Our company is looking to try out Hyper-V as a server virtualization solution so I am looking for the most efficient way to test everything out safely. My plan is to make a snapshot backup of each of the 10 VMware VMs (these are live production servers) and then use Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter to convert the snapshots into Hyper-V files. Then I would install Hyper-V services on a test machine running Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition and upload the converted VMs into Hyper-V. Being new to networking, does this sound like a solid plan? What potential issues could I run into?

Reading MVMC guides makes it seem like once the VM is converted and uploaded onto the destination server, it shuts itself down on the source. Is there a way to cleanly convert VMware snapshots into Hyper-V files?

Sorry if this post is confusing, please advise.

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    I've never used MVMC but I would doubt it allows for a snapshot to be converted. It's more likely that it would require that no snapshots of a VM are present before conversion. It also looks like it uninstalls VMware tools in the process and turns off the server. So it might be better to clone an existing VMWare VM and then convert the clone to Hyper-V for testing instead. – TheCleaner Nov 24 '14 at 19:26
  • This sounds like a good approach to take. Do you think once I create the clones, MVMC will let me convert them into Hyper-V images directly so I can deploy them onto a test server whenever? – user3361043 Nov 24 '14 at 19:46
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    I'm not sure, never used MVMC. But with a clone VM that is off, you should be able to manipulate it anyway you choose without fear and see if it lets you do what you want. Just make sure MVMC is pointed to the clone and not the live prod VM. – TheCleaner Nov 24 '14 at 19:55
  • @TheCleaner Thanks, the only thing I am wary of now is this note from VMware's article on cloning: "Guest operating systems for virtual machine clones may share computer names and static IP addresses with their original counterparts. Be sure to account for this prior to power-on." What potential implications could this have? Is there a good way to safeguard myself from unexpected issues? – user3361043 Nov 24 '14 at 20:00
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    @joeqwerty MVMC includes the 'mvdc.exe' command line utility that will transform a VMDK into a VHD. The VHD can then be used on A Hyper-V server, Windows 8.1 or whatever. You don't actually need a running server for the translation at all. – Zoredache Nov 24 '14 at 20:30

I haven't used it myself, but I know Starwind has a free VM image converter available on their site. Here's some more info on that: http://www.starwindsoftware.com/converter

One thing worth noting is that it sounds like their converter makes the conversion without affecting the VM's operations, but I don't have any experience with it to be sure of that.


I don't have enough rep to comment, so I'll just put this here.

After using several hypervisors, Hyper V, VMWare, Xen, I'd suggest saving yourself some trouble and not converting at all. If you have the tooling in place you would be much better off just building your environment again.

This way you can also be sure that none of the VMs have the same networking, etc, as the current production environment.

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    +1 for the advice to just rebuild the VM's configuration, converting often is not worth the trouble. I still would use the MVMC toolkit to convert the virtual disks, though - as of version 2.0 it contains MVDC.exe and the ConvertTo-MvmcVirtualHardDisk cmdlet as the PowerShell counterpart, I believe both have been retained in the current 3.0 release. – the-wabbit Nov 24 '14 at 20:50

A couple of things spring to mind here:

When we converted, we used System Centre Virtual Machine Manager (hereafter referred to as SCVMM as life's too short) to take care of this. If you're serious about HyperV and you currently use vCenter to manage a VMware farm (rather than just having a couple of ESXi hosts that don't do much together) then I do strongly suggest it.

Frankly, I still suggest getting hold of an eval copy of SCVMM to help with the transition even if you don't keep it around afterwards.

Essentially this (and most other conversion methods I know of) will carry out a swing migration of the VM Guest running on the 'old' hypervisor and move it to the 'new' one.

This obviously means having both running and once and (if I remember rightly) will include making changes to the config of the 'old' VM, such as removing (or at least disabling) the guest additions, installing new drivers, etc. As such, I strongly suggest that what you do is snapshot the test VMs prior to the move, carry out the move and see how that goes, and if you decide to stick with VMware then restore the snapshots you took prior to the move.

SCVMM will allow you to manage both vcenter and hyperv 'side by side' in the same interface, which will make this task much simpler, as well as making the ongoing management of the hyperv cluster much easier afterwards.

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