Administrators considering VMware ESXi may wonder if vCenter Converter will workfor VMware ESXi conversions. The answer is yes, but there’s a gotcha.

Converting a physical machine into an ESXi virtual machine works best when you use the latest version of VMware Converter, version 3.0.3. While prior releases, such as 3.0.2 had support for ESXi, it has improved greatly with the updated 3.0.3 release. ESXi has a more updated version as well, version 3.5 Update 3. Likewise, if you are using PlateSpin’s PowerConvert or Vizioncore’s vConverter, you should make sure the version you are using supports ESXi as a target.

For most situations, converting machines to an ESXi host is not a big deal. The only practice issue that you may encounter would be the destination log-in selection of the converted virtual machine. Like many administrators, I have frequently used vCenter as the destination. If vCenter is not present in ESXi, ESXI will use the host as the destination log-in. The figure below shows the log-in:

Destination login to ESXi

Performing P2V conversions directly to ESX or ESXi hosts (no vCenter credentials) will use the local password to authenticate, and root is the default credential for ESXi. Beyond that, vCenter Converter converts machines to ESXi host nicely. Guest conversions can be placed in resource pools if set up on the host, as well as selected storage on VMFS volumes that are iSCSI, local,or fibre channel SAN. More information on vCenter Converter can be found on the VMware website.