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

Userlevel 7
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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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@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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@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.

very cool buddy!! thnx.

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You need an agent on the source system - either an standalone or a server controlled agent.

Userlevel 7
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Awesome post Victor now that converter is no more. 😎

That why! We should use Veeam for P2V migration.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Very nice guide 😎👍🏼

Userlevel 7
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Nice done, @victorwu !

Again you could show how simple this task is!

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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.

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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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@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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@regnor 

Just another option :)

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 7
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Absolutely great guide, but the old converter was faster :joy:

Userlevel 7
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Another way to directly migrate P2V and V2V :)

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

Userlevel 7
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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.

Hi victor,

 

Thanks for sharing this. it was really nice approach, could u please help by replying below quries.

1- does it support Boot from SAN. Meaning, One of my customer running Linux (RHEL 6.8) instance which is booting from SAN. OS Kernel is located on SAN shared storage instead of local server disk.
2- Does this Veeam software free?
 

thanks in advanced

Userlevel 7
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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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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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Is this P2V conversion also workable in a Hyper-V VM environment? I need to migrate a physical SQL server on 2012R2 to Hyper-V VM, would the steps be the same? Or are there other considerations>

Yeah the same steps would apply for this as well.  Back up the SQL box and restore to Hyper-V as a VM.

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. 

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)

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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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.

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@Anapi I would say it should also work with boot from SAN. The system sees this disk still as local and Veeam will be able create a backup from it. Linux on the other hand is sometimes a bit special with its disks, so it could be that you'll need to manually reconfigure some parts after the migration.

Both the Veeam Agents and Veeam Backup&Replication have a free/community edition.

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