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Migrating from Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 and VMware

Many organizations have already implemented Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 or VMware in their environments and wonder what it takes to migrate to Hyper-V, or whether there are ways to centrally manage and administer a dual virtualization platform environment. The simple answer is that there are several ways to migrate, integrate, and support Virtual Server 2005 and VMware images in a Hyper-V environment.

Mounting Existing Virtual Guest Images on Hyper-V

Hyper-V can mount and run both Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 VHD images and VMware guest images directly as guests within Hyper-V. Because Hyper-V has this ability to mount other virtual images, some organizations use Hyper-V as a disaster-recovery host for existing images. In such a scenario, if a VS/2005 server or VMware server fails, the images can be copied over to Hyper-V, and Hyper-V can easily boot and mount the images onto the network backbone.

However, despite Hyper-V's ability to mount VMware images natively within Hyper-V, a VMware image does not have the same administration, management, snapshotting, backup, and support capabilities as a native Hyper-V guest image. So the long-term plan should be to migrate images from VMware to Hyper-V using a virtual to virtual image-migration tool like what is available in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008. When you migrate the VMware to a native Hyper-V image, all the capabilities built in to support Hyper-V images are supported.

For Virtual Server 2005 images mounted on Hyper-V, those images work fine as long as you install the Hyper-V integration tools onto the image that update the drivers of the image itself.

Performing a Virtual to Virtual Migration of Guest Images

A strategy for migrating older images to Hyper-V is to do a virtual to virtual image migration. Via VMM, an administrator can select a running virtual machine (running VMware, XenServer, Virtual Server 2005, or the like) and choose to migrate the image to Hyper-V. This process extracts all the pertinent server image information, applications, data, Registry settings, user settings, and the like and moves the information over to a target Hyper-V host server. Once migrated, the Hyper-V integration tools can be installed, and the image is now clear and ready to be supported by Hyper-V or VMM.

Using VMM to Manage VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3

For organizations that have a fairly substantial investment in VMware and the VMware Infrastructure 3 (VI3) management environment, Microsoft System Center VMM has a built-in configuration setting, shown in Figure 1.8, that allows for the support, monitoring, and consolidation of information between VI3 and VMM. This integration between management tools is vital for organizations that want to keep both the VMware and a new Hyper-V environment running in parallel, and for organizations that are migrating to Hyper-V but still want to have integrated support for the old VMware environment while the migration process is performed.

Figure 1.8

Figure 1.8 VMware Infrastructure 3 integration support.

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