VMware Makes Image Conversion Easier

As virtualization and server consolidation continue to catch on in the data center, companies continue to search for ways to migrate their physical servers into virtual machines. Since VMware is currently the global leader in the server virtualization space, it seems only fitting that they answer this cry. For a while now, VMware has attempted to offer a solution for this virtualization pain point in the form of

As virtualization and server consolidation continue to catch on in the data center, companies continue to search for ways to migrate their physical servers into virtual machines.

Since VMware is currently the global leader in the server virtualization space, it seems only fitting that they answer this cry. For a while now, VMware has attempted to offer a solution for this virtualization pain point in the form of its own Physical-to-Virtual (P2V) conversion tool along with onsite VMware services support. Although this method worked for some, it didn't seem to answer the cry from the masses. Third-party companies sprang up to help answer the call by creating their own P2V solutions - companies such as PlateSpin and Leostream. Even traditional imaging solution providers such as Symantec and Acronis have engaged the problem with their own P2V solutions as of late.

Now, VMware has taken the next step by introducing VMware Converter 3, its next generation conversion tool that enables fast and reliable P2V and Virtual-to-Virtual (V2V) conversions through a simple and centralized management product. The new tool combines the functionality of two existing VMware products - VMware P2V Assistant and VMware Virtual Machine Importer - into one integrated offering aimed at simplifying the process of converting physical and virtual machines into VMware virtual machines.

"Converting physical systems into virtual machines is an important first step for many customers seeking to upgrade their IT environment to a virtual infrastructure," said Karthik Rau, senior director of infrastructure products and solutions at VMware. "VMware Converter 3 takes a significant step forward in making the conversion process simple, automated and widely available to anyone seeking a zero-cost way to try existing workloads in a virtual environment."

VMware Converter 3 allows IT professionals to:

  • Create VMware virtual machines from physical machines running these Windows operating systems: Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 (including 64-bit versions of these), as well as Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4 SP4+
  • Import older VMware virtual machine formats to new VMware virtual machine formats
  • Convert VMware virtual machines from third-party formats including Microsoft Virtual Server and Virtual PC and Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery
  • Move virtual machines across different development, test and production environments
  • Populate new virtual machine environments quickly from a large directory of virtual machine appliances available on VMTN.

The product isn't simply a repacking and rebranding, the new release also introduces new functionality:

  • Zero-downtime conversion enables users to convert a physical machine to a virtual machine while the source machine continues to operate, without disruption to end-user services
  • Remote cloning allows machines to be cloned from a remote console without manually using a boot CD or physically being in front of the source machine
  • Improved usability with a new, easy-to-use user interface that allows customers to convert physical machines in the fewest possible steps
  • Better performance with significantly improved cloning speed
  • Broad support for new and legacy hardware and software running on the source server

VMware Converter is currently in beta testing and expected to be generally available within the next six months. VMware will provide a version of VMware Converter 3 free-of-charge at general availability for anyone seeking an easy and affordable approach to converting to a virtual environment and will provide an enterprise edition at no additional cost to customers who have current support and subscription contracts for VirtualCenter Management Server.

More information about the product can be found here.

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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