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Import VMWare file into ESX

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  • Import VMWare file into ESX

    I have some experience with VMWare Server and have been considering moving to ESX. I have a situation where I'm trying to move from VMWare Server to ESX. I have a Windows 2003 Server with VMWare Server with an instance of Win2003 running Exchange 2007. We want to copy the virtual server instance to a Windows file server, wipe the host and install ESX and then import the virtual server instance into ESX. I imagine we'll then be able to simply find it and start it up using the ESX console.

    Two Qs: Is this possible? How do we get the Exchange 2007 Server from the file server into ESX?

  • #2
    Re: Import VMWare file into ESX

    Yes it's possible. ESX has the option to import a virtual machine from the VMWare Server platform (as well as others like MS Virtual Server). I've used this and it works pretty well.

    If your ESX server will be using directly attached storage, you can simply copy the virtual machine files from the file server to the ESX host. ESX also has the option of using SAN storage, so that you can store and run VM images from the SAN.


    • #3
      Re: Import VMWare file into ESX

      Best way would be to use VMware Converter Which is free. You can convert a machine that is running live (no matter which platform ESX/WS/SERVER) and transport it to or from an ESX/SERVER

      In Version 3.5 this is already built into the Virtual Center Client, in versions below that it is a seperate Application.

      Once you have converted the machine and prepared it for the ESX server with the free converter version you most probably will not be able to import it directly to the ESX, so you will have to copy it over.

      Tools for that can be:

      or what I consider the best option FastSCP

      If you have any more questions on the process, shoot, and I will give it a shot...
      Technodrone|@maishsk|Author of VMware vSphere Design
      VMware vExpert 2013-2010,VCAP5-DCA/DCD,VCP
      MSCA 2000/2003, MCSE 2000/2003
      A proud husband and father of 3 girls
      If you find the information useful please don't forget to give reputation points sigpic.

      Have a good one!!


      • #4
        Re: Import VMWare file into ESX

        You can also use the old school method on the ESX console by using vmkfstools -i pointing at an SMB share.
        VCDX3 #34, VCDX4, VCDX5, VCAP4-DCA #14, VCAP4-DCD #35, VCAP5-DCD, VCPx4, vEXPERTx4, MCSEx3, MCSAx2, MCP, CCAx2, A+ - VMware Virtualization Evangelist
        My advice has no warranties. Follow at your own risk.


        • #5
          Re: Import VMWare file into ESX

          I would simply backup the VMDK files that make up the virtual server running exchange 2007 to another system or external hard drive. Wipe the host, install ESX and then import the VMDK files as a new machine, should work just fine. If you can test this before wiping your host first then that would be the best thing to do. You can always download a 60 day trial of ESX 3.5.