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Basics: Physical Machine to Virtual Machine Migration

Physical Machine to Virtual Machine Migration 

In order to make the move from a physical server to a virtual server, an operating system (OS), applications, and data needs to be migrated.

Manually reinstalling the OS, applications, and data can also be accomplished by creating or defining a virtual environment. The process can be tedious and uncertain, especially if the new environment contains hardware that is substantially different from the old one.

Using specialized programs known as migration tools, parts or all of the migration process can be automated to streamline the process. Virtualization of servers is often accomplished by P2V.

Step 1: On the Source System tab, click "Powered-on Machine" to perform a P2V migration with vCenter Converter Standalone.

Fig 1.1- Check Source System

Step 2: If you intend to migrate the physical machine to where VMware vCenter Conversion is installed, select "This Local Machine". If you do not wish to use the local machine, select "A Remote Machine" and enter the IP address and login credentials for the source system and continue

Fig 1.2- Login to remote machine

Step 3: Select “VMware Infrastructure Virtual Machine” from the drop-down menu. Enter the server address and login credentials for the system running VMware ESX/ESXi. Click “Next.”

Fig 1.3- VMware ESXi

Step 4: On the Options tab, review the system parameters. Select the desired setting from the list of devices, networks, or services to change. Synchronize the source and destination systems immediately after cloning or schedule a time and date for the synchronization.

Fig 1.4 - Desired modifications

On the Post-Conversion tab, it's recommended that you check "Install VMware Tools on the Destination Virtual Machine" and "Remove System Restore Checkpoints on the Destination" if you're cloning a Windows machine. When you have made the desired modifications, click "Next".

Step 5: Review your configuration on the Summary tab; then click “Finish” to perform the migration.

After Migration Checks

  • Once the P2V process is completed then login to the VC and Locate the Converted VM.
  • Take the snapshot of the migrated AM, it is useful if AM gives BSOD after reconfiguring the AM. You can revert with the snapshot and reconfigure again.
  • Edit the VM Machin setting and Remove Drive and Serial ports. 
  • Edit the VM Machin setting and Add device if necessary.
  • Configure the CPU /RAM/ HDD ( As required and on the basis of VM Size)
  • Go to Resource, Click on Memory and a lot the RAM of the server and uncheck the “unlimited” tab. 
  • Open the console Login to VM
  • Compare DATA of Physical host with Virtual Host, If data is not matched, do manual copy to get it done else proceed for further steps.
  • Remove/ Uninstall  all the hardware related applications from add/remove programs (HP/Dell/Fujitsu Server H/W related applications)
  • Change the display settings and set display hardware acceleration to HIGH.
  • Remove all grayed out device from device manager.
  • Install/ upgrade  VMware tools from VM.
  • Synchronize the VM time with ESX Host (from VMware tools)
  • Update Antivirus.
  • Verify HDD partition/RAM size on the VM (should be same as physical server) 
  • Shutdown Physical Server.
  • Configure PROD/Backup IP as per the destination network.
  • Proceed for DNS Settings and and change the IP settings in DNS.
  • Reboot the VM.
  • Check and confirm RDP from the appropriate terminal.
  • Do system health check of the Server.
  • Ask application owner to start their application\Service and verify Once you get the confirmation from the application owner, Make the necessary changes in your organization’s Inventory.


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