Optimizing VMware vCenter Converter

Disclaimer: So first off, I will not promise that doing any of these things will actually make it run better for you. I will just say that doing these things has performed well in all the environments I've used.

Run the tool locally
  • This should be an automatic, well duh!!! Installing the converter locally onto the VM or physical machine will always perform faster than running it from a Converter Server. However, this limits you from being able to shut the source machine down after the converter completes.
    • Pros
      • Faster than any other method unless importing it via OVF in which case why are you reading this article??
      • No additional credentials to pass other than the one to the VMware infrastructure
    • Cons
      • Additional network security needed. This requires that the VM or physical hardware have access to the vCenter server and hosts. If you have a large network or a bunch of firewall rules, then this could be a pain.
      • Requires you to install the full version of the software and add additional tweaks for performance before converting.
      • Requires babysitting because you cannot use the tool to shutdown the machine after the final sync.
  • With a bunch of data to migrate (500GB+), this is definitely my favorite option.
Use a Converter Server
  • Using this method means that you don't have to worry about settings getting messed up. You simply set your favorite settings and then allow people to use the server to connect to all the VMs that need to be converted. This method creates a centralized management approach to all P2V and V2V projects.
    • Pros
      • Centralized management
      • Running logs of all previous conversions
      • One server to introduce to your firewall rules
    • Cons
      • Not as fast of speeds that can be seen when the tool is run locally
      • Can sometimes fail more often due to the extra hops
      • Two credentials are needed, one for the server and one for the VMware environment
  • With 500GB or less, this is the best option for doing multiple migrations at once and having a centralized place to monitor the progress.
Performance Enhancements
  • Set Data connections per task to Maximum [This allows multiple drives to copy at once]
  • Turn off SSL for the Worker service
    • Go to C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone
    • Edit the converter-worker.xml
    • Find this line <useSsl>true</useSsl> and change it to false
    • Save the file and restart the worker service.
  • In another blog, I talked about things to do when converting from Xen to VMware. 
  • Make sure that all network connections are solid
  • If there's a 500GB disk and only 50GB of disk has data, then consider using file copy instead of block copy. Only use file copy when a good majority of the disk is free space otherwise you will hate yourself.
Well that's all I have for now. Hopefully this helps someone save some time in their migrations. 

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