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Last updated: May 28, 2024

How to Convert Hyper-V to VMware VM

In today's rapidly evolving IT landscape, virtualization has become a cornerstone for businesses seeking to optimize their infrastructure and enhance operational efficiency. Hyper-V and VMware are two of the most prominent virtualization platforms, each offering unique features and benefits. However, there may come a time when an organization needs to migrate virtual machines (VMs) from Hyper-V to VMware. Whether it's due to strategic shifts, performance considerations, or compatibility requirements, understanding how to seamlessly convert Hyper-V VMs to VMware is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of converting Hyper-V to VMware VMs, ensuring minimal downtime and data integrity throughout the migration. Whether you are an IT professional, a system administrator, or a tech enthusiast, this article will equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to execute a successful migration.

Why convert VM between Hyper-V and VMware

Converting virtual machines (VMs) between Hyper-V and VMware can be driven by several compelling reasons:

  • Compatibility and Standardization: Organizations may need to standardize their virtualization platform to simplify management, reduce compatibility issues, and streamline operations. If a company predominantly uses VMware but has some VMs running on Hyper-V, converting them to VMware ensures a uniform environment.
  • Performance Optimization: Different virtualization platforms offer various performance benefits depending on the workload and use case. Converting VMs to the platform that provides better performance for specific applications can lead to improved efficiency and user experience.
  • Feature Requirements: VMware and Hyper-V offer distinct features and capabilities. An organization might decide to migrate VMs to take advantage of specific features that are only available or better supported on one platform.
  • Cost Considerations: Licensing costs, support expenses, and total cost of ownership can vary between Hyper-V and VMware. Converting VMs to the more cost-effective platform can result in significant savings.
  • Vendor Support and Ecosystem: The choice of virtualization platform can be influenced by the broader ecosystem and vendor support. If an organization aligns more closely with VMware's ecosystem and support structure, converting Hyper-V VMs to VMware can be beneficial.
  • Disaster Recovery and High Availability: Organizations might choose to migrate VMs to a platform that offers superior disaster recovery and high availability features, ensuring better protection and uptime for critical applications.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: When companies merge or acquire other businesses, they often inherit a mix of virtualization platforms. Converting all VMs to a single platform can simplify integration and management.
  • Skillset and Expertise: The in-house IT team's expertise and comfort with a particular virtualization platform can drive the decision to convert VMs. Utilizing a platform that aligns with the team's skills can enhance operational efficiency and reduce learning curves.

In summary, converting VMs between Hyper-V and VMware can help organizations achieve greater compatibility, performance, cost efficiency, and alignment with strategic goals and technical requirements.

Data Insurance: Always backup VMs before risky operations

When it comes to virtualization and managing critical virtual machines (VMs), data insurance is an absolute necessity. Before performing any risky operations, such as converting VMs between different platforms, it's crucial to ensure that all your data is securely backed up. Here’s why:

  • Prevent Data Loss: Risky operations can sometimes lead to unexpected failures or corruption. A comprehensive backup guarantees that you can restore your data to its original state in case something goes wrong.
  • Minimize Downtime: Restoring from a backup is often faster than troubleshooting and fixing issues caused by failed operations. This helps in minimizing downtime and ensuring business continuity.
  • Protect Against Human Error: Mistakes can happen, even with the best planning and execution. Having a backup provides a safety net against human errors during the migration or conversion process.
  • Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: Many industries have strict regulations regarding data protection and retention. Regular backups ensure compliance with these regulations and protect sensitive information.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your data is backed up allows you to perform necessary operations with greater confidence and less stress, focusing on the task at hand without constant worry about potential data loss.

Best Practices for Backing Up VMs

  • Automate Backups: Use backup software to automate the backup process, ensuring regular and consistent backups without relying on manual intervention.
  • Use Redundant Storage: Store backups in multiple locations, including offsite or cloud storage, to protect against physical damage or local failures.
  • Test Your Backups: Regularly test your backups to ensure that they can be successfully restored. A backup is only as good as its ability to be restored when needed.
  • Maintain Backup Schedules: Establish and adhere to a regular backup schedule, ensuring that backups are up-to-date with the most recent changes and data.
  • Secure Your Backups: Implement encryption and access controls to protect your backups from unauthorized access or breaches.

