Physical to Virtual Migration with Veeam


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VMware just announced to remove vCenter Converter from the list of VMware product downloads this week. If we plan to P2V migration today, we may look for another approach. Veeam is a good approach for P2V migration. Today we will discuss how to physical-to-virtual migration (P2V) with Veeam VBR.

P2V Procedures
1. Install the Veeam Agent on the source host
2. Create the backup job
3. Restore the backup into the target host
4. Migrate to production

Demo Environment
Veeam Backup and Replication v11a
Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 5.0.2
VMware vCenter Server Appliance 7.0 Update 2
VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 2
Microsoft Windows 2012 R2 (Physical host)

P2V Migration

Install Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows on source host.

Create the backup job of the source host.

Select "Entire computer", then click Next.

Select "Veeam backup repository", click Next.

In Backup Server, specific the FQDN/IP address of VBR. Select the backup repository, click Next.

Select "Enable application-aware processing" and "Enable file system indexing", click Next.

Click Apply to confirm the backup job.

Then it starts to backup the source host.

When the backup job is completed, go to Veeam console to restore the backup into the target host.

Select "Instant Recovery to VMware vSphere"

Specific the required information for the destination host. It will reserve machine BIOS UUID. Click Next.

We can also enable "Scan the restored machine for malware prior to performing the recovery". Click Next.

Click Finish to confirm the restore operation. It will mount the NFS datastore on the target host.

It register the VM into the target host. Then power on the VM automatically and install the VMware Tools in the guest OS.

When the VM is restored successfully, we can verify the settings in the guest OS.

If everything is fine in the guest OS, we can migrate this VM to production.

Back to Veeam console, select "Migrate to production".

Click Finish to confirm the migration.

When the migration is completed successfully, we need to uninstall the "Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows" and unusual software.

In this demo, Veeam shows how to P2V Microsoft Windows into the VMware vSphere.

Appendix

When we P2V Microsoft Windows into the VMware vSphere with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone, it also deploy the Converter Agent into the source host.


58 comments

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Another way to directly migrate P2V and V2V :)

https://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-v2v-converter

Yes this converter works very well too as an option outside of Veeam.

Can I perform a P2V migration of a domain controller (regardless of versions 2003 to 2022) without major problems? In specific documentation, I see many restrictions, precisely on the UUID that usually changes in a cloning or conversion. Does this tool allow you to maintain the UUID and other characteristics regarding a domain controller?

Is there any more current documentation, mentioning about this P2V process of AD servers???

Grateful.

You should be able to use that one or VMware has a specific converter that will also do AD servers and can be found here along with documentation - vCenter Converter: P2V Virtual Machine Converter | VMware

I P2V the AD by using VMware vCenter Converter in many times, 99% is successful.

Userlevel 7
Badge +20

Another way to directly migrate P2V and V2V :)

https://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-v2v-converter

Yes this converter works very well too as an option outside of Veeam.

Can I perform a P2V migration of a domain controller (regardless of versions 2003 to 2022) without major problems? In specific documentation, I see many restrictions, precisely on the UUID that usually changes in a cloning or conversion. Does this tool allow you to maintain the UUID and other characteristics regarding a domain controller?

Is there any more current documentation, mentioning about this P2V process of AD servers???

Grateful.

You should be able to use that one or VMware has a specific converter that will also do AD servers and can be found here along with documentation - vCenter Converter: P2V Virtual Machine Converter | VMware

Another way to directly migrate P2V and V2V :)

https://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-v2v-converter

Yes this converter works very well too as an option outside of Veeam.

Can I perform a P2V migration of a domain controller (regardless of versions 2003 to 2022) without major problems? In specific documentation, I see many restrictions, precisely on the UUID that usually changes in a cloning or conversion. Does this tool allow you to maintain the UUID and other characteristics regarding a domain controller?

Is there any more current documentation, mentioning about this P2V process of AD servers???

Grateful.

@JMeixner @Chris.Childerhose 

Thank you very much. It helps me a lot!

Not a problem. Let us know how it goes. 👍

 

I moved 3 server from p2v.

Windows 2012 Terminal Server
Windows 2016 Domain controller
Windows 2016 Server with SAP

Everything worked fine, but the dc only startet in safe mode, after a few hours of searching i removed the safe mode with “msconfig” and everything ist ok.

 

Thank you again @JMeixner @Chris.Childerhose !

 

What a god send - I have spent hours on this !  Thank you I can sleep now.

Userlevel 4
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@victorwu great article and simple explanation.

I did many migration using Veeam backup and restore.

We can use the agent managed by client side abd target VBR repository as explained in the great article.

