Virtualization Adapted Adapting Business Processes for Virtual Infrastrcuture (and vice-versa)


How to create a virtual appliance (OVF/OVA)

Filed under: virtualization — Tags: , , , , , , , , — iben @ 16:08

How to create a virtual appliance 


The Open Virtualization Format (OVF) specification is a standard being developed within the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) association to promote an open, secure, portable, efficient, and extensible format for the packaging and distribution of software to be run in virtual machines.

For use within an organization, Level 1 or Level 2 compatibility may be good enough, since the OVF package is distributed within a controlled environment where specific purchasing decisions of hardware or virtualization platforms can ensure consistency of the underlying feature set for the OVF.

Level 1. Only runs on a particular virtualization product and/or CPU architecture and/or virtual hardware selection. This would typically be due to the OVF containing suspended virtual machines or snapshots of powered on virtual machines, including the current run-time state of the CPU and real or emulated devices. Such state ties the OVF to a very specific virtualization and hardware platform.


  Virtual machines created from OVF sources with SCSI LSI Logic disk controller might not start up after conversion to an ESX destination 
OVF sources with LSI Logic disk controllers might fail to boot when imported to an ESX destination. This is because Converter Standalone might change the controller type to Bus Logic instead of preserving the source controller type. 
Workaround: Using VI client, edit the settings of the imported virtual machine to change the controller type from Bus Logic back to LSI Logic. This will enable the virtual machine to boot.

While exporting a virtual machine from an ESX 3.5 host to OVF “folder of files” format by using Converter Standalone, the vNICs are forcibly changed from their native type 
While exporting a virtual machine source from an ESX 3.5 host to the OVF “folder of files” format, Converter Standalone changes the source vNICs from their native type (vmxnet, vlance, or e1000) to either PCNet32 (vlance) or E1000 (e1000). This might result in an unexpected lack of network connectivity when the OVF is imported. 
Workaround: Edit the 
.vmx file to manually modify the vNIC type after importing the virtual appliance. 

NOTE: VMXNET3 is recommended for all vSphere Virtual Machine Guests.

How to Make a Portable Virtual Appliance

You can export a virtual machine to a virtual appliance, making it available to other users to import into their inventories. The resulting virtual appliance is an OVF 1.0 appliance and contains one virtual machine. OVF Virtual Appliances contain many files that are typically compressed into an archive that can be put on removable media or downloaded from a server. This file much be decompressed prior to being imported and is more cumbersome to use. Consider using OVA for internal enterprise use.

OVA is also available – this format is a single file that is easier to distribute within an organization. The OVA format is not simply a tar. It places certain restrictions on the ordering and naming of files. These rules ensure that OVA archives are easy to stream – a tool or hypervisor does not need to download an entire OVA first and then unpack it.

You cannot select a virtual appliance destination for physical machine sources or virtual appliance sources.

The OVF created as a result of this conversion is not compatible with Workstation 6.5.x, nor with Converter 3.0.3.

Install Converter Standalone in Windows

You can install Converter Standalone onto a physical or a virtual machine. The Local setup installs the Converter Standalone server, Converter Standalone agent, and Converter Standalone client for local use. For remote access, you can create a Client-server installation. With remote access you can create and manage conversion tasks remotely.
When you install the Converter Standalone agent and the Converter Standalone server, the local machine becomes a server for conversions, which you can manage remotely. When you use the local machine with the Converter Standalone client, you can convert the full range of machine types.

Start the Wizard for a Conversion

The Conversion wizard helps you specify your source machine, the destination for the machine, and to select the machine’s settings.
  1. Start the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone application.
  2. Click Convert Machine in the application menu.
The Specify Source page introduces the conversion process: Specify Source, Specify Destination, View/Edit Options, and Ready to Complete.

What to do next

You can now select the source machine type to convert.

Select a Source to Convert

You can select from several source options for the type of machine to convert. If you are converting a virtual machine that runs on a VMware DRS cluster that vCenter Server manages, set VMware DRS Power Management (DPM) to manual to avoid DPM powering off the ESX hosts used by Converter Standalone. When the conversion process completes, restore DPM to its original settings. For information about how to change DPM settings, see the Resource Management Guide.
  • Select a VMware Infrastructure Virtual Machine Source
    You can convert a virtual machine that resides on an ESX host or ESX host that vCenter Server manages.

What to do next

You can now select the destination for your new virtual machine.

Select a Destination for the New Virtual Machine


The source virtual machine must be powered off.


