Home > Virtualization, zfs > Converting VMware Server VMs to ESX Server 3.02

Converting VMware Server VMs to ESX Server 3.02

Our company is drinking the virtualization kool-aid more and more. We have three ESX server licenses in our Bladecenter now, and tonight I migrated the second of four of our Deltek Vision servers (the Reporting tier) from VMware Server hosted on Linux to ESX server (The first was the Deltek Vision SQL Server tier).

First I used my normal rsync backup script and zfs snapshot to create the last backup of the VMware Server version of the report server. Then I just mounted the snapshot via NFS on the ESX server, and used

vmkfstools -i nfsvol/source.vmdk vmfsvol/dest.vmdk

to clone the virtual disk onto one of my SAN vmfs3 datastores. Then I created a new virtual machine in one of the ESX server hosts, pointed it at the imported virtual disk, booted, re-installed vmware tools and rebooted again. It wasn’t too hard and everything works.

The longest part was the vmkfstools import operation, which took about 45 minutes for the 80 GB disk. The SAN was under heavy load at the time doing mail system backups, so I can’t complain.

Categories: Virtualization, zfs
  1. 2007-11-08 at 12:02

    MMMmmmmm Kool-Aid ….. hmmm if VMware is Kool-aid Microsoft must be Purple Drank!

    What Kind of blades are you using?

  2. 2007-11-08 at 13:19

    We have an IBM Bladecenter, with several HS20 and a couple of HS21 blades.

    Purple Drank sounds nasty.

  3. Mircea Vutcovici
    2007-12-21 at 07:40

    Note that source.vmdk is the description file (a small text file) and not the image of the disk (the big file that contains the data from the virtual disk).

  4. 2007-12-21 at 11:34

    Quite correct Mircea. You need all the vmdk files, not just the first little text files, in order to do a conversion.

  5. Matthew Carpenter
    2008-02-21 at 21:22

    Very cool. Did you perchance run into any problems with a snapshot in your VMware-Server disk not converting into the ESX Server?

  6. 2008-02-22 at 09:58

    I made sure to remove all my snapshots before the migration, so I don’t know what would have happened if I tried to import some. I expect they just get truncated.

  7. Ed
    2008-08-01 at 14:20

    We have a client that is moving to the latest version of Deltek Vision and is considering running this on a VMWare ESX server. They are very reluctant because they were told by Deltek that this was not supported. Deltek stated that they have customers running this way but do not actively support it.

    If I can get them a few testimonials from other companies running Vision in this manner I think they will move forward. They currently have several older servers that need to be phased out and some new ones that would run ESX with no problem.


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