Notes: Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Solution Accelerator

These are my notes from the TechEd NA recording of WCL321 with Mikael Nystrom.

Virtual Machine Converter (VMC)

VMC is a free-to-download Solution Accelerator that is currently in beta.  Solution Accelerators are glue between 2 MSFT products to provide a combined solution.  MAP, MDT are other examples.  They are supported products by MSFT.

The purpose of the tool is to convert VMware VMs into Hyper-V VMs.  It can be run as standalone or it can be integrated into System Center, e.g. Orchestrator Runbooks.

It offers a GUI and command line interface (CLI).  Nice quick way for VMware customers to evaluate Hyper-V – convert a couple of known workloads and compare performance and scalability.  It is a low risk solution; the original VM is left untouched.

It will uninstall the VMware tools and install the MSFT Integration components.

The solution also fixes drive geometries to sort out possible storage performance issues – basic conversion tools don’t do this.

VMware Support

It supports:

  • vSphere 4.1 and 5.0
  • vCenter 4.1 and 5.0
  • EXS/ESXi

Disk types from VMware supported include:

  • VMFS Flat and Sparse
  • Stream optimised
  • VMDK flat and sparse
  • Single/multi-extent

Microsoft Support

Beta supports Windows VMs:

  • Server 2003 SP2 x64/x86
  • 7 x64/x86
  • Server 2008 R2 x64
  • Server 2008 x64 (RC)
  • Vista x86 (RC)

Correct; no Linux guests can be converted with this tool.

In the beta the Hyper-V support is:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Hyper-V
  • VHD Fixed and Dynamic

In the RC they are adding:

  • Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Hyper-V
  • VHDX (support to be added in RTM)

Types of Conversion

  • Hot migration: no downtime to the original VM.  Not what VMC does.  But check the original session recording to see how Mikael uses scripts and other MSFT tools to get one.
  • Warm: start with running VM.  Create a second instance but with service interruption.  This is what VMC does.
  • Cold: Start with offline VM and convert it.

VMC supports Warm and Cold.  But there are ways to use other MSFT tools to do a Hot conversion.


MSFT deliberately made it simple and independent of other tools.  This is a nice strategy.  Many VMware folks want Hyper-V to fail.  Learning something different/new = “complexity”, “Microsoft do it wrong” or “It doesn’t work”.  Keeping it simple defends against this attitude from the stereotypical chronic denier. 


Run it from a machine.  Connect to ESXi or vCenter machine (username/password).  Pick your VM(s).  Define the destination host/location.  Hit start and monitor.

  1. The VM is snapshotted. 
  2. The VMware Tools are removed. 
  3. The VM is turned off. 
  4. The VMDK is transferred to the VMC machine
  5. The VMDK is converted.  You will need at least twice the size of the VMDK file … plus some space (VHD will be slightly larger).  Remember that Fixed VHD is full size in advance.
  6. The VHD is copied to the Hyper-V host. 
  7. The new Hyper-V VM is built using the VM configuration on the VMware host.
  8. The drive is added to the VM configuration.
  9. The VM is started. 
  10. The Hyper-V integration components are installed.

The conversion will create a Hyper-V VM without a NIC.  Supposed to prevent split-brain conversion where source and target VM are both online at the same time.  I’d rather have a tick box. 

If a snapshot is being used … then you will want any services on that VM offline …. file shares, databases, etc.  But offline doesn’t mean powering down the VM …. we need it online for the VMware tools removal.

The Wizard

A VM must has a FQDN to be converted.  Install the VMware tools and that makes the VM convertible.  This is required to make it possible to … uninstall the VMware tools Smile

It will ask for your credentials to log into the guest OS for the VMware tools uninstall. 

Maybe convert the VM on an SSD to speed things up.

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