  1. On the Destination page, select Virtual Appliance from the drop-down menu.
  2. In the Virtual appliance details pane, type the virtual appliance name in the Name text box.
  3. Click Browse to select a destination location.
    The destination folder can be local or a remote machine shared over the network.
  4. (Optional) If you are connected to a remote Converter Standalone server, click Connect as and provide the user credentials to be used when connecting to the destination machine.
    You must manually type the path to the destination.
  5. Select the Distribution format from the drop-down menu.
    You can create virtual appliance packages that contain monolithic compressed .vmdk files only. You can store the resulting files in an .ovf folder or place them in a single .ova tarred file.
  6. Click Next to customize the virtual appliance.

You selected to export a virtual machine to a virtual appliance.

What to do next

On the View/Edit Options page, you can make more precise settings to the conversion task.

Then begin the conversion. Once conversion is complete you can move the OVA file to a location where it can be accessed by an administrator with privileges to create virtual machines on the VMware vCenter Server.

Use vCenter to import a virtual machine from OVF/OVA

Start the Deploy OVF Template Wizard
You deploy an OVF template with the Deploy OVF Template wizard.


Select File > Deploy OVF Template

On the Source page, you can specify to deploy an OVF template from a file or from a URL.

  • Deploy from a File
    You can deploy from a file that is either a OVF (.ovf file) or a OVA (.ova file) format. The OVF format is optimal for a web server or image library and deploys from a set of files. The OVA format is optimal for deploying from physical media and is packaged in a single file.
  • Deploy from a URL
    You may deploy the OVF template from a URL.


TECHNOTE: VMware Converter Standalone v4

Filed under: virtualization — Tags: , , , , , — iben @ 07:55

VMware Converter Standalone

VMware converter is used for migrating Physical servers to Virtual Machines, Virtual Machines to Virtual Machines.

Directions for conducting a V2V or P2V for Windows Servers

1. Update or Open a tracking ticket to track progress
2. Ensure system is documented and monitored on portal
3. Notify stakeholders via DL – setup DL if needed
4. Login to the Machine to be converted
5. Run defrag and diskcheck if possible
6. Run Microsoft Update
7. Do a reboot test to ensure machine stability
8. Download VMware Converter Standalone version 4 – VMware-converter-4.0.0-146302.exe
9. Download Sysprep tools – unzip but do not run
10. Download NewSID – unzip but do not run
11. Download and run BGinfo – apply
12. Download and run treesize free and clean up unneeded files
13. Install VMware Converter
14. Copy Sysprep files to correct location – c:\documents and settings\all users
15. Launch VMware Converter
16. Import Machine
17. Select the device type; Physical Computer, Virtual Computer from ESX or VMware Workstation.
18. Enter in the remote IP address of the target:
19. Do not select Automatically uninstall the files when the import is successful
20. Select all the drives you wish to migrate to the new Virtual Machine
21. Select ESX or Virtual Center
22. Enter the Virtual Center and user credentials
23. Select the Virtual Machine name
24. Select the ESX host
25. Select the appropriate DataStore
26. Select the appropriate network
27. Check the box install vmware tools
28. If you desire to customize the settings, check the box.
29. Select Finish
30. When completed test new machine and configure.
31. Run newsid if new host names is needed… Keep in mind you cannot have two machines with same name or IP on same network.
32. Run BGinfo and apply again.
33. Verify reboot test and monitoring is functioning.
34. Verify system time.
35. Adjust services as needed.
36. Remove old hardware’s software.
37. Notify stakeholders when old machine is off and new machine is on.

See also:


TechNote: duplicate IP address after P2V of Windows Guest with VMware Convertor

Filed under: virtualization — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — iben @ 15:17

This issue is coming up more as we convert Physical machines to Virtual.  It can also happen when you want to change from the old “Flexible” to the newer “Enhanced vmxnet” network adapters.

Flexible shows up in Windows Device Manager as an “VMware Accelerated AMD PCNet Adapter” and Enhanced vmxnet show up as “VMware PCI Ethernet Adapter”.  You may also see “Broadcom NetXtreme 57xx Gigabit Controller” from a Dell or other desktop.

  • Flexible — The Flexible network adapter identifies itself as a Vlance adapter when a virtual machine boots, but initializes itself and functions as either a Vlance or a vmxnet adapter, depending which driver initializes it. VMware Tools versions recent enough to know about the Flexible network adapter include the vmxnet driver but identify it as an updated Vlance driver, so the guest operating system uses that driver. When using the Flexible network adapter, you can have vmxnet performance when sufficiently recent VMware tools are installed. When an older version of VMware Tools is installed, the Flexible adapter uses the Vlance adapter (with Vlance performance) rather than giving no network capability at all when it can’t find the vmxnet adapter.
  • Enhanced vmxnet — The enhanced vmxnet adapter is based on the vmxnet adapter but provides some high-performance features commonly used on modern networks, such as jumbo frames. This virtual network adapter is the current state-of-the-art device in virtual network adapter performance, but it is available only for some guest operating systems on ESX Server 3.5. This network adapter will become available for additional guest operating systems in the future.
  • Networking Error, IP Address Already Assigned to Another Adapter
    KB Article 1179
    Updated Jan. 07, 2009

    VMware Converter
    VMware ESX
    VMware GSX Server
    VMware P2V Assistant
    VMware Workstation

    Why do I see an error message that “The IP address XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX…” is already assigned to another adapter?

