Shortly after the release of VMware vSphere 5.5, VMware released its free converter tool vCenter Converter Standalone version 5.5.
vCenter Converter Standalone is a feature rich, mature tool for conversions of many types of workloads to VMware virtual machines. It allows Image to Virtual (I2V) , Virtual to Virtual (V2V) and Physical to Virtual (P2V) conversions. For obvious reasons this tool cannot be used for conversions where Hyper-V is a target server.
The VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5 includes the following new functionality:
- Support for virtual machine hardware version 10 (62TB disks, virtual SATA controllers, etc.)
- Support for RedHat KVM virtual machines as a source
- A new option for selecting the network adapter for the target virtual machine
- Support for additional guest operating systems
- Parallel disk conversions
- Virtual SAN support
vCenter Converter has many interesting features. It is able to convert virtual machines with no downtime according to the release notes. I have not used Converter for a while and did not know conversions can be done without any downtime. I was under the impression there is always a short downtime.
Converter is able to do a two step conversion. First it copies all of the data of the source server to the target. The target remains offline. Then it can do a synchronization between source and target to move the delta or changed data. After that the source server is switched off (or disconnected from the network) and the target server connected to the production network.
Virtual SAN support is another interesting feature. Because VSAN uses an object based filesystem instead of VMFS being block based or NFS being file based, Converter needed to be adjusted for supporting Virtual SAN.
Curious how long it will take before other V2V / P2V vendors start to support Virtual SAN.
The release notes are here.
Download VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5 here
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