I have seen some backup software advertise the ability to restore an image of a physical machine to completely different hardware. Is this really possible? Also, is this easily done with sysprep?
Since this is Serverfault I'll assume you are referring to a server.
And...since you are mentioning sysprep, I'm guessing you are looking for a Windows answer.
Yes, it is possible, it depends on the backup software used, and other info you are leaving out.
Backup Exec has their "Restore Anywhere Technology" for example, but others will do it too.
Acronis has their "Universal Restore" option for example.