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HOW TO:  Synchronize changes when completing a P2V or V2V with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)
MVE^2, Expert of the Year 2017-2011, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2018-6,2013-2012 VMware vExpert 2019-2011 30 years of experience.
HOW TO:  Synchronize changes when completing a P2V or V2V with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1

OR

"Poor Man's Replication of a Physical or Virtual machine to a VMware vSphere Hypervisor Host (ESXi) for FREE"

I have already written three Experts Exchange articles on the use of VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.x. If you have missed these articles, they are listed here for your convenience.

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

HOW TO: Improve the transfer rate of a Physical to Virtual (P2V), Virtual to Virtual Conversion (V2V) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone primary function is to create physical to virtual copies or conversions of physical computers, we often abbreviate this to P2V. VMware vCenter Converter Standalone can also be used on computers that have already been converted to virtual computers, or virtual computers that already exist in a "Cloud Space", so we can create copies or conversions of an existing virtual computer, we often  abbreviate this to V2V

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone is an excellent FREE software tool for creating P2Vs or V2Vs, but there is another often "hidden function" which is rarely used by VMware Administrators. The function is called Synchronize. This function can be used to Synchronize changes between a physical or virtual computer, which has already been P2Ved (V2Ved) to another virtual machine on another VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) host. The same function can be used, to help unattended "cut over times" when completing a P2V (V2V) in Production, you could create the original P2V (V2V) at 9.00am, and then using synchronize, finally sync all changes made during the day, and "cut over" to the virtual machine out of hours, at 23.00pm.

Some of our clients use this software and function, as a free alternative to replication to a second DR site and ESXi host. The ESXi host could be using the FREE VMware vSphere Hypervisor.

see my other Expert Exchange articles here

HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client

In this article, I'll show you HOW TO:  Synchronize changes when completing a P2V or V2V with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1. In the example below I'll be using a virtual machine, creating a V2V and then synchronizing additional changes made to the source virtual machine to the destination VM (our DR copy).

1. Install VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1

Install VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 on the computer to be synchronized. In this example, I will be installing VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1  on the virtual machine.
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - InstallingIt is a very easy installation, click Next and follow the wizard, agreeing to the terms of the license agreement, select the default installation folder, and select Local installation
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - Local InstallationClick Next, and follow the installation wizard to the end, and Click Finish.
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - FinishIf you left the Tick in the Box for Run Converter Standalone Client now. VMware vCenter Converter Standalone will start, otherwise you will need to click the icon on your desktop.

2. Creating a P2V (V2V in this example) for synchronization

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - Welcome ScreenAt the Welcome to VMware vCenter Converter Standalone, welcome screen click the Convert machine button. (This machine could be a physical or virtual machine, VMware vCenter Converter Standalone does not care what machine type it is.)
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - Convert MachineSelect the Default option

Select source type: Powered-on-machine

Specify the powered-on machine: This local machine

followed by Next to continue, converter will identify the source machine.
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - Specify vCenter ServerSelect destination type: VMware Infrastructure machine

Enter the destination server, username and password, in this example, I'm using our VMware vSphere vCenter server details, but if you wanted to synchronize/replicate to a standalone VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) host, you would enter the VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi)  host details here, e.g. root username and password.
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - Specify Destination Machine nameSpecify the destination name of the machine followed by Next
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - Specify Destination LocationSpecify the destination location for the machine followed by Next, if you are using a VMware vSphere vCenter Server and have a VMware Cluster created, you will have additional options to specify which VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) host to create the new virtual machine, also specify the datastore location. Ensure the virtual machine version matches the original VM, in this example v8.0.
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - Enable SynchronizeIf you click Next at this point, the P2V (V2V) will complete as normal.

To enable the Synchronize function, you MUST select Edit
 VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - Enable SynchroniseEnsure Synchronize changes is selected and ticked.

Ensure Perform final synchronization is Un-ticked.


If you wanted to perform, a Scheduled Synchronize, select and set the Schedule Option. Select Next to continue, review the Summary screen, and select Finish.
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - Summary ScreenA P2V job will be submitted and the P2V conversion will start.
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - P2V Job SubmittedIf you click the Task Id, you can check on the Task Progress.
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - Task ProgressIf you are finding conversions time are long, see my EE Article, on how to imporve transfer times.

HOW TO: Improve the transfer rate of a Physical to Virtual (P2V), Virtual to Virtual Conversion (V2V) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

3. Synchronize Changes

Once the initial P2V (V2V) conversion has completed, or "seeded" a new virtual machine, you can use the Synchronize function to replicate any changes that occur on the source machine to the virtual machine, the source machine could be a physical or virtual machine. (You can check the virtual machine by disconnecting networking, and powering up the virtual machine).
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - Job StatusThe Job Status should state Completed. Right Click the Task Id and select Go to job
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - Go to JobYou will notice that the Status states Not Scheduled, this is because we did not set a schedule.
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - Not ScheduledRight Click the Job Id, and select Synchronize.
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - SynchronizeClick Next
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - Synchronize changesCheck the Summary page and Click Finish
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - FinishClick the View by Jobs
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 - Synchronize Task ProgressYou will notice your Synchronize Job is Running, and it will have a new Synchronize icon, next to the job. All changes in the source machine will be synchronized or replicated to the virtual machine.

Congratulations you have successfully created a P2V (V2V) and Synchronized (replicated) your machine to a virtual machine.

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Thank you for reading my article, please leave valuable feedback. If you liked my VMware article and would like to see more Articles from me, please click the Yes button near the: Was this article helpful? at the bottom of this article just below and to the right of this information. Thank You. Do not forget if you have a question about this article or another VMware, Virtualisation, Windows Server 2012 question, why not post a Question for me and the other Experts Exchange Experts in the VMware, Virtualisation, Windows 2008, Windows 2012 Zones. I look forward to hearing from you. - Andy
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