How to P2V to ESXI using an ArcServe D2D backup and Bare Metal Recovery
By far the easiest method to convert a Physical machine to a ESXI hosted Virtual machine (P2V) is to use the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone. You simply select the source machine, then the ESXI host destination and you are done. The conversion takes 1-2 hours on average. But what if you don't have a "destination" ESXI host on your subnet? (As was my case). What to do? I was in a DR scenario where I had a physical front end server fail to reboot. What was supposed to be a routine updates install turned into a last minute ESXI build. I was able to load an ArcServe D2D image (2 if you include the machine I wiped to become the ESXI) onto a fresh ESXI hosted VM shell and recover before any customer even noticed. In this article I'll explain how easy it is to perform a Bare Metal Recovery of an ArcServe D2D image onto a newly created VM.
First thing you need is an ArcServe D2D full backup. You can restore from any of the incremental backups beyond the Full, but you do need at least the Full backup. This backup can be on an external drive or anywhere on your network, as long as the directory is shared and accessible. ArcServe D2D comes with a "D2DBMR.iso". with the install package. You'll need this to boot up with your new Virtual machine. First, we'll need to make the iso available for the machine upon bootup. I use VEEAM Fast SCP to move files in and out of Datastores. I placed the ISO in a newly created folder "New Folder". in root of my datastore. Next we'll have to create the VM.
Open up your VSphere client and create a new machine, making sure the disk partitions are at least the same size or bigger than your backed up machine. Then before turning the machine on, right click the machine and select "Edit settings" . Under hardware, select CD/DVD drive and select choose "Datastore ISO file". TIP -- Make sure you select "Connect at Power On". at the top. Also, the next tab over, "Options" , under "Boot Options" , I always make sure "Force BIOS Setup" is selected so I can change the boot order to CD Rom first.
Once you successfully boot to your D2DBMR iso file, you'll see the ArcServe D2D interface. Simply select "browse" and connect to either a usb connected drive (USB Passthrough), or network share. I can tell you that I restored a 300gb machine from a network share in approx. 25 minutes, so unless you really want to go through the effort of adding a USB device to your new machine, my advice is to connect to a share. Once you are connected the ArcServe BMR software handles the rest!!
Not only was this method VERY fast, upon bootup there was no Windows Licensing Prompt. Although the VM Converter may be the easiest way to transfer P2V, one of the caveats is the license prompt upon bootup. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions. If you enjoyed this article you may like one of these: