Chapter 5. Converting physical machines to virtual machines

Read this chapter for information about converting physical machines to virtual machines with the Red Hat Physical-to-Virtual (P2V) solution, Virt P2V.
Virt P2V is comprised of both virt-p2v-server, included in the virt-v2v package, and the P2V client, available from the Red Hat Customer Portal as rhel-6.x-p2v.iso. rhel-6.x-p2v.iso is a bootable disk image based on a customized Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 image. Booting a machine from rhel-6.x-p2v.iso and connecting to a V2V conversion server that has virt-v2v installed allows data from the physical machine to be uploaded to the conversion server and converted for use with either Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, or KVM managed by libvirt.
Note that the host must be running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Other host configurations will not work.

Important

Adhere to the following rules. Failure to do so may cause the loss of data and disk malfunction:
  • The Physical to Virtual (P2V) feature requires a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 virtualization host with virt-v2v-0.8.7 or later. You can check your version of virt-v2v by running $ rpm -q virt-v2v.
  • Note that you cannot convert to a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 conversion server, or with a virt-v2v package previous to version 0.8.7-6.el6.
  • A number of operating systems can be converted from physical machines to virtual machines, but be aware that there are known issues converting physical machines using software RAID. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 machines with a filesystem root on a software RAID md device may be converted to guest virtual machines. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 physical machines with their filesystem root on a software RAID md device cannot be converted to virtual machines. There is currently no workaround available.

5.1. Prerequisites

For a physical machine to be converted using the P2V client, it must meet basic hardware requirements in order to successfully boot the P2V client:
  • Must be bootable from PXE, Optical Media (CD, DVD), or USB.
  • At least 512 MB of RAM.
  • An ethernet connection.
  • Console access (keyboard, video, mouse).
  • An operating system supported by virt-v2v:
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.9
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
    • Windows XP
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows 7
    • Windows Server 2003
    • Windows Server 2008