Tested: PHD Virtual Backup 6.0

PHD Virtual Backup is a backup and recovery solution for VMware and Citrix environments. PHD Virtual Backup version 6 is released. We tested this new version with VMware vSphere.

What’s new in PHD Virtual Backup version 6:

PHD Virtual Backup version 6.0 contains the following major enhancements:

  • PHD Instant Recovery: Instant Recovery lets you access your backed up data right away. The VM(s) will be powered on directly from the backup storage. Instant Recovery can be used for verifying backups or when needed mission critical data immediately. 
  • Application Aware Backups: PHDVB v6.0 provides the ability to take application aware backups for any application.  Application aware backups include the ability to properly quiesce the application prior to backup, as well as perform any post-backup processes, such as automated log management (truncate, shrink, etc.).  This is done by leveraging a very small guest application called the PHD Guest Tools
  • Full and incremental backup mode: Prior to v6.0, PHDVB provides a single backup mode called the virtual full.  Virtual Full backups include source-side deduplication across all backups within a backup target.  They are very efficient for storage utilization and backup and restore speeds. There are certain configurations that are not optimized to handle the many files that the virtual full leverages.  Therefore, PHD is implementing a traditional full / incremental backup mode for those configurations such as using a CIFS share or deduplicating hardware appliance as the backup target or using 3rd party tools to copy full and incremental files off-site or to tape.
  • Email Enhancements: The enhancements include: test Email, get HTML summary reports and fewer alerts
  • Encryption: Those requiring strict requirements for backup data security can now choose to enable one of many types of industry standard encryption levels for PHD Virtual Backups.  When enabled, data will be encrypted at the file system level of the VBA to ensure that it is secure in transit to the backup target and at rest when it reaches the backup target.
  • Enhanced File Level Recovery (FLR): In PHDVB v6.0, users will now be able to select an option to use CIFS for FLR, whereby the backup will be mounted to the VBA and presented out as a CIFS share. This allows the admin to share backup data so that other users can recover files or application items.  For additional flexibility, you can also choose or ability to present backups out as an iSCSI target from the VBA so that other machines can mount the backup as a local disk.  

Read more

Convert VMware to Hyper-V VMs with Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter

Last week Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter RC is released.  Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter is a stand-alone tool that makes it possible to convert and deploys VMware based VMs to Hyper-V based VMs.  It’s  coverts the VMware VM and virtual disks (VMDK) to Hyper-V VMs and Virtual Hard Disks (VHDs). As virtualization consultant I got “sometimes“ involved in migrating VMware to Hyper-V VMs, so I tried Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter.

What’s supported

Supported VMware platforms to convert from :

  • vCenter Server 5.0
  • vCenter Server 4.1
  • VMware ESXi Server 5.0
  • VMware ESXi/ESX Server 4.1

Supported Windows platforms to convert to:

  • Windows Server® 2012 release candidate
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 release candidate
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 SP1
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

Guest operating Systems supported to convert:

  • Windows Server 2003 SP2 x86 & x64
  • Windows Server 2008 & 2008 R2 x86 & x64
  • Windows Vista & 7 x86 & x64

MVMC will successfully perform virtual machine conversions when the following conditions are met:

  • The virtual machine to be converted is in a running state
  • The virtual machine has VMware tools installed (make sure the VMware tools are up-to-date!)
  • The VMware VM is stopped during the VMDK copy process
  • The virtual machine is joined to an Active Directory® domain.
  • Remote access through Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is enabled on the VMware-based virtual machine to be converted and the destination Hyper-V host. See the “Troubleshooting” section in this guide for more details.
  • The account used for connecting to the VMware-based virtual machine that needs to be converted is part of an Active Directory domain and also a local administrator on that machine.
  • You have the correct credentials to connect to the required environments.
  • The Windows user account that you are using has write access to the UNC path specified on the destination Hyper-V host for copying the virtual hard disks.
  • The Hyper-V host has the required disk space available for the converted virtual hard disks.


How it works

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter contains the following components:

  • MVMC.exe, a command-line utility that converts VMware-based virtual machines to Hyper-V-based virtual machines
  • MVMC.GUI.exe, a wizard-driven GUI that helps convert VMware-based virtual machines to Hyper-V-based virtual machines
  • MVDC.exe, a command-line utility that converts VMware virtual disks (VMDK) to Hyper-V-based virtual hard disks (VHD)

The MVMC.GUI.exe provides a wizard-driven GUI. The conversion takes the following steps:

  • Takes snapshot VMware VM
  • Uninstall VMware tools
  • Shutdown VM
  • Copy the VMDKs to conversion machine
  • Remove snapshot
  • Depending on “final state” settings the VMware VM will be started or stopped
  • Convert VMDKs to VHDs
  • Import the VM in Hyper-V
  • Installs integration services
  • Depending on “final state” settings the Hyper-V VM will be started or stopped

I tested a conversion and deployment of a  Windows 2008 R2 VM, hosted on a VMware vSphere 5 update 1 environment using the GUI. I executed the following steps:

  • Install Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter. For best performance, it is recommended that you run the conversion on the destination host (Hyper-V host)
  • Start MVMC.GUI.exe
  • Enter the vCenter or ESXi information


  • Select a running VM. Be aware that the VM will be stopped during the conversion!


  • Specify account details en select the final state of the source and target


  • Select the temporarily location to store the disks. Make sure it has enough free space (double size of the source VMDKs). It will store the VMDKs and convert the VMDKs to VHDs.


  • Enter the Hyper-V server information and select the share to store the VHD. Make sure you have enough free space to store all the VHDs


  • Some warnings will appear. Read them and click Finish


  • The copy and conversion steps are executed


  • The VM is converted successfully


  • In Windows Server 2012 the VM can be started. It has the Integrated Components installed




Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter is a very basic VMware to Hyper-V conversion program. Here are some Pros and Cons:


  • Support for Windows Server 2012
  • Command line scripting possible


  • It does not pre-check for example if there is sufficient disk space available. During the copy and conversion process you get a error when the disk is full. This cost a lot of extra time!
  • The VMware tools must be up to date. With outdated VMware tools it is not possible to convert
  • Hot cloning not possible. Downtime needed!
  • No Linux support
  • Pre-checks are not
  • No disk alignment of Windows 2003


If you like it to do the other way, VMware has a tool called “VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0” which convert Hyper-V based VMs to VMware vSphere VMs with more advanced functions to use such as hot cloning and disk aligning.

Unable to join domain when deploy a template using guest customization specification

At a customer I was unable to join a domain when deploying a template from vCenter using a guest customization specification. This only happened with Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7 templates.

To solve this problem, you need the do the following in the guest customization specification:

– Enter the FQDN name in Windows Server Domain field (1)

– Enter the user@domain_FQDN in the username field (2)


I used the NetBIOS domain name in the “Windows Server Domain” field and “domain\username” in the username field what doesn’t work with Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7 anymore.

More information can be found here state that you need to fill in: