandwidth limit option
  • support only for VMware virtualization platform
  • missing possibility to resume failed migration job

Tips & Tricks

  1. Check network card speed settings on source server, has to be set 100Mbit/s or 1Gbit/s – depends what type of NIC or speed you have set on your physical switch. If you have NIC’s set in AUTO mode data transfer can decrease about 30% or you would not be able to finish migration – migration can fail after approximately 10%-15% with “Network Communication Error” or “Communication Error”
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