Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Microsoft Targets VMware Customers With Converter Tool 

Microsoft has rolled a new version of its Virtual Machine Converter tool aimed squarely at poaching customers from X86 server virtualization leader VMware.

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 2.0 is pitched as allowing users to convert virtual machines and virtual disk formats from VMware hosts to Microsoft's Hyper-V for on-premise server virtualization and the Windows Azure cloud platform.

Microsoft released a download on April 9.

Among the new features in the latest version of MVMC is the ability to convert virtual disks attached to a VMware virtual machine (in the VMDK format) to virtual hard disks that can be uploaded to Windows Azure (the VHD format). If you are converting VMware VMs to Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2, then you can convert images created using the ESXi hypervisor to the new Microsoft VMDX disk format.

Version 2.0 also supports conversion of Linux-based operating systems from VMware to Hyper-V hosts. Conversion of offline virtual machines is likewise supported.

Microsoft said the latest release covers Windows Server 2012 R2 and the earlier version of Windows Server 2012 along with Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 as guest operating systems. All can be selected for conversion from VMware. VMC 2.0 can convert virtual machines from VMware vSphere 5.5, 5.1 and 4.1 hosts to Hyper-V virtual machines.

Microsoft added that the 2.0 release can be deployed with "minimal dependencies" through native support for Windows PowerShell, Microsoft's task automation and configuration management framework. PowerShell enables scripting and integration with automation workflows used in datacenters.

Along with the PowerShell capability, Microsoft said the new conversion tool includes a graphical user interface to speed conversion from VMware to Hyper-V and Azure.

As the cloud wars heat up, third-party conversion tools may also surface. For its part, VMware has also offered for download its own tool to convert Windows- and Linux-based physical machines and third-party system image formats to virtual machines running on a range of VMware products.

VMware's vCenter Converter is said to support a range of source physical machines, including Windows Server, Windows XP and Linux. It also supports third-party disk images from Microsoft Hyper-V along with Virtual Server and Virtual PC, among others.

According to the vCenter Converter 5.0.1 release notes, it can also be installed on Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 and earlier versions.

Among the third-party backup images and virtual machines supported by the VMware Converter are Hyper-V virtual machines running both Windows and Linux guest operating machines. 

In a keynote speech at the Interop conference on April 4, VMware CEO Patrick Gelsinger laid out an aggressive strategy for what the company calls the software-defined datacenter, something that VMware has been championing for the past several years. With Microsoft hot on its heels, VMware is targeting new markets for network virtualization, virtual storage area networks, and cloud computing.

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