3 Best Practices for P2V (Physical to Virtual) Migration

Posted by @AOMEI

June 2, 2015

The best practices for P2V migration are using free AOMEI Backupper, Microsoft Systinternals Disk2vhd utility or System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) to migrate Windows system from physical to virtual machine.

Introduction of Virtual Machine

Virtual machine is being widely used in computing. The main virtual machine includes VMware, VirtualBox, Hyper-V, Virtual PC, etc. No matter you are a technician, a computer enthusiast, software tester or IT admin, virtual machine can benefit nearly everyone. Because virtual machines are good to provide a test environment for engineers to find out changes and configuration issues and then improve their production. For example, if the company has an in-house software development staff, they need virtual machine to provide various test environment for them to find the shortingcomings or bugs of their product, and then from the result of testing, they can improve their product until being released.

On the other hand, the operation of virtual machines is independent from physical computers, so there is no any effect for data saved on physical computer even disaster happens to virtual machine. And smaller hardware expenditures by using virtual machine allows users to gain significant cost savings but keep the same level of physical computing power. Due to these advantages, the virtual machine is popular among users. And to take full use of it, users begin to look for best practices for p2v migration.

Why Need P2V Migration?

P2V migration refers to move Windows installation or entire disk from physical computer to virtual machine. You may ask why need to migrate a physical computer to a virtual machine? Perhaps you need to reduce the number of physical servers, perhaps you require to enable physical servers to be reorganized and redeployed due to they have available life, or perhaps it have less testing risk and damage for data, which can provide good test environment. The reasons mentioned above are the main reasons why users look for best practices for p2v migration.

How to Migrate from Physical to Virtual Machine?

There are 3 best practices for p2v migration, the first is free AOMEI Backuper Standard, the second one is Microsoft Systinternals Disk2vhd, and the last one is System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM).

Method1: AOMEI Backupper Standard

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a free backup software, which is able to protect PC data. It has a feature called "Universal Restore" that allows users to migrate Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7/Vista and XP from physical to virtual machine with simple steps. After this, users don’t need to spend a long time installing Windows and applications on virtual machine.

Step1: Use AOMEI Backupper to create a system image or disk image on physical machine. And then use bootable USB or CD to start up virtual machine, if there are multiple virtual machines need to start up, please try PXE boot tool.

Step2: After virtual machines start up, AOMEI Backupper will pop up automatically. Click Restore in the interface of AOMEI Backupper Standard and then continue to click Path to find the exact location of the created backup image.

Restore

Step3: Choose the backup image you have found and then click Next to go on.

Choose Backup Point

Step4:In the pop-up window, select a destination to restore system image and then click Next to continue.

Choose Destination

Step5: Click "Start Restore", then P2V migration will start.

Start Restore

Method2: Microsoft Systinternals Disk2vhd

Disk2vhd is a utility that is able to create VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) versions of physical disks for use in Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs) or Microsoft Virtual PC. Disk2vhd can only convert physical drives to virtual disks. On the other hand, Disk2vhd will not build a VM, nor will it create any configuration.

Disk2vhd

Method3: System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM)

System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) is is Microsoft's virtual machine support center for Windows-based systems, which is able to help administrators combine several physical servers within a central virtualized environment, so it allows users to move system from physical computer to virtual machine.

Virtual Machine Manager

What mentioned above are the 3 best practices for P2V migration, you can choose one of them to do P2V migration. But what worth to be mentioned is that AOMEI Backupper Standard has other wonderful feature such as system clone, disk backup, partition backup, system backup and so on. What’s more, if you are going to migrate Windows Server from physical to virtual machine, you can try AOMEI Backupper Server.