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Frequently Asked Questions: P2V and V2V Conversions in VMM

Updated: January 7, 2010

Applies To: Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1

This topic provides answers to frequently asked questions about physical to virtual machine conversions (P2V conversion) and virtual to virtual conversions (V2V conversions) performed in VMM 2008. If you do not see the answer to your questions here, you can post questions on the System Center Virtual Machine Manager forums (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=85919).

This section answers common questions about physical to virtual machine conversions in VMM 2008, known as P2V conversions.

What is the difference between an online P2V conversion and an offline P2V conversion?

An online P2V conversion creates a consistent point-in-time copy of local NTFS volumes and data of Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)–aware applications. P2V essentially plays the role of VSS backup requester. Online P2V provides a method for cloning a source machine with minimal interruption of service on the source machine. The computer continues to perform the tasks that it is expected to perform during normal operations.

During an offline P2V conversion, the computer is rebooted into a different operating system, Vista WinPE, to take a consistent image of the source machine. Offline P2V is a more appropriate method for migrating a physical computer to a virtual source machine to a virtualized environment when you want to avoid any potential data loss or you need to merge any changes that occur on the source machine during the conversion with the data on the new virtual machine.

Offline P2V is the default mode for converting source machines with the Windows Server 2000 operating system. It is the only method to reliably convert an Active Directory domain controller or a source machine that contains FAT volumes.

Can I convert a computer that is not in an Active Directory domain?

Yes, with VMM 2008, you can convert source computers in a workgroup. On the source computer, you must provide credentials of a local Administrator account. You also must verify that no firewalls or IPsec policies prevent communication between the source computer and VMM on the management channel (on WMI or the SMB protocol) or between the source computer and the destination host on the data channel (TCP port 443 by default).

Can I perform a P2V conversion on an Active Directory domain controller?

Yes. You can perform an offline P2V conversion on a domain controller. Performing the conversion offline helps avoid potential Active Directory USN rollback issues during the process. For more information about offline P2V conversions, see P2V: Converting Physical Computers to Virtual Machines in VMM.

Can I run more than one P2V process simultaneously on the same VMM server?

Yes. VMM does not limit the number of P2V processes that can be run simultaneously by using the Convert Physical Server Wizard or the New-P2V cmdlet.

What protocols are used to communicate between computers during a P2V conversion?

During a P2V conversion, the participating computers communicate over the following protocols:

  • Destination host and the source computer: HTTPs

  • VMM server and the P2V agent on the source computer: WMI

  • VMM server and the destination host: WS-Management (formerly known as Windows Remote Management or WinRM)

How can I tell the status of a P2V conversion?

You can view the P2V status by clicking the Jobs tab at the bottom left of the Administrator Console, clicking the job at the top, and then viewing the results of the running job on the lower right.

Does VMM convert VMware virtual machines?

Yes. P2V can convert physical computers or virtual machines presented as physical entities. You can specify the machine name of a running VMWare virtual machine and run P2V. You can also run a virtual machine to virtual machine (V2V) conversion on a shut down VMware virtual machine. Before you convert a VMware virtual machine to Hyper-V, regardless of the method that you use, you must uninstall VMware Tools on the guest operating system of the virtual machine. (You must also remove VMware Tools before you convert a VMware virtual machine to a Virtual Server virtual machine.) For more information, see V2V: Converting a Virtual Machine to a VMM Virtual Machine.

Can I uninstall updates within a virtual machine after a P2V conversion?

No, you should not uninstall updates within the virtual machine after a P2V operation. Treat virtual machines like physical computers and keep them up-to-date with the latest updates.

Can I perform P2V conversions on one or all of the physical nodes of an existing Microsoft cluster?

You cannot perform a P2V conversion to convert a failover cluster to a guest cluster. VMM does not recognize a failover cluster as a P2V source if you specify a cluster name or node name for a P2V conversion. To create a guest cluster, you can perform a P2V conversion on each individual cluster node by using VMM and then manually configure the failover cluster of the resultant virtual machines by using cluster management tools. For more information about offline P2V conversions, see P2V: Converting Physical Computers to Virtual Machines in VMM.

Does VMM automatically install VM Additions or Hyper-V Integration Components during the P2V process?

Yes.

During the P2V process, is data transferred directly from the source computer to the destination host or does it go through the VMM computer?

Data is transferred directly between the source computer and the destination host over HTTPs. Machine configuration and P2V parameters are exchanged between the source computer and VMM over WMI.

Does VMM resize disks during P2V conversions?

If a volume is in NTFS format and you select the default Dynamic setting for the disk, the P2V process only copies data from the volume. The physical size of the resulting virtual hard disk is very close to the space used on the original volume.

Does VMM P2V support third-party boot loaders?

Not at this time.

How can I perform an offline P2V in an environment where there is no DHCP server or where NETBIOS communication is not enabled?

You can choose the Static IP configuration option in the Convert Physical Server Wizard to provide a static IP address. VMM will customize the WinPE image before deploying it to the source computer. When the source computer is restarted, VMM will configure the IP stack on WinPE according to the user's preferences instead of using DHCP to acquire the IP address.

If there is a port conflict, is it possible to change a P2V port from the default setting of TCP 443?

Yes. To change the P2V port, perform the following tasks:

  1. Create the following registry key: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Server\Settings\P2VBITSTcpPort of the type DWORD.

  2. Enter the number of the port that you want to use on the VMM server. The port number must be smaller than 32768.

  3. Restart the VMM service, and then try again.

This section provides answers to common questions about virtual-to-virtual conversions, known as V2V conversions.

Does VMM automatically install VM Additions or Hyper-V Integration Components during the V2V process?

Yes.

Can VMM perform a V2V conversion on a VMware virtual machine that has checkpoints (has differencing disks)?

No. See the source computer requirements in the “Source Virtual Machines” section, earlier in this topic.

Is it possible to perform a V2V conversion on a virtual machine with a Linux operating system?

Yes. VMM can convert a VMware VMDK to a VHD and the VMware virtual machine configuration (VMX) to VMC for Virtual Server or XML for Hyper-V. However, if the operating system is not in the list of supported operating systems, VMM will not have information to perform the fix-up stage, including the installation of the drivers compatible with the hardware presented by the virtualization platform on the destination host.

Can VMM perform a V2V conversion on a VMware virtual machine that has its data on an RDM (raw device mapping) disk?

No. See the source computer requirements in the “Source Virtual Machines” section, earlier in this topic.

This section provides answers to common questions about virtual-to-physical conversions, known as V2P conversions.

Can VMM 2008 perform virtual to physical conversions?

No. virtual to physical conversions (V2P) are not supported in VMM 2008.

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