 

Besides that, we can use Veeam agent managed by VBR to take the backup from the protected machines. Then restore to the target infrastructure (VMware in this case).

 

We can migrate Windows and Linux machines, all we have to check is the guest OS if applicable abd supported to install Veeam agent for (Windows, Linux,.. Etc) on it.

 

Here I have additional one question need verify. How can we deal with physical RDM and migrate it. 

What are the full steps to restore it? And how can we deal with physical RDM pointers to revert to initial state before migrating (make as is migration)?

 

Last thing to be mentioned that VMware vcenter Standalone 6.3 has been released on october 2022.

 

Thanks a lot

Userlevel 7
Badge +7
I did it this way, but the hard disk size cannot be edited when the virtual machine is opened on the ESXi host

@cong.xu  What is your ESXi edition?

I did it this way, but the hard disk size cannot be edited when the virtual machine is opened on the ESXi host

Hello, We intend to do P2V using Veeam backup but the physical server has high capacity allotted. When we restore it to VMware, we want 80% of the storage to be reduced. How can this be achieved. Thank you!

Userlevel 4
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This Veeam P2V process works great for a physical windows server, which we have already accomplished.  We attempted the P2V process with a physical SQL cluster, but for some reason the cluster disks were not recognized during the Instant Recovery process.

Thoughts?

Userlevel 7
Badge +12

You can use the veeam agent for server license on a windows 10 pc :)

But it‘s not required if you want to virtualize your physical workstation. It will work fine without guest application aware processing. VSS snapshots (copy only) are still used to have a consistent state of the filesystem and applications.

Ahh, ok, we are using the licensed workstation edition. - I guess the “agent for server”-license is not useable on an “windows 10” non-server-os. ;)

Userlevel 7
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@sticks_el 

Application aware processing is only available in Veeam Agent for Server.

The Free Agent and Agent for Workstation doesn‘t have this option.

Hi, i tried this guide with a Windows 10 machine which i want to virtualize, but on this machine i am missing the option “guest processing” in the Veeam Agent. - Is this normal ? (I guess i can transfer Win10 anyway, but just saying)

Userlevel 7
Badge +20

@JMeixner @Chris.Childerhose 

Thank you very much. It helps me a lot!

Not a problem. Let us know how it goes. 👍

 

I moved 3 server from p2v.

Windows 2012 Terminal Server
Windows 2016 Domain controller
Windows 2016 Server with SAP

Everything worked fine, but the dc only startet in safe mode, after a few hours of searching i removed the safe mode with “msconfig” and everything ist ok.

 

Thank you again @JMeixner @Chris.Childerhose !

 

You are welcome.  We are here to help anytime. 👍

Userlevel 1

@JMeixner @Chris.Childerhose 

Thank you very much. It helps me a lot!

Not a problem. Let us know how it goes. 👍

 

I moved 3 server from p2v.

Windows 2012 Terminal Server
Windows 2016 Domain controller
Windows 2016 Server with SAP

Everything worked fine, but the dc only startet in safe mode, after a few hours of searching i removed the safe mode with “msconfig” and everything ist ok.

 

Thank you again @JMeixner @Chris.Childerhose !

 

Thank you everyone for chipping in your thoughts. It was really a fantastic and knowledgeable experience. I was able to sort this out with your guidance.

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

Another way to directly migrate P2V and V2V :)

https://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-v2v-converter

Ok, there are several converters out there.

My answer was Veeam specific.. 😎

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Another way to directly migrate P2V and V2V :)

https://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-v2v-converter

Yes this converter works very well too as an option outside of Veeam.

I tried this tool for P2V migration.

Userlevel 7
Badge +20

Another way to directly migrate P2V and V2V :)

https://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-v2v-converter

Yes this converter works very well too as an option outside of Veeam.

Userlevel 7
Badge +12

Another way to directly migrate P2V and V2V :)

https://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-v2v-converter

Userlevel 7
Badge +20

@regnor

Just another option :)

Other options are always good.  😁

Userlevel 7
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@regnor 

Just another option :)

Userlevel 7
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@Mildur That's the old school way 😅 I know I did write a powershell script for a customer which restored and mounted the vmdk to an existing VM. This was meant for a SureBackup job which also needed a physical agent backup running.

Userlevel 7
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@Prateek.Singhal  Especially if it's only to test the restore/migration, then I would go with Instant Recovery. That way the system will boot just in a few seconds. For the final migration you would have to do a storage vMotion or offline move to the desired datastore.

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

Ok… very theoretically procedure. It is not a complete restore with Veeam for me as you are not restoring the physical system as VM. You are connecting VMDKs to a manually created VM in vCenter….

But ok, theoretically a procedure without vPower NFS datastore 😎

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