The Ins and Outs of the VMware vCenter Converter [With Demos]

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VMware vCenter Converter simplifies migration of virtual machines between data centers, private clouds and datacenters. VMware is a leading provider of integrated cloud software solutions that enable IT departments to manage their infrastructure efficiently with end-to-end visibility and control. The key benefits are reducing management costs by up to 80%.

The “vmware vcenter converter standalone download” is a tool that allows users to convert their virtual machines from VMware to Hyper-V. The demo will show how the software works and what its features are.

The Ins and Outs of the VMware vCenter Converter [With Demos]

It’s time to virtualize your physical servers if you have too many of them using too much power and taking up too much data center space. Alternatively, you may need the conversion of a Hyper-V virtual machine (VM) to VMware. The VMware Converter program, often known as VMware vCenter Converter, is an excellent method to do this.

The VMware Center Converter transforms physical computers running Windows and Linux operating systems into virtual machines running VMware Workstation, VMware Player, or VMware vSphere.

Installing VMware vCenter Converter, connecting to real machines, and converting virtual machines from Hyper-V to VMware are all covered in this tutorial. You’ll have enough knowledge by the Conclusion of the article to start large-scale P2V operations!

Kick it!

According to VMware’s Product Lifecycle Matrix (vmware.com), general support for vCenter Converter Standalone 6.2 ended on December 14, 2019.

Prerequisites

You’ll need the following items to follow along with this tutorial:

  • To install the VMware converter, you’ll need a Windows machine. Where appropriate, specific prerequisites will be included in each area.
  • On the machine(s) you’ll be converting, a user account with admin capabilities.
  • VMware ESXi – (Optional) You’ll want a location to store your freshly converted equipment. VMware ESXi v7.0 will be used in this lesson.

VMware Converter is available for download and installation.

You must first download and install vCenter Converter Standalone before you can begin converting real PCs into virtual machines. To do so, follow these steps:

1. Go to the VMware Customer Connect All Products page in your chosen web browser.

If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to create one.

2. To access to the download page, search for “Standalone VMware vCenter Converter” and click on Download Product.

3. Select the version from the Product Downloads section. The most recent version is v6.2.0 as of this writing.

vCenter Converter is being downloaded.vCenter Converter is being downloaded.

4. To begin the download, click the Download Now option.

vCenter Converter is being downloaded.vCenter Converter is being downloaded.

5. Locate and start the installer that you just downloaded, accepting all defaults and the licensing agreement.

6. On the Setup Type page, choose Local Installation as the default and then click Next.

A client-server approach is also supported by the VMware Converter. When you choose Client-Server installation (advanced), a port configuration is added. The Agent Service Port (9089), HTTPS (443), and HTTP (80) may all be configured or left at their default defaults.

You may launch vCenter Converter in client-server mode and connect to another machine that has the client-server mode installed and the VMware converter services functioning. Concurrent conversions may be performed on a higher-powered server with more bandwidth, a faster CPU, and more memory.

Setup of Standalone VMware vCenter Converter 5/9Setup of Standalone VMware vCenter Converter 5/9

7. Follow the remainder of the instructions until they’re finished, then click the Finish button. The program Standalone VMware vCenter Converter launches.

Setup of Standalone VMware vCenter Converter 9/9Setup of Standalone VMware vCenter Converter 9/9

You’ll now be in the VMware Center Converter Standalone utility’s main screen, ready to start!

Standalone VMware vCenter ConverterStandalone VMware vCenter Converter

Changing the Operating System on a Windows or Linux Computer (Physical or Hyper-V)

If you have an old Windows or Linux computer with deteriorating hardware that you can’t update the operating system (OS) for any reason, it’s time to virtualize it.

Now is the moment to use VMware vCenter Converter to virtualize that old Windows or Linux workstation!

Prerequisites for Windows Host

Before you go all out and attempt to virtualize that old Windows PC, make sure it fits a few requirements.

