Looking for best practice: VMWare ESXi VM conversion to Proxmox

mylesw

Member
Feb 10, 2011
64
0
6
As many here would be no doubt aware, a few weeks ago VMWare released their vSphere 5 product line and with it changed the licensing and specs of what their free ESXi Hypervisor product would allow. Initially they restricted the entire Hypervisor to 8GB RAM Max per CPU on the host, and then due to pressure from the user community upgraded this to 24GB (I think). However in light of this, it sends a clear message to the user community that unless you are willing to fork over thousands per hypervisor to get a commercial license for VMWare, you run the risk that at anytime in the future, this corporation can elect to change specs and render a hypervisor unusable for its intended purpose.

We have about 5 colocated servers that run VMWare ESXi 3.5 on them, with varying amounts of RAM installed and have come to rely on their uptime. Although the product is ok for what we use it for, Proxmox actually offers more in its core product (ie. HA, Backup, Migration, etc.) which are not available in the free VMWare offering. So why others wouldn't mass migrate to Proxmox is beyond comprehension, considering this recent licensing change.

So with that said, I'm trying to find a way to migrate about 20 Linux VMs from ESXi to Proxmox. They all have VMDK files, but using a variety of conversion products (ie. VMWare Converter, Symantec BackupExec, etc.) I can get some form of backup of these VMs. I just need to know how I can get from VMWare Host to OpenVZ or KVM without having to completely rebuild a server from scratch.

I know the Wiki references this, but it doesn't go into much detail on the process and I think that at this important time, it would be information that would be of great value to others. If I can find a simple, systematic way of doing this, I'd be happy to blog or post my process for others to follow in the future, but I'd like to start with some feedback from the community on how others may have done this already.

Thanks
Myles
 
Last edited:

mylesw

Member
Feb 10, 2011
64
0
6
Hi,
the reason for the M$-stuff is, that with this OS you get trouble. Linux-VM normaly boot and all is fine - no trouble.
That's encouraging. OK, I'll try the VM -> OpenVZ container instructions on one of the VMs and see how that goes. Once I get this working on a couple, I'll write up a decent step by step 'noob' instruction page and post back here on it.

Myles
 

udo

Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2009
5,857
161
63
Ahrensburg; Germany
That's encouraging. OK, I'll try the VM -> OpenVZ container instructions on one of the VMs and see how that goes. Once I get this working on a couple, I'll write up a decent step by step 'noob' instruction page and post back here on it.

Myles
Hi,
full-virtualization to OpenVZ is a lot more work than use kvm instead of esx.

Udo
 

mylesw

Member
Feb 10, 2011
64
0
6
Hi,
full-virtualization to OpenVZ is a lot more work than use kvm instead of esx.
Oh, so you are saying I should use KVM for any Linux VMWare ESXi servers, rather than OpenVZ?

Myles
 

udo

Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2009
5,857
161
63
Ahrensburg; Germany
Oh, so you are saying I should use KVM for any Linux VMWare ESXi servers, rather than OpenVZ?

Myles
Hi,
for the beginning yes - you can simply use the disk-file (if it's a raw-file, or convert is). Create an new VM, change the disk-file and boot.
Perhaps you must remove the udev-entry inside the vm for the nic because of new mac-address, reboot and all should work.

If you switch to OpenVZ, the VM has a much smaller footprint, but you must move all services (you can't simply copy all files, because you use the kernel from the host-system).
Some systems are not workable as OpenVZ-VM (which use kernel-modules) - you can only use modules, which are loaded on the host.

Udo
 

pcravero

New Member
Yes, I read that. But it doesn't refer to moving a Linux server on VMWare ESXi to Proxmox. Plenty of reference to Windows, but not all of us are M$ fanboys.

Myles
Having contributed in the past to that specific wiki section, I can say that all those steps can be applied to VMware Linux guests. Just leave out Micros.ft specific tasks (as a Linux sysadmin you should easily recognize them ;)).

As an outcome of this thread I have added a short note to the wiki page/section, mentioning that the procedure does work for Linux guests as well. Just go to KVM as already suggested.

Paolo
 

mlanner

Member
Apr 1, 2009
184
1
18
Berkeley, CA
I agree with Udo. Just use the vmdk-to-raw converter provided by QEMU (in Proxmox). It has worked flawlessly with Linux VMs ... at least for me. Someone already did a blog entry on this one. That's how I learned to do it. I'll see if I can find the article and post the link here. It's pretty simple though, simpler than you think. Just SSH the vmdk over to the Proxmox box and issue a qemu convert command from CLI, copy the new raw file to your "new" VM on Proxmox, fire up the VM.
 

About

The Proxmox community has been around for many years and offers help and support for Proxmox VE and Proxmox Mail Gateway. We think our community is one of the best thanks to people like you!

Get your subscription!

The Proxmox team works very hard to make sure you are running the best software and getting stable updates and security enhancements, as well as quick enterprise support. Tens of thousands of happy customers have a Proxmox subscription. Get your own in 60 seconds.

Buy now!