MAT (powered by Project Shift) converts from VMware to Hyper-V in less than 5 minutes

With Microsoft Hyper-V having  a rich feature set and offering a low cost purchase model,  current VMware vSphere customers may be  looking into using Hyper-V as an alternative.

However converting VMware virtual machines to Microsoft Hyper-V can be a complex and time consuming task when many vm’s are involved. One of the challenges is downtime. Because VMware is using a different format for its virtual disks than Hyper-V does, traditional conversion tools need at least one hour to convert, reboot, post processing and create a new VM.  Conversion is done cold, so during the conversion the VM is not available. That amount of downtime can be unacceptable for hosters and enterprises often  having SLA’s with 15 minutes of service windows or less,

If downtime is no issue, many tools are available. 5nine Software for instance has a free V2V conversion tool. Easy Converter can be downloaded here.

Customers of NetApp are lucky. They are able to convert from VMware to Hyper-V (or the other way) in minutes by using free NetApp Powershell tooling. This feature is called NetApp Project Shift and is currently in Tech Preview.

By using  a cmdlet part of the Data ONTAP PowerShell Toolkit  a 40GB VMDK file is converted  to a VHDx  in about 5 seconds. Then using additional tooling a new Hyper-V VM is created, VMware tools are removed and within 5 minutes the conversion is done using a single reboot. Magic!

Shift  supports bare-metal shifting with P2V &  V2P and cloud shifting or V2V between Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere. It only supports NetApp to NetApp conversions as it requires FlexClone which is a feature within Data ONTAP.

More info and a MUST SEE video in a blog written by Vaughn Stewart (Director of technical Marketing at NetAppTech Preview: Shift Cloud Platforms without Migrating Data

Microsoft extended NetApp Shift. It combines  scripts available in the Microsoft Migration Automation Toolkit (MAT) with the Shift technology. Microsoft calls it MAT (powered by Project Shift), a cold conversion technology that operates at warm conversion speed. It can convert most VMs with less than 5 minutes of downtime (and most of that it waiting for VMware tools removal).

MAT (powered by Project Shift) enables an automated conversion of VMware vSphere virtual machines to Hyper-V with less than 5 minutes downtime.

Read more about it here.

Also more on MAt in this NetApp blogpost,  

Download the technology preview of MAT (Powered by Project Shift) here.

Peter Noorderijk of Hyper-V.nu earlier blogged about NetApp Shift here.

More info

Converison VMDK  to VHDx or VHD

Project Shift NetApp MAT Microsoft

The Migration Automation Toolkit (MAT) is a collection of PowerShell scripts that will automate VM conversions. This version of MAT is powered by NetApp’s Project Shift (which are powershell cmdlets found in NetApp’s Data ONTAP PowerShell Toolkit version 3.0. Like the orginal MAT it is back ended by a SQL instance (SQL Express will work). MAT (powered by Project Shift) is able to convert VMs at incredible speeds. Most VMs are fully converted in under 5 mins, so that even customers with very small service windows can use the toolkit.

The MAT (powered by Project Shift) REQUIRES a NetApp storage device that is running ONTAP version 8.2 or later.

Prerequisites: ————–

  1. Data ONTAP PowerShell Toolkit version 3.0 from NetApp
  2. PowerCLI 5.1 from VMware (used to collect VMs)
  3. SQL Express or any other SQL Server Editions
  4. A Windows account with rights to execute MVMC locally
  5.  A Windows account with rights to schedule tasks on remote systems and run MVMC (if using remotes)
  6. A VMware account with admin rights to the ESX server or vCenter
  7. An account with local admin rights to the guest VM (if the above account does not)
  8. A NetApp admin account with rights to the controller
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About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

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