Converting Physical to Virutal Machine.

Is there a way to convert a physical to virtual and store on an external hard drive and then move to an ESXi server? We would like to PtoV our Customer's server, store on an external and then bring to our site. Can this be done or will we have to take the ESXi server onsite in order to PtoV?
aandoAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, you can do this with VMware vCenter Converter

Download VMware vCenter Converter here

http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/datacenter_downloads/vmware_vcenter_converter_standalone/4_0

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.x Documentation

http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/converter_pubs.html

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 User Guide

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/convsa_43_guide.pdf

For the conversion steps, read fellow Expert Bestway's article.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/A_3639-VMware-vConverter-P2V-for-Windows-Servers.html

Best Practice Video Guide here

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1004588
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coolsport00Commented:
The best way I know how is to download/install VMware Player on a laptop, as well as vCenter Converter Standalone (both free products from VMware). Connect the drive to your laptop workstation and use VMware Player to create a datastore on the attached drive. Do the Conversion to your network drive (VMware Player datastore). Once converted, take the laptop & external drive to customer site, and again use Converter to do a V2V of the VM to the ESXi system.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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coolsport00Commented:
Here's the VMware Player download: http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/desktop_downloads/vmware_player/3_0 ("hanccocka" provided Converter download for ya)...
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
you can also do a much quicker conversion.

Copy the virtual machine off the ESX server without "conversion" copy "as is", as below

Veeam FastSCP (http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esxi-fastscp.html)

Fast Virtual Machine / File Transfer. Faster than WinSCP and other SCP-based tools as it uses full network capacity. The Veeam FastSCP engine also features traffic compression and empty block removal for best file copy performance.

You can use FastSCP to connect to the ESX/ESXi server, and download the entire virtual machine folder/directory to the current workstation or server, where yov've connected from. You must ensure that the virtual machines are powered off to complete this operation.

or

Datastore browser

The datastore browser is included in the vSphere GUI Client, and enables you access to the datastore, virtual machines are stored on. You can simple use the cut and paste, or download/upload options to backup and restore virtual machines. Again to copy a virtual machine, the virtual machine must be powered off.


and then at customers site, Use Converter to "Import" Convert back in from what you have on the USB External disk.
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aandoAuthor Commented:
Sounds like this is exactly what I needed guys. I am scheduled to do this tomorrow so I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Good Luck. Trying to find another post, where someone elese did exactly the same thing.
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coolsport00Commented:
Great..keep us posted how it goes...

~coolsport00
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aandoAuthor Commented:
I ended up using VMworkstation to move the VM. I installed it on a netbook and used a NAS to export the image. I then brought the NAS back to the office and imported the VM to an ESXi server. Thanks guys for getting me on the correct path.
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