Microsoft hopes to attract VMware users with free migration tool

Virtual Machine Converter converts virtual machines or virtual disks from vSphere to Hyper-V compatible formats

Microsoft's free Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) tool is now available for download. The tool is used to convert virtual machines that today run on VMware products into a format compatible with Microsoft's own virtualization environment, Hyper-V, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.

MVMC converts VMware vSphere virtual machines or virtual disks stored using the VMDK format into Hyper-V compatible versions.

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A virtual machine encapsulates an entire server or desktop environment in a file, while the VMDK (virtual machine disk) format includes the virtual machine and how it is stored, information which then can be used to provision, patch and backup the environment, according to VMware.

MVMC converts virtual machines created with vSphere 4.0, 4.1 and 5.0, which can then run on Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, and the Hyper-V Server versions of those two operating systems, which have been stripped down to just run virtualization workloads.

Administrators can choose between a version of the conversion tool with a graphical user interface (GUI), which includes a wizard to simplify the conversion work, or one with a command-line interface.

The tool is part of Microsoft's Switch to Hyper-V program, which it announced at its Worldwide Partner Conference earlier this year. Besides the MVMC tool, the program also offers other resources such as best practices to help take the risk out of migrations, according to Microsoft.

A beta version of the VMware console plugin version of MVMC is also available for download, but Microsoft didn't provide any information about when a production ready version will be available.

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