VMWare Converter Help

Hi, I have about 100 servers to P2V of various size and hosting various services (file servers, SQL, Exchange etc - all Windows). I have been looking at VMware converter standalone and the vCentre plugin converter and I'm a little confused as to which one is best (http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/09Q1_VM_CONVERTER_DS_EN.pdf)

The vCentre plugin version states it's best used for large projects, but then it doesn't appear to do "Hot cloning - P2V synchronization".

Can someone give me some idea on which versions are best to use for different scenarios please?

Also, how does hot cloning work? Does hot cloning a machine result in no downtime? If so, how is the swap from the physical to VM handled without losing any data?

Thanks for any advice!
paulo999Asked:
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Typically when migrating Exchange, SQL I like to shutdown the services just in case since it uses VSS and if the data change gets too large there can be issues.  Synchronization works if you don't resize the VM volumes and generaly work well.

There is still downtime when hot cloning because you will need to uninstall the hardware specific applications such as Dell, HP tools, install vmware tools which requires a reboot, and reconfigure IP address since the virtual nic is different hardware then the nic from the physical servers.

I would stage the P2V process in stages.  Reconfiguration of each VM takes about 30 min from start to finish.
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IanThCommented:
vcenter plugin is working in vcenter server
whereas stand alone convertor is running on a client

so the plug-in is better that the standalone
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JRoyseCommented:
You'll want the Cold Clone CD (Need enterprise licensing in order to download) for problem physical machines, see:

http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/virtualization-pro/use-the-vmware-converter-bootable-cd-for-the-difficult-conversions/
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