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Physical-to-Virtual ("P2V") describes the process of decoupling and migrating a physical server's operating system (OS), applications, and data from a physical server to a virtual machine guest hosted on a virtualized platform.
Methods of P2V migration
User manually creates a virtual machine in a virtual host environment and copies all the files from OS, applications and data from the source machine.
Performing a P2V migration using a tool that assists the user in moving the servers from physical state to virtual machine.
- Microsoft's Virtual Server 2005 Migration Toolkit, HOWTO: Guideline for use Virtual Server Migration ToolKit (KB555306)
- VMware provides a semi-automated tool called VMware Converter for moving physical servers into virtual environments for Windows XP or later systems. Converter replaces two older utilities: Importer (bundled with VMware Workstation) and P2V Assistant.
- Oracle's Virtual Box has a Linux-based tool which allows you to convert a dd image of an existing hard drive
- Microsoft provides the SysInternals disk2vhd utility for making images from Windows XP or later systems to be used with Windows Virtual PC, Microsoft Virtual Server or Hyper-V.
- openQRM is an Open Source datacenter management platform that does P2V (and V2P, V2V or P2P).
- Storix's bare-metal recovery product (System Backup Administrator) provides P2V and V2P capabilities for Linux, AIX, and Solaris.
Fully automated P2V
Performing a P2V migration using a tool that migrates the server over the network without any assistance from the user.
- vContinuum vContinuum by InMage systems is an automated P2V data protection/migration tool
- Symantec System Recovery enables fast, automated P2V and V2P conversions
- Quest vConverter is an example of a fully automated migration tool for P2V.
- System Center Virtual Machine Manager SCVMM among many other capabilities has P2V capability.
- Leostream is an example of a fully automated migration tool for P2V.
- PlateSpin Migrate is an example of a fully automated migration tool for P2V (and V2P, V2V or P2P).
- Virtuozzo contains automatic P2V (and V2P) migration tools.
- SanXfer by InQuinox is an automated server and data migration tool for P2V, V2P, and P2P with complete (server and storage) hardware independence.
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