VMware Converter - Convert physical machines to virtual machines - Free.

One of the tools that I absolutely love from VMware is their Converter tool. It is an application that you install which can take a physical machine and turn it into a VM which runs on ESX, Workstation or VMware Server. It has worked well for me in the past, and I still use it today in the data center to migrate old physical servers onto VMs so that we can decommission old hardware that is no longer supported by the vendor. It also lets us consolidate our server infrastructure onto fewer physical machines.

Here is the breakdown from the VMware site:

Convert Physical Machines to Virtual Machines in Minutes

VMware Converter can be run on a wide variety of hardware and supports most commonly used versions of the Microsoft Windows operating systems. With this robust, enterprise class migration tool you can:

  • Quickly and reliably convert local and remote physical machines into virtual machines without any disruption or downtime.
  • Complete multiple conversions simultaneously with a centralized management console and an intuitive conversion wizard.
  • Convert other virtual machine formats such as Microsoft Virtual PC and Microsoft Virtual Server or backup images of physical machines such as Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery or Norton Ghost 12 to VMware virtual machines.
  • Restore VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) images of virtual machines to running virtual machines.
  • Clone and backup physical machines to virtual machines as part of your disaster recovery plan.

Choose from two available editions of VMware Converter

VMware Converter Starter is a free download available to everyone. It is an easy to use product for single conversions. VMware Converter Enterprise is a robust, enterprise-class product for managing and automating large scale conversions. Learn more about the two editions.

Learn about support offerings for VMware Converter Starter.

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