Monday, 7 December 2015

vCenter Converter Standalone for Virtual to Virtual Conversion

Let's say we want to resize the VMDK that is given to a virtual machine. By going into Edit Settings of the VM, we cannot decrease the disk size. Changing the value with Edit Settings of the VM holds good if you are trying to increase the Guest's Disk space. If we want to shrink the VMDK, then it is best we use vCenter Converter Standalone.

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone is used if you want to perform a physical to virtual conversion or if you want to convert a Virtual machine to a Virtual machine.
Another important feature of this is, if you want to migrate a VM From Oracle VM Manager to vCenter, Converter Standalone can get this job done.

In this example here, I am using a 5.5 Update 3 vCenter with a 5.5 Update 3 ESXi host. The converter version used here is 6.0 and the guest OS to be converted is Windows 2008 R2. You need to check the release notes of the converter to make sure that the converter supports the Guest OS of the machine that is about to be converted.

Release Notes for Converter 6.0:

1. Open the vCenter Converter Standalone and select Convert machine.

2. Under the Source System:
The Source type is a Powered ON machine
In my case I am converting a remote machine residing on vCenter, hence I am selecting a remote machine.
Enter the IP address of the machine you want to Convert
Username and the Password of this machine
The Guest OS of the machine you want to convert. here it is a Windows machine

3. The next step is a destination machine.
Destination type: vCenter machine
Server: IP address of the vCenter machine
Username and Password of the vCenter machine

4. Next you need to provide a name for the converted machine. Select a datacenter in your vCenter where this converted machine should reside.

5. Next provide the ESXi host where to converted machine should reside. The datastore where it should be place and the hardware version of the machine.

6. Next step you have multiple options. under data to copy you can resize the required Guest OS drive. You can resize one single disk, or all disks and even exclude certain disks from being available on the converted machine.

7. Under advanced option you can choose whether to Power ON the converted machine after conversion or Not to along with other options.

8. The last step is to review the configurations and begin conversion. You can see after you begin conversion the converted machine is visible in your vCenter.

The conversion is going to take some time depending upon the number and size of the hard disk that is given to a virtual machine/physical machine.

Upgrading ESXi Host Via Update Manager

If you have Update Manager (VUM), you can upgrade/patch your ESXi host using it. For GUI lovers, VUM seems to be an easy way out. 
My ESXi host is Currently 5.5 Build 1331820. This Build corresponds to 5.5 GA. You can find out about VMware Build numbers from this link

Step 1:

Select the host and click Update Manager tab. Under the baseline section notice that I do not have anything. Click the Admin View option.

Step 2:
Click ESXi Images and select Import ESXi Image.

Step 3:
Browse to the Datastore and Upload the file and click Next

The ESXi image upload will take a quick minute or two. 

Once the upload is done, click Next and Provide a Baseline Name for this ESXi ISO that was uploaded. Here, the baseline name given is Host_Upgrade. Click Finish

Step 4:
Go back to Compliance View. Right Click the ESXi host and Select Enter Maintenance Mode. Once the host enters maintenance mode, click Attach and check the baseline that was just created with the ESXi image. Click Attach 

Step 5:
Click Scan and Check Upgrades. Once the Scan task is complete the compliance status should come up as Non Compliant (Red)

If it comes up as Incompatible, then reboot the host and perform the Scan again. 

Step 6:
If HA is enabled on the cluster, then Disable HA prior to performing the Remediate option. Once the HA is disabled for the cluster where this ESXI host was, click Remediate

Step 7:
This is a simple wizard driven process with no changes required.
  • First, verify the baseline is seen Under Baseline section of Remediate wizard. Click Next
  • Accept End User License Agreement. Click Next.
  • Enter a Task Description. Click Next.
  • Uncheck DPM if it is enabled for any of the selected Clusters option. Click Next. Review and Finish.

if you observe the upgrade by opening a KVM console to the server hosting this ESXi you will see the upgrade in process.

The upgrade takes about 10-15 minutes and you can verify the upgrade by observing the updated build number.