Hyper-Vacating Your Datacenter with vSphere 4.1

Has a rogue Hyper-V host popped up in the server room?  Did someone develop a now-critical application atop Hyper-V on a PC under his desk?  Has your company acquired another that hadn’t standardized on VMware vSphere?  Do you need to get a Hyper-V VM onto vSphere quickly?

Then Hyper-Vacate your datatacenter — stat!

Thanks to a new feature in VMware vSphere 4.1 to convert and import virtual machines — also known as V2V — from a Hyper-V host, Hyper-Vacating is now easier than ever.  From the What’s New in vSphere 4.1 document:

vCenter Converter Hyper-V Import. vCenter Converter allows users to point to a Hyper-V machine. Converter displays the virtual machines running on the Hyper-V system, and users can select a powered-off virtual machine to import to a VMware destination. See the vCenter Converter Installation and Administration Guide.

It has always been possible to import a Hyper-V VM — even before vSphere 4.1 — by simply treating it as a powered-on physical machine;  this is still a valid approach for those that prefer to do a hot conversion.  The new enhancement in 4.1 allows a cold conversion, which is worth considering to ensure a completely consistent V2V copy.


A cold conversion will require some downtime for the Hyper-V virtual machine.  As a vSphere administrator, you may not be familiar with the nuances of Hyper-V, but the good news is that users serviced by a Hyper-V infrastructure are not unfamiliar with downtime.  That’s because tasks like removing a snapshot require VMs to be powered off.  Therefore, do not be too concerned with this brief outage.

Visual Walk-Through

If you have installed vCenter Server with vCenter Converter and plug-in, a wizard will guide you through the entire process.  Take a look at some of the key steps:

Select Hyper-V as the source type:

Allow a Converter agent to be installed on the Hyper-V host:

Select a powered-off virtual machine from the listed inventory:

Customize the destination vSphere VM as needed.  You can convert to vSphere thin provisioning and make a number of other modifications, such as disabling the Hyper-V components inside the guest.

After the process begins, a summary can be found by right-clicking the task in the vSphere Client:


Hopefully, you have already standardized on the best virtualization platform available, but if you find yourself needing to move Hyper-V VMs to vSphere, this new vCenter Converter capability could save the day.

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7 Responses to Hyper-Vacating Your Datacenter with vSphere 4.1

  1. This is madness !!! Right now in my infrastructure there is a Hyper-V R2 server running 2 VMs.. the thing is that I want Hyper-Vacation for this host and convert it to ESXi as soon as possible. Reading your guide i decide that is time to do it.. but know when I’m trying to connect to the Hyper-V from Converter running on vCenter i just got the message “Unable to contact the specified host ‘IP’ ………. “.

    To be able to connect to that host looks like i will have to shutdown the firewall (is enable and blocking all inbound) but to do this i have to restart….. waiting for the night to do it…

    Hyper-V your vacations are coming..

  2. “netsh firewall set opmode disable“

    Solved the connection problem without restart.. now connecting to the Hyper-V to start the process…

    Thanks for the great article!!!

  3. Eric,

    With Hyper-V 2008R2 and VMM2008R2, you don’t need to shut down VM’s before removing Snapshots. VMM2008R2 can add / rollback / remove snapshots on both VMware and Hyper-V VM’s while they’re running.

    Your reference article (although correct at the time) is no longer correct and over a year old.

  4. Phil says:


    Unfortunately that isn’t correct. You can indeed delete the snapshot in Hyper-v whilst the machine is running and it will dissapear from the interface, but the AVHD snapshot file will not be merged into the main VHD until you power off the VM.

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  6. Ram says:

    We can import from the Converter UI but is is possible to do from command line ?

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