P2V Prerequisites in VMM

 

Updated: May 13, 2016

Applies To: System Center 2012 SP1 - Virtual Machine Manager, System Center 2012 - Virtual Machine Manager

Check the version of VMM that you have. You can perform physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversions with VMM in System Center 2012 and System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

You can also use the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) for P2V conversions. For more information, see Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0.

System_CAPS_ICON_important.jpg Important

As of System Center 2012 R2, you can no longer perform P2V conversions in VMM. Instead, use MVMC. For more information, see Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0.

The physical computer to be converted must meet the following requirements:

  • Must have at least 512 MB of RAM.

  • Cannot have any volumes larger than 2040 GB.

  • Must have an Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) BIOS. Vista WinPE will not install on a non-ACPI BIOS.

  • Must be accessible by VMM and by the virtual machine host.

  • Cannot be in a perimeter network.

    System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note

    A perimeter network, which is also known as a screened subnet, is a collection of devices and subnets that are placed between an intranet and the Internet to help protect the intranet from unauthorized Internet users. The source computer for a physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversion can be in any other network topology in which the VMM management server can connect to the source computer to temporarily install an agent and can make Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) calls to the source computer.

  • The source computer should not have encrypted volumes.

    System_CAPS_ICON_warning.jpg Warning

    If the source computer has encrypted volumes, an offline P2V conversion may render the computer unbootable.

The following restrictions apply to P2V operating system support:

  • VMM does not support P2V conversion for computers with Itanium architecture–based operating systems.

  • VMM does not support P2V on source computers that are running Windows NT Server 4.0.

  • VMM does not support converting a physical computer running Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) to a virtual machine that is managed by Hyper-V. Hyper-V does not support Integration Components on computers running Windows Server 2003 with SP1. As a result, there is no mouse control when you use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to connect to the virtual machine. To avoid this issue, update the operating system to Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2 (SP2) before you convert the physical computer.

System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note

Some products listed are no longer supported or are in Extended support. After extended support ends, integration services for these operating systems will not be updated and support will not be available for any issues arising from using these operating systems in virtual machines. For more information about the end of support, see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Index.

The following table lists the supported operating systems for P2V conversion:

Operating SystemSupported
Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3 (SP3)Yes in System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager

No in VMM in System Center 2012 SP1
Windows XP 64-Bit Edition SP3Yes in System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager

No in VMM in System Center 2012 SP1
Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition (32-bit x86)Yes (Requires SP2 or later.)
Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)Yes (Requires SP2 or later.)
Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)Yes (Requires SP2 or later.)
Windows Server 2003 x64 Standard EditionYes (Requires SP2 or later.)
Windows Server 2003 Enterprise x64 EditionYes (Requires SP2 or later.)
Windows Server 2003 Datacenter x64 EditionYes (Requires SP2 or later.)
Windows Server 2003 Web EditionYes
Windows Small Business Server 2003Yes
Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1)Yes
64-bit edition of Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1)Yes
Windows Server 2008 Standard 32-BitYes
Windows Server 2008 Enterprise 32-BitYes
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter 32-BitYes
64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008 StandardYes
64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008 EnterpriseYes
64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008 DatacenterYes
Windows Web Server 2008Yes
Windows 7Yes
64-bit edition of Windows 7Yes
64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008 R2 StandardYes
64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008 R2 EnterpriseYes
64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008 R2 DatacenterYes
Windows Web Server 2008 R2Yes
64-bit edition of Windows 8Yes
64-bit edition of Windows Server 2012 StandardYes
64-bit edition of Windows Server 2012 EnterpriseYes
64-bit edition of Windows Server 2012 DatacenterYes
Windows Web Server 2012Yes

In VMM, a host is a physical computer on which you can deploy one or more virtual machines. To run P2V conversion, you need a host on which to place the image of the source computer.

Requirements for the host server include the following:

  • The destination host during a P2V conversion must be running a supported operating system. For a list of supported operating systems, see the followings:

  • The destination host cannot be in a perimeter network.

  • As in any virtual machine creation or migration, the destination host for a P2V conversion must have sufficient memory for the virtual machine in addition to memory that is reserved for the host operating system. By default, the amount of memory that is reserved for the host operating system is 256 MB in System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager. If the host does not have enough memory, you will receive a placement error in the Convert Physical Server (P2V) Wizard.

VMM can do an online conversion or an offline conversion.

System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note

With both online and offline P2V conversion, VMM temporarily installs an agent on the physical source computer to be converted.

The following table lists some of the differences between the online and offline P2V conversions.

CategoryOnline P2V ConversionOffline P2V Conversion
Source computer availabilityThe source computer continues to perform normal operations during the conversion.The source computer is taken offline during the conversion.
ProcessVMM creates a copy of local NTFS volumes and data of VSS-aware applications. VMM leverages the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to ensure that data is backed up consistently while the server continues to service user requests. VMM uses this read-only snapshot to create a VHD.The source computer restarts into the Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE), and then VMM clones the volume to a VHD. Finally, VMM restarts the source computer into the original operating system.
CompatibilityOnline P2V conversion is the default for the operating systems on most physical computers.Offline P2V conversion is the only method to reliably migrate FAT volumes, and the recommended method for converting domain controllers.
AdvantagesSource computer is available throughout the conversion.Offline P2V conversion can be the most reliable way to ensure data consistency and is the only option in certain situations (see above).

How to Convert Physical Computers to Virtual Machines by Using VMM

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