How to convert physical machines with VMware Converter Starter edition. Converting your virtual machines with VMware converter could be quite lenthy process. So if you want to to consolidate physical servers to virtual servers, the easiest way to do this is to perform a physical to virtual (P2V) conversion. With a P2V conversion, you can use either an imaging application like Acronis or Symantec BESR or a dedicated P2V conversion application to take all data on a physical computer.
Then you will move those data to your virtualized infrastructure. Then you'll have to modify the drivers on the transferred operating system, and boot that converted virtual machine – which is now virtualized.
Imagine that you have 30 or 60 machines to convert. With VMware converter free version you can only convert one machine at a time. But you can also install the P2V software on the source machine before you start the convertion process. Then you will be able to run multiple conversions at a time. My favourite is to convert the physical server (workstation) directly into my ESX host using the The starter edition installed on multiple machines. Like this I am able to convert (backup) my production physical servers which are not yet virtualized.
And at the end some usefull advices before you convert:
Uninstall as many drivers as possible from the physical computer that will be converted
Make sure that your guest OS can reach fully qualified domain names on the network and that you are referring to it using FQDN
Delete at much data on the physical computer as possible and use the option to transfer only the smallest amount of hard drive data as is required
If cloning an already virtualized system, reinstalling your application, and just copying the data is not too difficult, then that is preferred to a full P2V conversion as you will end up with a “cleaner” VM (with less garbage from the previous OS installation, applications, and drivers)