How to recover data in VMware or Hyper-V after conversion

Recovering data in VMware or Hyper-V after a conversion process using DiskInternals VMFS Recovery involves several steps to ensure you can restore your virtual machines (VMs) and their data efficiently. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

Step 1: Install DiskInternals VMFS Recovery

  • Download and Install: Download DiskInternals VMFS Recovery tool from this website and install it on your system.
  • Launch the Software: Open DiskInternals VMFS Recovery after installation.

Step 2: Scan the Storage

  • Select the Disk: Choose the disk or storage device where the VMFS volume is located. This could be a physical hard drive, SSD, or a network-attached storage (NAS).
  • Start the Scan: Initiate a scan to search for VMFS volumes and lost or corrupted VMs. The software will analyze the storage and identify recoverable data.

Step 3: Preview and Verify the Data

  • Preview Files: Once the scan is complete, you can preview the files and folders found by the software. This helps you verify that the necessary data is recoverable.
  • Check Integrity: Ensure the integrity of the recovered files by opening or verifying a few critical files.

Step 4: Recover the Data

  • Select Files for Recovery: Choose the files and folders you want to recover. This can include entire VMs or specific data within them.
  • Save the Data: Specify a safe location (preferably different from the source disk) to save the recovered data. Avoid saving recovered data back to the same disk to prevent overwriting.

Step 5: Restore VMs in VMware or Hyper-V

For VMware:

  • Upload Files: Use VMware vSphere Client or another VMware management tool to upload the recovered VM files to your VMware environment.
  • Register VMs: Register the recovered VMs in your VMware infrastructure by browsing the datastore and adding the VMs to the inventory.

For Hyper-V:

  • Import VMs: Use Hyper-V Manager to import the recovered VM files. Go to 'Actions' > 'Import Virtual Machine', and follow the prompts to import the VM configuration, snapshots, and virtual disks.
  • Verify Settings: Ensure all VM settings are correct and that the VM configurations align with your Hyper-V environment.

Step 6: Test and Validate

  • Power On VMs: Start the recovered VMs and verify that they boot up correctly and that all services and applications run as expected.
  • Check Data Integrity: Validate the integrity of the data within the VMs by checking files, databases, and other critical data to ensure no corruption occurred during the recovery process.

Hyper-V vs VMware

Feature/AspectHyper-VVMware
DeveloperMicrosoftVMware, Inc.
Primary ProductHyper-VVMware vSphere
TypeType 1 HypervisorType 1 Hypervisor
IntegrationStrong integration with Windows Server and AzureBroad integration with various OS and platforms
Management ToolHyper-V Manager, System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM)VMware vCenter Server
Licensing ModelIncluded with Windows Server licenses, standalone (Hyper-V Server)Per CPU, per VM, or subscription-based
Supported OS for HostWindows ServerVMware ESXi
Supported Guest OSWindows, Linux, FreeBSDWindows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, others
Live MigrationYesYes
Storage OptionsSupports SMB, CSV, S2DSupports VMFS, NFS, vSAN, others
SnapshotsYesYes
Fault ToleranceLimited (requires Windows Server Failover Clustering)Advanced (vSphere FT)
High Availability (HA)YesYes
Backup SolutionsWindows Server Backup, third-party solutionsVMware vSphere Data Protection, third-party solutions
CostGenerally lower, included with Windows ServerGenerally higher, separate licensing costs
Resource ManagementResource Metering, Dynamic Memory, Network QoSDistributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), Storage DRS, Network I/O Control
ScalabilityUp to 64 nodes in a cluster, 8,000 VMsUp to 64 nodes in a cluster, 6,000 VMs
NetworkingHyper-V Virtual Switch, Windows Network VirtualizationvSphere Distributed Switch, NSX
Security FeaturesShielded VMs, Secure Boot, BitLocker integrationvSphere Security, VM Encryption, vShield
Update ManagementWindows Update, WSUS, SCCMVMware Update Manager (VUM)
PerformanceHigh, but may vary based on workload and environmentHigh, often considered industry-leading
Support and CommunityStrong support from Microsoft, active communityStrong support from VMware, active community

Convert Hyper-V to VMware using StarWind V2V Converter

Converting a Hyper-V virtual machine (VM) to VMware using StarWind V2V Converter is a straightforward process. StarWind V2V Converter is a free tool that facilitates the conversion between various virtual disk formats. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Download and Install StarWind V2V Converter

Download: Visit the StarWind website and download the StarWind V2V Converter.

