Converting from physical to virtual machines

A few days back, I received an e-mail from someone who was trying to convert a Windows 2000 physical server to a virtual machine (VM) and had read some of the posts on this blog. He commented that today’s virtualisation software seemed to be much more complicated than the virtualisation he remembered from his mainframe days but, whilst my mainframe experience is pretty limited (one week’s work experience at the local hospital and a year compiling support statistics/coding a call stack analysis tool at ICL‘s VME System Support Centre in Manchester), I’d have to say that my understanding of the mainframe approach is probably more comparable to the concept of containers and zones in Sun Solaris rather than the virtualisation products from VMware and Microsoft.

For anyone who is trying to get a physical machine across into a VM, I’ve previously written posts about three ways to do this (an overview of Microsoft’s Virtual Server migration toolkit, my experience of using PlateSpin PowerConvert and an article I found about using disk imaging software to convert a machine); however Michael Pietroforte’s post about six ways to convert physical to virtual is probably worth a read.

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