Virtualization is a great way in order to extend the efficiency of hardware in one's organization. Nowadays, most companies have virtualized their environment with VMware, Hyper-V, or others. However, it does not matter what platform you use, but your virtual machines have to be back up to save from data loss and downtime.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication can't only back up VMware and Hyper-V VMs, but they also assist you in this matter in running VMware backups on Hyper-V. In this article, we will list out the most achievable methods to convert VMware VMs into Hyper-V VMs.
Part 1: Steps to Prepare a VM for Migration
Before converting a VMware VM to Hyper-V, there are particular steps that need to perform in order to prevent errors and a faster migration process.
- You need to detach the unnecessary virtual devices and remove the virtual CD, virtual floppy drives, COM, or LPT controllers to improve the compatibility. However, these devices can be added later if you are designing a Generation-1 Hyper-V VM. Be aware that there is no support provided by MVMC 3 to the Hyper-V Generation 2 VMs.
- Remove the unnecessary files that consume the space on the virtual hard disks of the VM. Erase the unused programs and components, which will allow you to save time and disk space if your virtual destination disk is dynamically enlarged.
- Delete all VM snapshots because the errors' feasibility during VM conversion can be reduced if your VM does not contain snapshots.
- To give a clean way for the migration of VMware-based virtual machines to Hyper-V, you need to uninstall VMware Tools before online conversion, as they are not required in a Hyper-V VM. The Integration Services utility suite is formed to increase the performance of a VM's guest operating system.
Part 2: Methods to Convert VMware VMs into Hyper-V VMs
This part explains all the best-known methods to convert VMware VMs into Hyper-V VMs.
Method 1. Convert with Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter
Consider an example of converting a VMware-based VM to Hyper-V VM to a Hyper-V VM with the help of Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter.
Here are the input parameters: A VM (version 7) is functioning on ESXi 6.5. It has one virtual disk, without snapshots, and the VMware Tools suite is not installed. Follow the next steps to proceed.
- Foremost, you need to download the current converter from Microsoft's website, which is 3.1. There, you interact with the two files for the download-an executable installer .msi file and a .doc file with the details of the Windows PowerShell cmdlets that will be installed together with the converter.
- For the installation, you need to run the installer. Then accept the license agreement, choose the installation directory, and click the 'Install' option in the setup wizard. On the successful installation, click the 'Start,' then 'Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter' options to run the converter. You can read a short description displayed on the 'Before You Begin' screen. If you don't want to see this display each time when you run the converter, then tick the 'Do not show this page again' checkbox. Go to the 'Next' to proceed.
- Choose the source machine type to be converted. There, choose the 'Virtual Machine Conversion' and click the 'Next' option.
- Here, you will be asked to select a migration destination from the available two options, migration to Hyper-V and migration to Microsoft Azure cloud. As this article is based on the conversion of a VMware VM to a Hyper-V VM, so in this case, choose the 'Migrate to Hyper-V' option then 'Next.'
- In the mentioned example, the Hyper-V server is running on localhost, i.e., both the Hyper-V and converter are put up on the same machine. The Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter can save a converted VM to an off-site end-host over the network. Ensure that your firewalls are aligned accordingly if your Hyper-V and converter are running on distinct machines. Must allow off-the-map access through Windows Management Instrumentation.
- Now, you need to choose the name or IP address of your destination host. Select the credentials of a user with the adequate access privilege to connect to a Hyper-V host and then choose 'Next.'
- To store the converted virtual hard disks, you have to specify a network path. In this step, the VM is being converted and shifted to a Hyper-V server fixed on the same machine that is handling the converter. Hence, the below network path is applied.
It is suggested to avoid the usage of the system disk (typically C:) to store VMs in production environments. Let's suppose the Hyper-V host is a remote machine, and then your chosen path possibly looks like \\10.10.10.12\d$\Virtual\Hyper-V
- Choose the type of virtual disk from the fixed size disk and a dynamically expanding disk. However, a dynamically expanding disk is chosen in this step. Then select the .vhdx format of the virtual hard disk that is used by both Gen1 and Gen2 VMs. Click 'Next' to continue.
- Specify the source details, such as IP address, login, and password for the connection to a vCenter server to the ESXi server.
- Now, select the virtual machine for the conversion of the ESXi server. In the ongoing example, a lightweight Windows VM running on an ESXi host will be converted. Select the VM, then click 'Next'.
- In case VMware Tools are installed on a Linux virtual machine, you need to give the root account's username and password on the source VM to allow the converter to uninstall the VMware Tools. A Windows machine without VMware Tools is used in this example, so these areas are passive. Determine the final state of the source machine and the destination machine. Then click 'Next'.
- In this step, you need to define the workspace, which is a temporary folder used to store non-permanent files during the conversion process. For a preferable performance, this folder should be placed on the machine where the converted is inserted. Enter a path or select the 'Browse' option and choose the folder. Then click 'Next'.
- Check out the configuration details, which you have specified. If the warnings are not risky, then click 'Finish' to begin the process. On the successful completion of the process, click 'Close' to exit.
- By right-clicking the VM, go to the 'Settings' from the context menu and customize the VM settings. The VM is stored in your specified directory. To allow networking for older guest operating systems, take off the network adapter and add a legacy network adapter. Then choose the suitable virtual switch or design a new one for a Virtual Machine connection to the network.
- After configuration, start the VM, set up the guest OS, and wait until the OS validates new virtual devices. Make sure to install Hyper-V Integration Services for preferable user experience and performance. Place the vmguest.iso image in the virtual DVD drive and execute the installer for manual installation of Integration Services. Once installation is concluded, reboot the Virtual Machine and remove the virtual ISO disc.
Method 2. Copying files using WinSCP client
A free application-WinSCP uses FTP, SCP, SFTP, and WebDAV protocols for data transformation. If possible, go for SFTP. You need to follow the below steps to continue the process.
- Download the WinSCP from the official website. Run it and log into your ESXi server by inserting the IP address, port number, and root credentials.
- The WinSCP has an instinctive GUI that offers two main panels to access files and directories. From the left panel, go to the directory which has stored your VMDK files before conversion. From the right panel, navigate to the VM directory on your ESXi datastore. In the ongoing example, that directory's path is /vmfs/volumes/SSD2/Win-test2.
- Choose and copy the two needed virtual disk vmdk and -flat.vmdk to your local directory. Now simply drag and drop the files.
The above article has covered the VMware VMs to Hyper-V format conversion. For this purpose, we have explained one of the most affordable tools, which is the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter. Read through the entire article to cope up with the issues that occurred during the VM conversion.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which platforms are supported by VMware and Hyper-V?
Most of the operating systems, including Linux, Unix, Windows, and macOS, are supported by VMware. However, Hyper-V is bounded to Windows and a few more, including FreeBSD and Linux.
2. How VMware and Hyper-V manage security?
VMware security is managed via data encryption at rest and in motion, also in the course of workload migration. Whereas Hyper-V security is managed by Active Directory. It has other security components too that are far broader than VMware's.
3. What is the difference between the snapshot technology of VMware and Hyper-V?
It is a technology that enables you to record a point-in-time copy of a VM and all the contained data. The term 'Snapshots' is used in VMware, whereas it is called 'Checkpoints' in Hyper-V. In VMware, it has 32 snapshots per VM, but Hyper-V has 64 snapshots per VM. The running snapshots in production are available in Hyper-V and not in VMware.