1. A Windows machine with an operating system that is supported.

2. The Windows firewall is deactivated if it is enabled. However, disabling the firewall is just temporary, and you may re-enable it when the conversion is complete.

How to Turn Off or Disable the Windows Firewall (All the Ways)

3. File-sharing is blocked in its most basic form.

4. On the Windows PC being converted, make sure User Account Control (UAC) is switched off or that you’re using a local Administrator account.

5. The destination where the newly converted machine will be moved has sufficient resources to handle the VM. Memory and disk space from the physical host will be mirrored to your target VM host.

Prerequisites for Linux Host

If you’re converting a Linux host to Windows, make sure you have a few things set up first.

Setting up SSH in Linux (A Windows Guy in a Linux World)

  • You can execute commands without a password if you have access to the root account or an account with sudo capabilities.
  • The GRUB boot loader must be installed. The LILO protocol is not supported.

Prerequisites for Hyper-V Virtual Machines

Existing VMware virtual machines on older infrastructure or VMware Workstation may also be converted using vCenter Converter.

Getting the Source System Ready

If you’ve satisfied all of the requirements for converting a computer and want to convert a physical host, it’s time to get down to business and start the conversion. First and foremost, the agent must be deployed on the remote host. The agent is the piece of software that will interact with the Converter tool to complete the conversion.

Virtual Machines (VMs) in Hyper-V do not need the installation of a converter agent.

1. In the top-left area of the window, click the Convert Machine button.

VMware vCenter Converter - Convert machine optionConvert machine option in VMware vCenter Converter

2. The PC that will be converted in the lesson is not the same one that has the VMware Converter program installed and running.

Windows Hosts (Physical)

Select the Powered On option, then the Remote Windows machine option.

To accomplish a conversion, all Windows hosts must be turned on, unless they are Hyper-V guest VMs. To have access to those choices, choose the Powered off radio button.

In the IP address or name box, enter the IP address or fully-qualified domain name of the remote Windows host. Then, on the remote Windows host, give the local administrative account’s User name and Password. A Local Administrator account is used in this tutorial.

Windows computers that are being convertedWindows computers that are being converted

Linux Hosts on Physical Machines

Select Remote Linux machine as the source type, then enter the IP address or FQDN of the remote Linux host, as well as the username to log in.

If you want to use SSH without a password, you’ll need a private key file that matches the public key file on the distant Linux computer.

Linux machine conversionLinux machine conversion

To go on to the next screen, click Next.

You may be asked to enter a Remote Host Thumbprint. If this is the case, choose Yes to keep connecting to the host. If the machine you’re connecting from has never connected to the remote host before, this will happen.

3. To begin the agent installation, choose Yes to accept the default setting Automatically remove the files after import succeeds. It just takes a few minutes to complete this procedure.

The conversion agent is no longer required after the new VM has been established.

vCenter Converter agent deploymentvCenter Converter agent deployment

Only Virtual Machines (VMs) in Hyper-V

Select the Powered Off option on the Source System screen. This will alter the drop-down possibilities to include a Hyper-V Server option. Provide the Hyper-V host’s IP address or FQDN, as well as the username, to authenticate to the host.

Hyper-V Virtual Machine ConversionHyper-V Virtual Machine Conversion

You’ll see a list of possible VM guests after you’ve connected to the Hyper-V server. Click Next after selecting the VM you wish to convert. You are converting the VM guest Windows Server in the example below.

On Hyper-V, you can only convert powered-off VMs.

Offline Hyper-V Virtual Machines to Online Hyper-V Virtual MachinesOffline Hyper-V Virtual Machines to Online Hyper-V Virtual Machines

Other Options and the VM’s Destination Host Configuration

It’s time to make some changes to the remote host’s settings.

1. In the Selection destination type menu, choose VMware Infrastructure virtual machine since the tutorial will be hosting the new VM on VMware ESXi.

