Thursday, September 17, 2015

How to Speed-up P2V conversion process: disabling SSL etc

It’s a long time since I have not done any physical to virtual conversion myself so was not aware about this, starting with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.x, during P2V conversion the converter encrypts the data using SSL. Encrypting the traffic increases the security, but it may decrease the performance. For a small server you may not notice this but if you are doing P2V of a physical server that have a large drive attached then you will see a long estimation time.

First thing first, to speed-up conversion process disable SSL encryption in VMware vCenter Converter Standalone. This involves editing one xml file on the physical machine being converted, to avoid SSL related slowdown, takes about a minute to do but would significantly reduce the P2V conversion time.
To disable SSL for vCenter Converter, as per your Windows OS version go to following location:

In Windows 7/Server 2008 and Later : C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

In Windows Vista, XP and 2003 Server: %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

In older Windows versions: %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

  • Locate the converter-worker.xml file in VMware vCenter Converter Standalone foder, first take backup of this file(just in case something goes wrong) and then open it with any text editor like Notepad
  • Now locate the tag pair <useSsl></useSsl>. It is located inside the <nfc> tag and has a value of true. 
  • Change the value from true to false, Save and close the file.

  • Restart the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Worker service on the machine.
After disabling the encryption you would immediately saw dramatically reduced estimated times to completion.

Another thing that you can be do to speed-up P2V process is, you can increase the value in the Number of Data Connections per Task option in Converter settings. If you are converting the source with multiple disks and volumes, it would decrease the conversion time by cloning multiple disks and volumes concurrently.
To do this, In the Converter GUI main menu, select Administration > Data Connections per Task to modify the settings.

Cloning too many volumes from the same source disk in parallel can increase disk access times and consequently increase conversion time.

Also take care of other P2V pre-conversion best practices.

Reference: VMware KB# 2071014  

That’s it… :)

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