Welcome to VM Migration


Here at Building Clouds we are all about Windows Server & System Center (WSSC). A lot of the content on this blog will concentrate on infrastructure and management, especially with respect to System Center 2012 SP1. Not my content though, not uh, no sir. Instead, I’ll be concerned with helping you take your existing virtual machines and migrating them over to Hyper-V.

I guess I should tell you a little about myself then:

I’m a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft and I’ve been focused on migrating VMs for since 2011. I came to Microsoft when it acquired Opalis Software back in 2009. I know an awful lot about System Center Orchestrator, not as much as my fellow blogger Charles Joy but I get by. I’ve spent most of the last decade integrating enterprise software packages and in some ways VM migration is actually more of the same. But hey, enough about me, let’s talk about parfaits.

If you use virtual machines, Hyper-V v3 and Windows Server 2012 are both pretty impressive. Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1 adds another fantastic layer. Put them all together and what you get is a kind of crazy parfait of awesomeness. Everybody likes parfaits.

“Hang on” you say, “it wasn’t always thus.”

Fair enough. Earlier versions of Hyper-V certainly lacked some features, depending on which version and your needs, these shortcomings might have been a big deal. Many people used other hyper-visors, or so I am told. More to the point, this blog is basically assuming you are one of those people.

If you are building new VMs from scratch on Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V v3 (well-done, stand up and take a bow), there probably won’t be much information in my posts that will help you. Even so, I’m betting you’ll find them informative and entertaining so stick around.

Most of you though, have existing VMs. Lots of them. I dig. Rebuilding them all from scratch is crazy. Maybe you’ve thought about converting them but it seems like a big hassle. Well there’s actually quite a few tools out there today to help you. They can make converting VMs pretty darn easy.

So looking ahead here’s some of the topics we will explore on this blog:

  • Conversion and Migration – One VM or many?
  • Core conversion engines – What’s available and when to use which
  • Challenges – What you need to know about the road ahead
  • Safety – Snapshots, backups, safety nets and other parachutes.
  • Automation – Because clicking ‘Next’ is for other people.
  • Scripting and workflow – PowerShell seems like it would be a big help.
  • Credentials – Who’s doing the automation actually?
  • Sandbox – Two VMs, one IP address, hmmm.
  • Authoritative sources – Got a list of your VMs? That would be helpful.
  • Tracking State – How to keep your place
  • Errors – Keeping track of what goes wrong
  • User Interface – When you get tired of the DOS box

There’s probably even more but that seems like a pretty good list to start with. See you next time when we really start to dig in.