Install: Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to install the converter on your system.

Step 2: Launch StarWind V2V Converter

Open the Application: After installation, launch the StarWind V2V Converter.

Step 3: Select the Source VM

Choose Source: On the first screen, select the source image type. For a Hyper-V VM, select “Local file” if you have the VHD/VHDX file or “Hyper-V Server” if you want to connect directly to the Hyper-V host.

Provide Source Details:

  • Local file: Browse to the location of the VHD/VHDX file and select it.
  • Hyper-V Server: Enter the IP address or hostname of the Hyper-V host and provide the necessary credentials to connect.

Step 4: Select the Destination Format

Choose Destination Format: Select “VMware VMDK” as the destination format to convert the VM to a format compatible with VMware.

Destination Location:

  • Local File: Specify the location where you want to save the converted VMDK file.
  • VMware Infrastructure: If you choose to send the file directly to a VMware environment, you’ll need to provide the necessary credentials and destination details.

Step 5: Conversion Settings

Conversion Mode: Choose between “Thick” or “Thin” provisioning. Thick provisioning allocates the full size of the disk upfront, while thin provisioning allocates disk space dynamically as needed.

Advanced Settings: If available, configure any advanced settings according to your requirements.

Step 6: Start the Conversion

Begin Conversion: Click “Next” to start the conversion process. The time required for the conversion will depend on the size of the VM and the performance of your hardware.

Monitor Progress: Monitor the progress of the conversion through the status bar. Ensure that the process completes without errors.

Step 7: Import the Converted VM into VMware

Upload the VMDK File: If you saved the VMDK file locally, upload it to your VMware datastore using the vSphere Client or another VMware management tool.

Create a New VM:

  • Open the VMware vSphere Client.
  • Right-click on the desired host or cluster and select “New Virtual Machine”.
  • Follow the wizard to create a new VM, choosing “Custom” to specify details.
  • When prompted for the virtual disk, select “Use an existing virtual disk” and browse to the location of the uploaded VMDK file.

Configure VM Settings: Configure the VM settings as needed, including CPU, memory, and network settings.

Step 8: Power On and Test the VM

Power On: Power on the newly created VM in VMware.

Install VMware Tools: After the VM boots up, install VMware Tools to enhance performance and ensure compatibility.

Verify Functionality: Check that the VM is functioning correctly and that all applications and services are running as expected.

VMware vCenter Converter

VMware vCenter Converter is a robust tool designed for converting physical machines, virtual machines, and other third-party image formats to VMware virtual machines. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using VMware vCenter Converter to convert a Hyper-V virtual machine to VMware:

Step 1: Download and Install VMware vCenter Converter

Download: Visit the VMware website and download the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone installer.

Install: Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation on your system.

Step 2: Launch VMware vCenter Converter

Open the Application: After installation, launch VMware vCenter Converter.

Step 3: Start a New Conversion

New Conversion: Click the “Convert Machine” button to start a new conversion task.

Step 4: Specify the Source System

Select Source Type: Choose “Powered on machine” if the Hyper-V VM is running or “Powered off machine” if it is not running.

Specify Source Details:

  • Powered On Machine: Select “Remote Windows machine” or “Remote Linux machine” depending on the guest OS and provide the IP address or hostname along with administrative credentials.
  • Powered Off Machine: Choose “Hyper-V Server” and provide the necessary connection details to the Hyper-V host, including IP address or hostname and administrative credentials.

Select the VM: Browse the Hyper-V host to select the VM you wish to convert.

Step 5: Specify the Destination System

Destination Type: Select “VMware Infrastructure Virtual Machine”.

Destination Details: Provide the connection details for your VMware vCenter Server or ESXi host, including IP address or hostname, username, and password.

Destination Location: Choose the data center, cluster, or host where you want to deploy the converted VM.

Step 6: Set Up the Destination VM

Name the VM: Provide a name for the new VMware VM.

Choose Datastore: Select the datastore where the VM’s files will be stored.

Virtual Machine Version: Choose the appropriate virtual hardware version based on your VMware infrastructure compatibility.

