It's always fun to keep your eyes open for useful and interesting free tools that help make your job easier. Because these tools are free, you don't have to beg for budget or write up a justification document just to get your hands on the software to make use of it.
If you are a recent convert or a VMware shop currently listening to the Hyper-V doctrine from Microsoft, you aren't alone. Microsoft has been making a huge splash with Hyper-V throughout 2012, and as we enter 2013, quite a few VMware-only shops out there are, if nothing else, at least interested in looking at what Microsoft's server virtualization technology has to offer. Existing VMware vSphere customers may not be jumping ship in droves, but in many cases, Microsoft has found a way to at least pique their curiosity enough to warrant installing Hyper-V and trying it out for themselves.
[ Also on InfoWorld: VMware vCenter Server 5.1 will soon support Microsoft Hyper-V servers | Microsoft turns the tables on VMware's cost calculator | Track the latest trends in virtualization in InfoWorld's Virtualization Report newsletter. ]
We recently talked about how Microsoft has been trying to lure away VMware customers by claiming that Hyper-V was cheaper than vSphere and how switching platforms could save a company money. Some firms are now using Hyper-V for their development and testing environments, while others are taking it one step further by migrating over non-mission-critical virtual machines in the hopes of saving a few bucks on virtualization licensing costs.
Whatever the reason for change, if you plan on migrating, make sure you experiment with your existing VMware VMs in the new Hyper-V environment first to see how they react. How do you do that?
Recently, InfoWorld covered the free Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) tool from Microsoft. MVMC converts VMware vSphere virtual machines or virtual disks stored using the VMDK format into Hyper-V compatible versions. Microsoft's free tool gives administrators the option of using a graphical user interface (GUI) version with wizards or a scriptable command-line interface (CLI) that can be used for automation workflows.
But if you prefer third-party solutions and want to try something that's been available a bit longer, I invite you to add 5nine's free V2V Easy Converter software to your virtual tool belt.
5nine is an early adopter who jumped into the Hyper-V ecosystem back in 2009 with P2V planning software and a virtualization analysis and optimization solution. It's been one of the unsung heroes in the Hyper-V camp working to create a number of different free and paid solutions for Microsoft's hypervisor platform. While other companies have been focusing their efforts on where the money is concentrated (read, the VMware ecosystem), 5nine has been developing solutions for Hyper-V long before it was cool (or profitable).
V2V Easy Converter is a fast and easy-to-use migration tool. It's a standalone tool that doesn't require additional software licenses. And it runs on a free Windows Hyper-V Server 2008 R2/SP1, or on other Microsoft platforms like Windows 7, or full or core editions of Server 2008 and Windows 8/Server 2012.