In the drop-down menu, there are two more selections. Virtual Machines created using VMware Workstation or other VMware Virtual Machines. These are handy for building a lab machine, but they are seldom utilized in actual P2V operations.

You must next supply the host information of your ESXi host or vCenter server cluster when selecting VMware Infrastructure virtual machine. In the Server dropdown, provide the IP address or FQDN of the VMware hypervisor host, as well as a user with access to connect into the VMware Infrastructure.

The user account used to login should have sufficient permissions to execute administrative tasks on an ESXi host or vSphere cluster.

When you’re ready, click Next.

Choosing a Vacation SpotChoosing a Vacation Spot

2. A Converter Security Warning box may now appear in response to certain Certificate Warnings. Ignore is selected. Because the certificate isn’t trusted, you’ll see this notice.

After that, you should make a list of all VM guests on the host.

Warning about SSL certificatesWarning about SSL certificates

3. Give your virtual machine a name and then click Next.

Virtual Machine as a final destinationVirtual Machine as a final destination

4. Now choose the Datastore and Virtual Machine version you want for the VM. Make sure you choose a datastore with a lot of free space. It’s not a good idea to convert a virtual machine that can’t be saved.

Also, always give the virtual machine version that corresponds to the available version of VMware Infrastructure. Version 17 is compatible with ESXi 7.0, but not with ESXi 6.0, for example.

When you’re finished, click Next.

Choosing a travel destinationChoosing a travel destination

5. Make a few changes to the Options panel.

Skip to the Adjusting Conversion Choices section if you want a discussion of several of the options on the Options page.

Windows Hosts (Physical)

Select the check box for Install VMware Tools on the Virtual Machine as a final destination under Post-conversion processing.

VMware Tools is a package of services that improves a VMware virtual machine’s management. This is what you want on your VM once it’s been transformed.

Options for conversion Options for conversion

Virtual Machines (VMs) in Hyper-V

No extra configuration is necessary for Virtual Machines (VMs) in Hyper-V on the Options screen.

Options for Hyper-VOptions for Hyper-V

Finally, on the Summary screen, examine the configuration choices and click Finish to start the conversion process if you’re pleased.

Job overview prior to conversion Job overview prior to conversion

After selecting Finish, you’ll be returned to the main vCenter Converter panel, where you’ll notice the conversion is now running and the projected conversion time.

Job Status ConversionJob Status Conversion

7. Start the newly converted virtual machine after the Status has changed to Completed. The screenshot below depicts ESXi, which is used in the lesson.

KINDLE-MFG1 is a freshly converted virtual machine.KINDLE-MFG1 is a freshly converted virtual machine.

8. Log in to the freshly created VM and double-check that all networking, services, and applications are functional.

9. Finally, turn off the physical host for good.

That concludes our discussion. You’ve turned a real PC into a VMware virtual machine!

Adjusting Options for conversion

You came across an Options screen when converting a physical or Hyper-V host in the previous section. This screen has a lot of information on it that the lesson didn’t cover.

You don’t need to worry about these settings if you’re learning how to convert a VM using the VMware converter. When converting a host in production, however, the narrative changes.

Thin-Provisioned Disks: A Definition (Data to Copy)

Many choices for how the converter will read source storage and provide the destination storage are available in the Data to Copy section.

When generating disks for converted VMs, VMware vCenter Converter produces thick-provisioned disks by default. Virtual disks with thick provisioning reserve as much space on the datastore as they are allotted. A thin-provisioned virtual disk, on the other hand, does not make any datastore reservations.

How do you decide between the two? By altering the size choices for the Destination.

In the Data to Copy area, click the Advanced option.

Advanced Options for conversion - DisksAdvanced Options for conversion – Disks

Take note of the columns labeled “used space” and “total space,” as seen below. The amount of space utilized is substantially less than the amount of space given physically.

