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Cloud Certification – Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0

Jason Zandri

While working towards your cloud certifications (whichever those may be – as there are many cloud certifications to consider) it is important to get a good understanding of the tools and utilities that are available and their functionality. This is just as important for the exam itself and for your own understanding. Many times, you’ll be faced with a conversation or a need to further research a solution and as the saying goes “you can’t know what you don’t know.”

No one expects anyone to know it all and be an expert on everything, however, you will be expected to “know of it” the more you are considered a specialist or a subject matter expert on a topic.

With that, I am going to give a brief overview of the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter version 3.0 tool.

The Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) can be used to convert virtual machines and disks from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts and Windows Azure. It can also be used to convert physical machines and disks to Hyper-V hosts.

MVMC has been designed to leverage Windows PowerShell, which allows for one off and batch scripting for casual use (through the PowerShell CLI) as well as full integration with automation workflows, such as those found within Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 R2.

At the time of the release of this blog post, the supported operating systems for use of the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) were:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2

NOTE: Windows Server 2016 Essentials Technical Preview 5 was available at the time of this writing, but compatibility use and testing of the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) was not yet complete.

There are additional software prerequisites before the tool can be installed.

If you are running Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, you will need to make sure that Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 and .NET Framework 4 are available.

If you are running Windows Server 2012, you will need to make sure that Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 is available.

The Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) Compact Server and Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 (minimum update version) are also part of the requirements.

If all the prerequisites are met, you can download the MSI for the install (you will need administrator elevated access to perform the install).

 

Feature set of the MVMC version 3.0

Version 3.0 of the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter supports the following features:

  • Online conversion of physical machines to virtual hard disks (VHDs) that can be uploaded to Hyper-V hosts.
  • Converts and deploys virtual machines from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts on any of the following operating systems:
    • Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Windows Server 2012
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1
  • Converts VMware virtual machines, virtual disks, and configurations for memory, virtual processor, and other virtual computing resources from the source to Hyper-V.
  • Adds virtual network adapters to the converted virtual machine on Hyper-V
  • Can convert virtual machines from VMware vSphere 5.5, VMware vSphere 5.1, and VMware vSphere 4.1 to Hyper-V
  • Offers a wizard-driven GUI for the virtual machine conversions
  • Uninstalls VMware Tools before online conversion (online only) to provide a clean way to migrate VMware-based virtual machines to Hyper-V
  • Supports conversion and provisioning of Linux-based guest operating systems from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts. (Not applicable to physical machine conversions.)
  • Provides native Windows PowerShell capability that enables scripting and integration into IT automation workflows
  • Supports conversion of offline virtual machines. (Not applicable to physical machine conversions.)
  • Supports the new virtual hard disk format (VHDX) when converting and provisioning in Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012. (Not applicable to physical machine conversions.)
  • Supports Windows Server 2008 through Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Vista through Windows 8.1 as guest operating systems that you can select for conversion, along with a number of Linux distributions.
  • Includes Windows PowerShell capability for offline conversions of VMware-based virtual hard disks (VMDK) to a Hyper-V–based virtual hard disk file format (.vhd file).
  • Includes Windows PowerShell capability for online conversions of physical machines to VHD and provisioning in Hyper-V hosts

 

VMware host sources of:

  • VMware vSphere 5.5 (VMware ESXi 5.5)
  • VMware vSphere 5.1 (VMware ESXi 5.1)
  • VMware vSphere 4.1 (VMware ESXi/ESX 4.1)
  • VMware vCenter Server 5.5
  • VMware vCenter Server 5.1
  • VMware vCenter Server 4.1

can be sent to Hyper-V enabled destination host servers

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard with Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter with Service Pack 1 (SP1)


Microsoft guest operating systems that can be converted from VMware virtual machines to Hyper-V include:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard (x86/x64)
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (x86/x64)
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter (x86/x64)
  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise (x86/x64)
  • Windows 8.1 Pro (x86/x64)
  • Windows 8 Enterprise (x86/x64)
  • Windows 8 Pro (x86/x64)
  • Windows 7 Enterprise (x86/x64)
  • Windows 7 Professional (x86/x64)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (x86/x64)
  • Windows Vista Enterprise x86/x64

 

The following is a list of guest operating systems that are supported for conversion to Microsoft Azure:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard (x86/x64)
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (x86/x64)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Web x64
  • Ubuntu 12.04 (x86/x64)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (x86/x64)
  • CentOS 6 (x86/x64)
  • CentOS 5 (x86/x64)
  • Debian GNU/Linux 7 (x86/x64)
  • Oracle Linux 6 (x86/x64)
  • Oracle Linux 5 (x86/x64)

 

The final list is of physical guests (operating systems) that can be virtualized to Hyper-V, which are as follows:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard (x86/x64)
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (x86/x64)
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter (x86/x64)
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Enterprise (x86/x64)
  • Windows 7 Professional (x86/x64)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (x86/x64)
  • Windows Vista Enterprise (x86/x64)

While these lists are readily available online from different sources (and sometimes changing, such as once Server 2016 releases as one example) it’s always good to be at least familiar with them generally.

Closing the loop on the certification piece, while it’s not a requirement to memorize these lists in totality, (or generally any lists, regardless of the certification subject matter), from time to know you will need to know what cannot work, so it’s always a good practice to have a good base understanding of toolset features and limitations.

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