P2V Best Practices Slides

I had the pleasure of speaking at the March Indy VMware User Group meeting last night. I spoke for about 30 minutes on P2Vs. Here is an outline of the slides I presented and also a link to the presentation itself. [P2V_Best_Practices]. If you did not make it, I also gave a live demo of VMware Fault Tolerance as well. They were recording the sessions so I might link to that as well later.

I must give credit to Kendrick Coleman as well. I point out his tool here on several occasions. I had mentioned that I had some scripts to do some of these tasks before I noticed this tool, now you’re the lucky one who doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel!

If you have any questions, comments or things to add to this list, leave them in the comments section below!

Let’s not get physical.
A P2V converts existing physical infrastructure to virtual.
VMware provides a free tool to do this.
Third party tools are available to help you as well.

We will focus on “VMware Converter” which is the free utility provided by VMware.

VMware used to provide a converter plugin for vCenter. In vSphere 5 the vCenter client is not available. Standalone client is the only client.

VMware also no longer provides an offline “cold boot” option to P2V anymore. Your choice is this Standalone Client. Learn to love it!

What can you convert?
Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery (formerly LiveState Recovery)
Symantec Backup Exec
Norton Ghost
Acronis True Image
Parallels Desktop
Microsoft Virtual PC, Virtual Server and Hyper-V
Live powered on physical systems.

Pull up ‘cmd’ and do an ipconfig /all > c:ipconfig.txt
After the P2V you will need to re-enter this information because even though the data inside the VM remains the same, you’ll have new hardware (NICs) presented to the VM.
Cache your credentials or have local admin credentials ready.
It’s always nice to not have to dig for this data!

P2V Process: Split up partitions.
Split the partitions into separate .vmdks.
Keeps your disk layout cleaner so that way when your users decide they don’t need that E: drive, your life is easier.
You do this under “Data to copy” section.

P2V Process: Speed them up.
By default, VMware Converter uses SSL to transmit data. If you’re P2V’ing on a local LAN, you might want to turn this off as it significantly speeds the process up. Talk to your security team before doing this.

There is an xml file located in:
C:Program Files (x86)VMwareVMware vCenter Converter Standaloneconverter-client.xml
Look in the NFC section:

<useSsl>false</useSsl> --Change to false.

A few steps I recommend after completing the P2V:
Remove vendor software.
HP, Dell, IBM, etc all have software that no longer will apply. Remove it!

There are scripts you can use to get most of the software removed.
(See Kendrick Coleman’s VM_Advanced.iso)
Includes an HP and Dell Cleanup utility.
NOTE: Although the script removes a large portion, you’ll still want to verify it as the vendors add new software and the cleanup utilities are not updated.

Remove Windows services that are no longer needed.

Remove non-present devices in Device Manager.
Start>Run and type “cmd” (without quotes).
Set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

I know what you’re thinking. That’s a lot of right clicking.
There are scripts for this. (See VM_Advanced.iso) and the script below:

REM http://www.vmdude.fr/tips-tricks/suppression-des-peripheriques-caches/
REM http://support.microsoft.com/kb/311272
REM Back up the list of every device in a temporary file
DEVCON Find * | FIND /I /V "matching device (s)" > "%temp%DevconFind.txt"

REM Course devices and deleting those that are not in the export file
FOR /F "tokens=1 delims=: " %%A IN ('devcon findall * ^| FIND /I /V "matching device (s)"') DO (
TYPE "%Temp%DevconFind.txt" | FIND "%%~A" > NUL
IF ERRORLEVEL 1 %Debug% DEVCON Remove "@%%~A"

REM Remove temporary file
DEL "%Temp%DevconFind.txt"

Cleanup “Local Area Connections”
Often, because there are old hidden devices, Windows says your new devices are “Local Area Connection 3, 4, etc. Be sure to clean them up.
There is an automated tool for this on VM_Advanced.iso

Be sure that your HALs are updated.
If you went from a multi-processor environment to a single core, downgrade it.
If you went from a single core to a multi processor VM, upgrade the HAL.

Be sure that your disks are aligned.
See the Uberalign tool on VM_Advanced.iso.
A correctly aligned disk can yield a large increase in performance over a non-aligned disk.


VMware Converter

Kendrick Coleman‘s VM_Advanced.iso

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6 Responses to P2V Best Practices Slides

  1. Pingback: Indianapolis VMware User Group » Blog Archive

  2. Duane Haas says:

    Great article, thanks for sharing your thoughts

  3. Ryan Birk says:

    No problem. I’ll be sure to keep it updated as things change as well or if I come up with anything else.

  4. John Roberts says:

    Ryan, what are best practices for Linux virtual machines? I have been scared of doing this work, and could use guidance.

  5. Ryan Birk says:

    John, Linux P2Vs are a different animal. You just don’t do them as often. I’m going to refer you to my friend Brian who did a nice write up recently on Linux P2V’s. Check out his blog post here: http://enterpriseadmins.org/blog/virtualization/linux-p2v-with-vmware-converter-stand-alone/

  6. Pingback: Happy New Year! | Ryan Birk – Virtual Insanity

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