Best Practise and Guideline to conevert SBS 2003 to ESX 4.1


Physical SBS 2003 / Proliant ML310G2 with two SCSI disks. 2 GB RAM.
-SBS SharePoint. The SharePoint is not really used.
-Symantec Ghost Console
-F-Secure (AV) Policy Manager (If needed we can uninstall it)

I want to migrate/convet it to a VMware ESX 4.1.

Proliant DL380 with SAS disks
Want to have Thin Provisioning

Any hints for Best Practises or Guidelines?
I have just installed the vCenter Server
4 pcs VM / Win servers which are joined to this physical SBS 2003 server.
The vCenterServer runs in on of those VMs
This is our own server in our own domain and we can have a down time. This is the only domain controller

We have a lot of different VMware licenses if needed.


Who is Participating?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
But beware if SBS 2003 is OEM, it will require re-activation and a new license.

I would use VMware Converter included in vCenter (Import a Server) or Standandalone Converter.

Note: Physical-to-virtual hard drive migration of a Windows installation is a valid function for customers with Software Assurance and full retail copies of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Software Assurance provides users valuable benefits—please contact Microsoft Corporation for further information. Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 installed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) using OEM versions of these products may not be transferred to a virtual hard drive in accordance with Microsoft licensing terms.


Download VMware vCenter Converter here

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.x Documentation

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 User Guide

If you have issues, you may want to consult the following guides

Read fellow Expert Bestway's article.

Best Practice Video Guide here

@paulsolov fellow EE Expert has suggested the following method:-

"If all else fails do the following as it has helped me over a hundred times when converter fails

1.  Download trial copy of Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery
2.  Install and take an image of the server
3.  Use VMware Converter to convert image (it knows it natively) to a VM"

Check the video here I created earlier, and you can see the process.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
RimFire007Author Commented:

I'm reading the instructions through.

"I would use VMware Converter included in vCenter (Import a Server) or Standandalone Converter"

Didn't find Converter or Import a Server from my vCenter. AM I misiing here something?

Rgs, Juha
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Right Click a Host Server, Do you have Import?

Have you installed the vConverter Plugin?

VMware Converter Standalone sometimes does a better job! (try 5.0 or 4.3).
RimFire007Author Commented:
No, there is no import.

Haven't installed any plugins. Where should i download the plugin?

Rgs, Juha
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
On the original vCenter installer, vConverter.
RimFire007Author Commented:

Carry on tomorrow.

Rgs, Juha
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