Step 7: Customize the Conversion Settings

Data to Copy: Specify which disks and partitions you want to convert. You can resize disks and exclude unnecessary partitions.

Network Configuration: Configure the network settings for the destination VM, including network adapters and IP settings.

Advanced Options: Configure additional options such as installation of VMware Tools, post-conversion power options, and the ability to synchronize the source and destination VM to ensure data consistency.

Step 8: Review and Start the Conversion

Review Settings: Carefully review all settings and options to ensure they are configured correctly.

Start Conversion: Click “Finish” to begin the conversion process. The time required for conversion will depend on the size of the VM and the network speed.

Step 9: Monitor the Conversion Process

Monitor Progress: Monitor the conversion progress in the VMware vCenter Converter interface. Ensure that the process completes without errors.

Step 10: Post-Conversion Steps

Power On the VM: Once the conversion is complete, power on the new VMware VM using the vSphere Client or vCenter Server.

Install VMware Tools: Install VMware Tools on the converted VM to enhance performance and compatibility.

Verify Functionality: Check that the VM is functioning correctly, and verify that all applications and services are running as expected.

How to convert Hyper-V to VMware with Official Free Tool

To convert a Hyper-V virtual machine (VM) to VMware using VMware’s official free tool, VMware vCenter Converter Standalone, follow these detailed steps:

Step 1: Download and Install VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

Download: Go to the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone download page and download the installer.

Install: Run the installer and follow the installation prompts to complete the installation on your system.

Step 2: Launch VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

Open the Application: After installation, launch VMware vCenter Converter Standalone.

Step 3: Start a New Conversion

New Conversion: Click the “Convert machine” button to initiate a new conversion task.

Step 4: Specify the Source System

Select Source Type: Choose “Powered off” if the Hyper-V VM is not running. Select “Hyper-V Server” as the source type.

Specify Source Details: Provide the IP address or hostname of the Hyper-V host and the necessary administrative credentials.

Select the VM: Browse the Hyper-V host to locate and select the VM you want to convert.

Step 5: Specify the Destination System

Destination Type: Select “VMware Infrastructure virtual machine” as the destination type.

Destination Details: Enter the connection details for your VMware vCenter Server or ESXi host, including IP address or hostname, username, and password.

Destination Location: Choose the specific data center, cluster, or host where you want to deploy the converted VM.

Step 6: Set Up the Destination VM

Name the VM: Provide a name for the new VMware VM.

Choose Datastore: Select the datastore where the VM’s files will be stored.

Virtual Machine Version: Choose the appropriate virtual hardware version based on your VMware infrastructure compatibility.

Step 7: Customize the Conversion Settings

Data to Copy: Specify which disks and partitions you want to convert. You can resize disks and exclude unnecessary partitions.

Network Configuration: Configure the network settings for the destination VM, including network adapters and IP settings.

Advanced Options: Configure additional options such as installation of VMware Tools, post-conversion power options, and the ability to synchronize the source and destination VM to ensure data consistency.

Step 8: Review and Start the Conversion

Review Settings: Carefully review all settings and options to ensure they are configured correctly.

Start Conversion: Click “Finish” to begin the conversion process. The time required for conversion will depend on the size of the VM and the network speed.

Step 9: Monitor the Conversion Process

Monitor Progress: Monitor the conversion progress in the VMware vCenter Converter interface. Ensure that the process completes without errors.

Step 10: Post-Conversion Steps

Power On the VM: Once the conversion is complete, power on the new VMware VM using the vSphere Client or vCenter Server.

Install VMware Tools: Install VMware Tools on the converted VM to enhance performance and compatibility.

Verify Functionality: Check that the VM is functioning correctly, and verify that all applications and services are running as expected.

Migrate VMware to Hyper-V using Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter

Migrating a VMware virtual machine (VM) to Hyper-V using Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) involves several steps. Here’s a detailed guide to help you through the process:

Step 1: Download and Install Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter

Download: Visit the Microsoft Download Center and download the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter.

Install: Run the installer and follow the prompts to install MVMC on your system.

Step 2: Prepare the VMware VM

Shutdown the VM: Ensure the VMware VM you want to migrate is powered off.

VMware Tools: Uninstall VMware Tools from the VM if they are installed, as this can prevent issues during the migration.

Step 3: Launch Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter

Open MVMC: Launch the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter.

