convert physical windows server running exchange to virtual server vmware

motioneye used Ask the Experts™
If we plan to convert our current exchange server to virtual server vmware, what considerations that we should look after ? I'm afraid of doing this conversion, it might wiped all of our current installed of the exchange server.
Do anyone have experienced this ? how easy to perform  this conversion and what will the benefit of doing this conversion ?
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Stelian StanIT Services Manager

Another good document on how to use the p2v converter:

After the conversion finished succesfully leave the phisical server turn off and turn on the virtual server. Double check the Ip Address of the virtual server and then remove unused drivers:


Is that means the exchange server also will be exist in virtual server ? when u said turn off physical server are u saying turn off by start-shutdown for physical exchange server and left only exchange server on virtual ?
what will happens if both are running ? is there any conflict with IP address and other setting ?
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Top Expert 2010
@motioneye - what I did when I converted my Exchange was did a P2V as mentioned by @clonyxlro, but I only P2V'd the system volume (C: drive). My Storage Groups (SGs) are on a SAN, so what I did was P2V only the C: drive, which only took about 30-60mins (and yes, stop all Exchg services, A/V services, and any other unneeded services). I then assigned the LUNs that have my SGs on them to the Storage Pool that has my ESXi Hosts and rescanned my ESXi Host HBAs.

Then, once I got my VM, (and yes, you need to power down the physical host because yes, you will have a name AND IP conflict on your network), rt-clicked on the VM > Edit Settings > Add > Hard Disk then go through the 'Add Wizard and add your storage as RDMs. Once the SG 'disks' are added to your newly created VM, you should be able to power it on and be good to go.

Top Expert 2010

If your SGs are not part of a SAN, then no biggee...just P2V it all. It will just take quite a bit longer depending on the size of your SGs for the server to convert. Once converted, power down the physical box, then power on the VM and make sure all is working.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Stelian StanIT Services Manager

As coolsport00 and hanccocka already mentioned, stop the exchange services before shooting down the Physical machine, then p2v and when finished successful turn on only the VM Exchange. Do NOT turn on the physical machine when the VM is running. You will have that one as a backup for a couple of weeks just in case something goes wrong with the VM.

Good luck and Happy New Year !!!
Things to do.

1.Create a new local admin account in the physical server. Login and check the server again using the account.
2Verify the Names of production and backup NICs. Collect NIC teaming info.
3.Collect time zone info and NTP settings if required.
4."Execute the following commands at the cmd prompt:
mkdir c:\vm_conversion
ipconfig /all > c:\vm_conversion\ip.txt
netsh interface dump > c:\vm_conversion\netsh.txt
route print > c:\vm_conversion\routes.txt
Collect VLAN ID for every IP configured on the server"
Check if Source server has a CD-ROM /Floppy/USB Devices on it, eject and verify both are empty  prior to conversion
Ensure there is at least 264MB of RAM on physical server (for hot migration)
Ensure there is minimum 300 MB free space on  server OS partition (for hot migration)
Check NIC speed and duplex and correct if necessary (1 Gbps desirable).
Run Checkdisk on drives(reboot if required to complete the checkdisk run)

"Verify that the following network ports are open:
Converter VM to Physical server     TCP - 445,139,9089 & UDP - 137, 138 (NetBIOS)
Converter VM to Vcenter                      443
Converter VM to ESX 4.0                             443
Physical server to V"
"Ensure that Simple File Sharing is turned on. (if File Sharing is not enabled)
Ensure that file and printer sharing is enabled and not blocked by Windows Firewall"

Initiate P2V

Reboot the physical server
Take System State backup.(Confirm Complete Backup is taken)
Stop backup client, Anti-Virus, SQL Services (only for Hot conversions) & Applicatoin services.
Run MSINFO32 and store the output to the remote location or file server
Begin Converter Process

Start Conversion Process
"Monitor Conversion to Completion
(VM-01) Verify GUI shows 100% Complete."
Open the Converter log located at the right bottom of the screen, and verify there are no errors.
 Click on the “export logs” button and save the log on the Folder "Conversion Logs " 
Shut down the physical server
Power on the new Virtual Machine
Login to VM using the vmware console. The VM will ask for a reboot after all virtual Hardware is properlly installed.
Install VMWare tools using the guided installation. After installation is done, vmware tools will ask for a reboot. Proceed with this.
Enable "Video Hardware acceleration" on the VM.  Follow the Vmware tools on-screen instructions.

"Using the VMware Console, login to VM and Complete the following steps to ensure there is no hidden Hardware:
1. From the command prompt, type the following commands:
set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
start devmgmt.msc
2. From the Device Manager, list "
"Verify that all network settings are OK, and that all IP Configurations were successfully migrated. If not, use the information collected in step 4 (C:\vm_conversion\ip.txt)
-Rename NICs to their original name
-Ping default Gateway to verify"
Uninstall Teaming Software
Verify the NIC binding order.  
Go to the services console, and verify that the "Converter Agent" was successfully uninstalled. If not, Go to Add/remove programs and uninstall from there.
If IP Settings were reconfigured, reboot the server to ensure that all services are started properlly. Refer msinfo32
If necessary, troubleshoot the VM and solve the issues.
Apply the new configuration if requested (Change the amount of CPU´s, Disk and RAM).
Connect Each Interface to correct VLAN (If there are multiple interfaces)
Verify routes.txt and create static routes (if any) as per the pre-migration status and check NTP settings

With regards
Karthik Rajasekaran

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