Q: How do I perform a physical to virtual (P2V) conversion using System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012 R2?

A: Many organizations still have physically deployed OSs that they want to run in a virtual machine (VM). This requires converting the physical OS instance to a virtual OS instance.

SCVMM 2012 had physical to virtual (P2V) capabilities; however, these capabilities were removed in SCVMM 2012 R2.

For organizations that have deployed SCVMM 2012 R2 but need to perform P2V conversions, there still are some options:

  • Rather than perform a P2V conversion, create a fresh VM, then deploy the application into the new OS. While this is more work, it might actually be a better option because, if the application supports it, it can be an opportunity to upgrade the OS and "clean up" the environment.
  • Deploy SCVMM 2012 SP1 to be used for the P2V actions.
  • Use a tool such as Disk2vhd from the Sysinternals page at Microsoft's website, which will capture the contents of the volumes on the physical server to VHD files that can be used when creating a new VM.
  • Use a third-party conversion tool. There are many tools available--PlateSpin is one of the major tools I have seen.