Advanced Options for conversion - DisksAdvanced Options for conversion – Disks

Select the Destination layout tab from the drop-down menu. This page offers details about each volume created by the VMware converter. It defaults to a Thick-provisioned type, as seen below.

After you change the Type/cluster size option to Thin, the converted VM will take up less disk space when it’s entirely converted.

Advanced Options for conversion - DisksAdvanced Options for conversion – Disks

Memory and vCPU settings (Devices)

The ability to dynamically raise or reduce RAM and CPU allotment is one of the benefits of virtualization. This conserves system resources that may be allocated to computers that need greater resources in the near future.

On the Devices page, you’ll notice the RAM tab, which enables you to set the amount of memory the converted VM will have.

Advanced Configuration Options - MemoryMemory Advanced Configuration Options

You may then alter the amount of virtual sockets and cores, as well as the virtualized disk controller, by going to the Other tab.

Advanced Configuration Options - MemoryMemory Advanced Configuration Options

Creating a virtual network interface card (vNIC) (Networks)

Consider the case of converting a virtual machine that will need a second vNIC for load balancing. Physical NICs are distributed across all of your virtual guests as virtual switches and virtual networks on your virtual host.

The VMware Converter will only produce one virtual NIC by default. You may assign those extra vNICs throughout the conversion procedure to meet this eventuality.

You may determine the amount of vNICs you want to assign to the VM on the Networks screen, as well as which network to connect them to, the kind of controller to use, and whether or not to connect them when the VM is switched on.

Advanced Configuration Options - NetworkingNetworking Advanced Configuration Options

Post-Options for conversion (Advanced Options)

You’ll find a few other chores to do after the conversion is complete if you look under the Advanced Options area.

You may compel the Converter to turn on or off the converted machine instantly, install the newest VMware Tools to boost the virtual machine’s capabilities, and change various guest OS options under Advanced Options.

Advanced Configuration Options - NetworkingNetworking Advanced Configuration Options

When these variables are altered during conversion, they may have unforeseen implications. Your MAC addresses will change and need to be updated if you need to make any firewall rule updates, for example. Any DHCP reservations linked to MAC addresses are subject to the same regulation.

Windows Guest OS Preferences are a lot of fun.

If you’re converting a physical Windows host, there are a few features that are unique to Windows that you may find useful.

  • Customizing the Destination VM’s Identity
  • Getting Started with Windows Licensing
  • Setting the Destination VM’s Time Zone
  • Workgroup or Domain Details Assigning
  • Stop the source machine’s services from running.

When converting Windows machines, one option in particular, Synchronize the Destination Machine with Changes Made to the Source Machine, is a useful tool. This option allows the VMware Converter to continuously monitor a physical host or source virtual machine and sync changes to the converted virtual machine.

The VM that assists you (Helper VM network)

A tiny VM known as a helper VM is produced momentarily on your VM destination in order for the VMware vCenter Converter to complete a flawless conversion. The data that the Converter gathers throughout the conversion process is processed by this auxiliary VM.

The helper VM requires network connectivity to the source computer in order for the Convert to clone files from the source system. By default, the assistance VM obtains an IP address through DHCP. If your network does not support DHCP, you will need to provide a static IP address to the assistance VM.

You’ll see numerous radio options under the Helper VM network section that enable you to statically set the helper VM’s IP address and DNS servers.

Advanced Configuration Options - NetworkingNetworking Advanced Configuration Options

You may add DNS suffixes for name resolution by clicking on the DNS table.

Advanced Configuration Options - NetworkingNetworking Advanced Configuration Options

Conclusion

In this guide, you’ve learned how to install, configure, and convert physical hosts and Virtual Machines (VMs) in Hyper-V using VMware vCenter Converter.

Get out there, discover those outdated equipment, and virtualize them with your newfound knowledge!

The “vmware converter free” is a tool that allows users to convert their physical machines into virtual machines. With the help of this tool, one can easily create and manage virtual machines. The demo will show how to use the VMware vCenter Converter.

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