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.


51 comments

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!

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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?

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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. ;)

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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)

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@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. 👍

@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.

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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.. 😎

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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.

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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.

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Another way to directly migrate P2V and V2V :)

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

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@regnor

Just another option :)

Other options are always good.  😁

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@regnor 

Just another option :)

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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.

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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.

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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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The only available option for this is an instant restore. And this need the vPower NFS datastore.

@JMeixner 

What about exporting the backup as virtual disks? It‘s possible to export an agent backup as VMDKs directly to a vmware datastore and then create a new vm and connect the exported disks to this vm. To many manual steps, I would never do it this way, but it works.

https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backup/vsphere/exporting_disks.html?ver=110

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It is an instant recovery, this uses the vPower NFS datastore.

You have to move the VM to the desired datastore on the cluster after you have it migrated to production.

 

Is there a possibility to restore it without the vPower NFS datastore?

I am trying to test moving a Physical Windows Server to an ESXI Host.

The only available option for this is an instant restore. And this need the vPower NFS datastore.

It is an instant recovery, this uses the vPower NFS datastore.

You have to move the VM to the desired datastore on the cluster after you have it migrated to production.

 

Is there a possibility to restore it without the vPower NFS datastore?

I am trying to test moving a Physical Windows Server to an ESXI Host.

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It is an instant recovery, this uses the vPower NFS datastore.

You have to move the VM to the desired datastore on the cluster after you have it migrated to production.

 

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Dear All,

Where will it restore the Backup of Physical Machine. If I have multiple Datastores on VMware which one it will restore the backup as I don’t see any option to select datastore.

There should be an option to select this in the wizard.  If not post a screenshot.

Dear All,

Where will it restore the Backup of Physical Machine. If I have multiple Datastores on VMware which one it will restore the backup as I don’t see any option to select datastore.

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Great, so with the application aware processing and indexing already enabled for the current backup jobs the entire computer backup should have everything required for the VM to restore in the same state the physical had been in. 

I have seen somewhat conflicting answers on other community forums where it is stated that Veeam is not intended as a P2V, but they are older than this thread. 

Yeah Veeam has become much better in this aspect as of late so you should be good.

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