    Under certain conditions, you may see the following error message from a Windows guest operating system:

    The IP address XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX you have entered for this network adapter is already assigned to another adapter Name of adapter. Name of adapter is hidden from the network and Dial-up Connections folder because it is not physically in the computer or is a legacy adapter that is not working. If the same address is assigned to both adapters and they become active, only one of them will use this address. This may result in incorrect system configuration. Do you want to enter a different IP address for this adapter in the list of IP addresses in the advanced dialog box?

    In this message, XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX is an IP address that you are trying to set and Name of adapter is the name of a network adapter that is present in the registry but hidden in Device Manager.

    This can occur when you change a network connection’s TCP/IP configuration from DHCP to a static IP address if:

    * You have upgraded VMware virtual network adapters (for example when you migrate a virtual machine from an older to a new version of VMware software.)
    * You have added and removed network adapters multiple times.

    The cause of the error is that a network adapter with the same IP address is in the Windows registry but is hidden in the Device Manager (My Computer > Properties > Hardware > Device Manager). This hidden adapter is called a ghosted network adapter.

    Using the Show hidden devices option in the Device Manager (View > Show hidden devices) does not always show the old virtual NIC (ghosted adapter) to which that IP Address is assigned

    Microsoft addresses this issue in their Knowledge Base article 269155, which is available at the time of this writing at

    To resolve this problem, follow these steps to make the ghosted network adapter visible in the Device Manager and uninstall the ghosted network adapter from the registry:

    1. Select Start > Run.
    2. Enter cmd.exe and press Enter. This opens a command prompt. Do not close this command prompt window. In the steps below you will set an environment variable that will only exist in this command prompt window.
    3. At the command prompt, run this command:
      set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
    4. In the same command prompt run this command:
      Start DEVMGMT.MSC (press Enter to start Device Manager.)
    5. Select View > Show Hidden Devices.
    6. Expand the Network Adapters tree (select the plus sign next to the Network adapters entry).
    7. Right-click the dimmed network adapter, and then select Uninstall.
    8. Close Device Manager.
    9. Close the Command Prompt

    Another method of resolving this problem is to use the DevCon utility. This is a command-line utility that acts as an alternative to Device Manager. When you use DevCon, you can enable, utility disable, restart, update, remove, and query individual devices or groups of devices.

    To use DevCon:

    1. Download the DevCon tool from Microsoft Knowledge Base: 311272 (
    2. Unpack the 32bit or 64bit DevCon tool binary to a local folder.
    Click Start > Run.
    Type cmd and press Enter.
    5. Type CD:\path_to_binaries to navigate to the devcon.exe is located.
    6. Use the following syntax to find installed network adapters:

    devcon findall *net* or
    devcon listclass net

    Note: In the output of the previous commands, there is a line for the ghosted network adapter that is similar to, PCI\.
    Run the following command to remove the adapter:

    devcon remove @device\name

    For example, devcon remove “@PCI\VEN_14E4&DEV_1600&SUBSYS_01C21028&REV_02\4&378EDFA4&0&00E2” .

    Note: IDs that include an ampersand character (&) must be enclosed in quotation marks as seen in the example.

    Reboot the system and you no longer see the ghost network adapters.

    Product Versions

    VMware Converter 3.0.x
    VMware ESX 1.5.x
    VMware ESX 1.x
    VMware ESX 2.0.x
    VMware ESX 2.1.x
    VMware ESX 3.0.x
    VMware GSX Server 2.0.x (Linux hosts)
    VMware GSX Server 2.0.x (Windows hosts)
    VMware GSX Server 2.5.x (Linux hosts)
    VMware GSX Server 2.5.x (Windows hosts)
    VMware GSX Server 3.x (Linux hosts)
    VMware GSX Server 3.x (Windows hosts)
    VMware P2V Assistant 1.x
    VMware P2V Assistant 2.0.x
    VMware P2V Assistant 2.1.x
    VMware Workstation 3.x (Linux Hosts)
    VMware Workstation 3.x (Windows Hosts)
    VMware Workstation 4.x (Linux hosts)
    VMware Workstation 4.x (Windows hosts)

    urlz; migration; upgrade; 1179; ghost; hidden; NIC
    This Article Replaces

    converter NIC issue (1000212)
    Not able to remove ghost network adapter per the instructions in KB Article: 1179 (1003003)

    Subject: VMware: Solution for “The IP address XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX…” is already assigned to another adapter” error

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