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

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
MVE^2, Expert of the Year 2016-2011, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2016,2013-2012 VMware vExpert 2016-2011 27 years of experience.
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 is a FREE tool available from VMware upon registration, the purpose of this software tool is to easily convert physical or virtual computers, images of computers to VMware virtual machines. Server and Workstation operating systems are supported in the conversion.

Download VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 here
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 Documentation
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 User Guide

In September 2011, VMware released version 5.0 of VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0, with many new features including partition alignment important for aligning partitions correctly on storage array networks (SAN).

BUT, we've noticed that completing conversions using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 compared to using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3, were taking much longer, and the transfer rate of a conversion had become degraded when using version 5.0.

The following modification will improve the transfer rate when using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0, to similar transfer rates obtained when using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 to perform conversions.

It would appear that VMware uses a proprietary VMware protocol called NFC, to image to destination, also by encrypting (SSL) the data payload transfers in version 5.0, this additional overhead causes transfer performance degradation. The result of which is a longer than expected conversion time, when compared to version 4.3.

Turning OFF SSL Encryption in VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 can improve transfer rates.

To turn OFF SSL Encryption in VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0, please follow the following steps:-

1. Find and Edit converter-worker.xml

This file is location in the following locations

Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 2008
%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows 2000
%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

2. Change the SSL Key <useSsl> true </useSsl> to false



You may find it easier to alter/edit the file using Microsoft XML Notepad 2007 to edit the XML file. But Notepad or Wordpad can edit the file, just ensure, you make a copy of the original file for backup before making any alterations. Using XMP Notepad 2007, you do not have to scroll the contents of the file, and the <useSsl> section is quicker to find and edit, but whatever tool you find most comfortable to use to edit the file, is okay.
Change the following XML entry from

<useSsl> true </useSsl>

to

<useSsl> false </useSsl>

Save the XML file.

Edit converter-worker.xml using XML Notepad - value - true
Edit converter-worker.xml using XML Notepad - value - false

3. Restart Service

For changes to take effect - Restart "VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Worker" service.

4. Results


We have seen performance increases from at least 2x to 6x. So if you want to half the conversion time at least, then alter the encryption setting. If appropriate for your environment.

In the following example, a Windows 2003 Server was converted from Virtual Machine to Virtual Machine (V2V) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 installed on the server to be converted. In the first conversion (TaskId10) the SSL Key was left as the default TRUE, and encryption was used. In the second conversion (TaskId11), the SSL Key was set to false.

As can be seen from the following screenshots Average Transfer rate has increased from 2 MB/s to 6 MB/s and the conversion time has reduced from 1hr 38mins to 33mins.
.

 A performance increase of 60%! just by chaning a value from true to false.

Conversion with default XML value set to True
Conversion with default XML value set to false
Thank you for reading my article, please leave valuable feedback.
50
Comment
35 Comments
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:younghv
hanccocka -
Based on all of the activity I see in the VM Zones, I think this Article will benefit a lot of our members. Thank you for putting it together.

"Yes" vote above.
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Yes, hence why I put it together, VMware Conversions is a Popular Topic, and v5 which should be faster than v4.3 is a backward step, and is much slower! and as most people thing later versions are  better, this is not strictly true unless, new features required.
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:younghv
Keep it up - there is plenty of room for more and we've never had a dual "Expert of the Year" and "Author of the Year".
0
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Administrative Comment

by:younghv
This article is also being elevated to EE Approved - based on an SME PE's recommendation and I concur.

Congratulations again.
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Many Thanks, got some more to write today.
0
 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
Another vote for you!
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
thanks
0
 
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
Hanccocka, do you know how many F's there are in way?

Well there's no f in way, I can believe you solved my conversion issues :)

Worked like charm
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
thanks
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:LAwaters
After nearly a week of struggle, your article helped me finally convert my XP install to a VM. The key was going back to Converter 4.3. Version 5 failed at 1% and the error pointed to Shadow Copy issues, or COM+ corruption - and registry edits and other hoops to maybe get it to work.

Converter 4.3 built my VM in about 10 minutes. Thank you for taking the time to educate & help the community!
0
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Senior IT System Engineer
yes I agree !
let's raise a beer jug to Sir Hancock !
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Many Thanks, I do like beer!
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:NAMEWITHELD12
awesome article
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
@NAMEWITHELD12: Thanks
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:clicker666
As a matter of interest, how large was the converted VM?
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
20GB in the example above, but you will find any size of conversion it will reduce the time, we regular convert 150-500GB VMs.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:upalakshitha
Thanks for sharing very usefull..
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
@upalakshitha NO problems.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:iuhs
Wow, If I've known this earlier, this would have saved a lot of time. But very handy for upcoming conversions :)
0
 

Expert Comment

by:Blieswood
Thank you very much for this article!

You helped alot!
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
@iuhs, @Blieswood

thanks for your kind comments.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:tmsa12
dear gurus

guide us we are using most latest vmware converter VMware-converter-all-5.0.1-875114

but this has no option for

Change the following XML entry from

<useSsl> true </useSsl>

to

<useSsl> false </useSsl>

any idea what should we do now
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
0
 

Expert Comment

by:TheMagnificentSpoon
Just tackling a P2V on a severely underspecced SBS2003 Physical machine, to a new Dell ESXi5.1 host.

At first, it claimed it was going to take 1 day, 4 hours. After making the changes in this article, it then claimed it would take 2 hours, 6 minutes.

I've used some of the 26 hours you've saved me on registering here to thank you for writing this article.  It has all the info anybody needs, written in an easy to follow, concise way.

Bravo!
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Thanks for your kinds words, with praise and your support, I continue to write more articles! Thanks Again - Andy.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:TripapHoniC
Awesome job aid hanccocka.  Saved me hours of conversion time.
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
@Trip... Thanks for your comments.
0
 
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Sudeep Sharma
Great article hanccocka. I hope there is nothing much changed in the newer version of VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1.

Sudeep
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
@SSharma - Thanks
0
 

Expert Comment

by:jeremymorris24
Thanks, this was extremely helpful!
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
@jeremy....many thanks, have a look through my other 52 VMware Articles!
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Mathiau
Just an FYI it seems in new versions of converter this option is now set to false.
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
@Mathiau - Correct!

Article was published 3 years ago!
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Mathiau
Wow ya, seems a few have kept it going..lol
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
@Mathiau - The problem is the "cut and paste" and Google Monkeys, and have no idea, this has changed, three years later, because they have no experience, other than Google!

So 10 out of 10.....Mathiau for at least knowing what we call in the trade a "golden nugget!"

Thanks

Andy
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