How to convert a workload while leaving the source and target online with same IP and Hostname

  • 7920992
  • 12-Oct-2007
  • 27-Apr-2012


PowerConvert v6.6 and higher
PlateSpin Migrate
PlateSpin Protect


This article provide details on how to convert a workload to a virtual server while the source workload will remain online and the target will be booting into an isolated environment without any hostname or IP conflicts. This process provides several benefits, such as:

  1. Minimize the downtime when cutting over from the source to the target VM to several seconds (manual cutover required)
  2. Provides the ability to test the VM before performing the final cutover
  3. Provides the ability to synchronize the source and the target VM before the final cutover using PlateSpin Server Sync


By default, when configuring a conversion job (V2V or P2V) PowerConvert will perform validation against the job settings to ensure no potential errors will occur due to mis-configuration. If PowerConvert detects that a source and target workload are set to be online using the same network information post the migration job, it will display warnings and prevent the user from executing the job.

Warning Example:

However, PowerConvert will allow to execute a conversion job where the source and target remain online using the same network information if the target VM is configured to use an Internal Network Virtual Switch. Internal Network is a virtual network on a target Virtual Server which is not assigned to any physical NIC and it is designed to allow internal communication within the virtual host and it is completely isolated from the rest of the network.

Step 1: Create an Internal Network on your target Virtual Server

  1. Log-in to your virtual server Administration Page (for MSVS or ESX 2.5x) or Virtual Infrastructure Administration Client (VMware ESX 3)
  2. Create a new Virtual Network and ensure that the virtual NIC will not use any physical NICs
    1. ESX 3 instructions: Open VI client > highlight a ESX Host > Click on the Configuration tab > click on Networking > click on Add Networking | In the new window select ‘Virtual Machine’ and click next > deselect any physical NIC and click next > Enter a network name and click next and Finish

ESX 3 Screen:

    1. MSVS instructions: Open the MSVS Web administration page > Under Virtual Networks click on Create > Enter a Name and ensure that no Physical NIC is selected (e.g. ‘None (Guests Only)’ should be selected) and click OK

MSVS Screen:

    1. ESX 2.x instructions: Open ESX MUI > click on Options > click on Network Connections | in the new window click Add (next to Virtual Switches) > Enter a Name and ensure that no Physical NIC is selected > Click on Create Switch

ESX 2.5 Screen:

Step 2: Discover the Virtual Server
Using PowerConvert client discover the target virtual server and ensure the Internal NIC is showing under the server properties

Step 3: Configure and execute a conversion job

  1. Drag and drop the source on the target and select either ‘Move Workload or ‘Copy Workload’
  2. Start the Advanced configuration UI by clicking on ‘Advanced’ and follow the below
    1. Under General: select the desired transfer protocol and ensure that the source and target will remain online post the migration process
    2. Under Take Control | Target Virtual Machine: Important : ensure to select a Virtual NIC which has access to the PowerConvert and source workload network. Selecting the internal NIC will cause the job to fail since the target VM will not be able to send heartbeat to the PowerConvert server
    3. Under Guest NIC #:Important : ensure to select the Internal Network in this section, if multiple NICs are being migrated repeat the process for all NICs
  3. Configure the remaining job parameters as you wish and execute the job

Guest NIC 1 configuration sample:

** Please note that only ESX 3 servers will display (Internal) near an Internal NIC name.

Please note that PowerConvert will display IP and Hostname error messages before selecting the internal NIC. These messages will be eliminated once the Internal Network will be selected under Guest NIC #.

Step 4: VM Testing and Final Cutover
Once the migration job completes the target VM will be loaded and ready for verification. If the VM appears to be working fine there are 2 options:

Immediate Manual cutover:

  1. Manually Shutdown the source
  2. Right click the target VM properties and change the VM vSwitch from the Internal Network to the production vSwitch (no VM reboot required

Synchronize using Server Sync and perform manual cutover:
Server Sync allows PowerConvert users to perform a full synchronization between two workloads. Server Sync performs a file-by-file comparison between the source and the target virtual workload, identifying and transferring the differences. As a result, Server Sync only supports file-based Live Transfer.  In most scenarios this is done when several hours or days have passed since the initial P2V due to acceptance testing.

For more information on Server Sync please visit Knowledge base article TID 7920954for more details.

  • Right click the undiscovered VM and select “Prepare for Synchronization”, provide the Virtual Server Admin login and define temporary IP address
  • Once the target workload is ready for synchronization, drag and drop the source workload on top of the target VM. Be sure to define the proper network settings (e.g. use the production vSwitch) for the target virtual workload
  • Once Server Sync completes, access the PowerConvert Synchronization Schedule window (Tools | Synchronization Schedule), right click the Source-Target Server Sync entry and select ‘Full Restore’
  • Important : In the Full Restore Job window ensure to select the Internal Network under Guest NIC #, configure the job and execute it
  • Once the job completes, manually shutdown the source and edit the VM to use the production vSwitch

If you have questions about this article please contact PlateSpin Support at