Step 4: Start a New Conversion

New Conversion: Click “Convert Virtual Machine” to start a new conversion task.

Step 5: Specify the Source VM

Source Type: Select “VMware” as the source type.

Specify Source Details: Provide the connection details for the VMware vCenter Server or ESXi host, including the IP address or hostname, username, and password.

Select the VM: Browse the available VMs on the VMware host and select the one you wish to convert.

Step 6: Specify the Destination

Destination Type: Select “Hyper-V” as the destination type.

Destination Hyper-V Host: Provide the details of the Hyper-V host where you want to migrate the VM, including the IP address or hostname and the necessary administrative credentials.

Step 7: Configure the Destination VM

VM Name: Provide a name for the new Hyper-V VM.

Destination Path: Specify the path on the Hyper-V host where the VM files will be stored.

Virtual Hardware Settings: Adjust the CPU, memory, and network settings for the destination VM as needed.

Step 8: Start the Conversion

Review Settings: Carefully review all settings and options to ensure they are configured correctly.

Start Conversion: Click “Finish” to begin the conversion process. The time required for conversion will depend on the size of the VM and the network speed.

Step 9: Monitor the Conversion Process

Monitor Progress: Monitor the conversion progress in the MVMC interface. Ensure that the process completes without errors.

Step 10: Post-Conversion Steps

Power On the VM: Once the conversion is complete, power on the new Hyper-V VM using Hyper-V Manager.

Install Integration Services: Install Hyper-V Integration Services on the converted VM to enhance performance and compatibility.

Verify Functionality: Check that the VM is functioning correctly, and verify that all applications and services are running as expected.

Conclusion

Migrating VMs between Hyper-V and VMware requires careful planning, the right tools, and a thorough understanding of both platforms. By leveraging tools like DiskInternals VMFS Recovery, StarWind V2V Converter, VMware vCenter Converter, and Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter, organizations can efficiently handle conversions while ensuring data integrity and minimizing downtime.

It's essential to back up your data before beginning any conversion process and to validate the functionality of your VMs post-conversion. This ensures that your operations continue smoothly and that any potential issues are promptly addressed.

Ultimately, choosing the right virtualization platform and conversion tools depends on your specific needs, existing infrastructure, and long-term IT strategy. By following best practices and leveraging robust tools, you can achieve a seamless migration that supports your organizational goals.

FAQ

  • Can I move a Hyper-V VM to VMware?

    The most effective way to convert a Hyper-V virtual machine to VMware is by using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone. This free utility is specifically designed for virtual-to-virtual (V2V) and physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversions. It offers agentless, application-aware backups for Hyper-V, ensuring a smooth and efficient conversion process.

  • What tools convert Hyper-V to VMware?

    1. VMware vCenter Converter Standalone:

    • Description: This is a free utility provided by VMware, specifically designed for virtual-to-virtual (V2V) and physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversions.
    • Key Features: Supports a wide range of source and destination formats, provides agentless, application-aware backups, and ensures minimal downtime during the conversion process.
    • Usage: Ideal for converting Hyper-V VMs to VMware, it simplifies the migration process with an intuitive interface and robust features.
    1. StarWind V2V Converter:

    • Description: A free tool that converts virtual machines between various formats, including VHD/VHDX (used by Hyper-V) and VMDK (used by VMware).
    • Key Features: Allows for quick and easy conversion, supports multiple virtual disk formats, and offers options for both thick and thin provisioning.
    • Usage: Suitable for converting standalone virtual disk files from Hyper-V to VMware, especially useful for smaller environments or individual VMs.
    1. Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC):

    • Description: An official Microsoft tool designed to facilitate the migration of VMware VMs to Hyper-V and vice versa.
    • Key Features: Provides a straightforward process for converting VMs, integrates well with other Microsoft products, and supports Hyper-V hosts.
    • Usage: Best used for organizations that need to migrate multiple VMs or entire infrastructures between VMware and Hyper-V environments.
  • How to migrate VM from Hyper-V?

    For example, if you want to migrate a VM from Hyper-V to VMware, follow these steps:

    • Select the backup of the target Hyper-V VM.
    • Choose a VMware host as the target host.
    • Set up restore strategies or skip this step if not needed.
    • Submit the job, and the Hyper-V VM will be quickly restored on the VMware host.

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