Quick VMware Conversion

I was speaking with a customer today that wanted to move one single VM to Azure from their VMware infrastructure.  Yes, they could use Azure Site Recovery, but coming from VMware they’d have to download a VM template, configure replication, failover…. all that means waiting!  Often a modern Windows VM can be moved to Azure quickly, simply be converting the VMware disk file (VMDK) to an Azure-compatible VHD.  Yes, there are often other steps – disabling/removing the VMware “tools” (drivers), adding Hyper-V Integration Services (drivers), copying the VHD to Azure….but the file conversion is often a hang up for some administrators.

I wanted to point out one of my favorite “manual” tools for converting a VMDK to a VHD:
qemu-img for Windows  – a port of qemu-img from Cloudbase.  This a Linux command line tool (linux admins likely already know it), but having a good Windows version has saved me countless hours of hassle of the last few years.

The command synax is a little nutty (checkout of the Cloudbase page for details), but that’s not my focus right now…I WANT TO TALK ABOUT SPEED!

I downloaded a VMDK from Microsoft (Windows 10 Eval for use with VMware), unzipped it, and found an 18GB image:


I then ran qemu-img to convert the image to a VHD…and it only took 6 minutes!


Sure, I might still want to mount the VM on a Hyper-V host (like Windows 10) to make sure it boots / has all the proper drivers, plus I have to upload it / create my Azure VM (as described lots of places, including here), but the conversion so fast and easy, the rest of the process seems simple!