MAT (powered by Project Shift) Amazing

Written by Mo Elamin. Posted in Blog, Microsoft, Storage, VMWare


This year at VMworld 2014, I  had a chance to to see Netapp show off their conversion technology, dubbed internally at NetApp Project Shift.I have mentioned this before in Migrating Vmware vm’s to Hyper-v V3 but I had to write more about this as I think this will be a killer option for any one on clustered ontap and attempting a migration project.

Project Shift does is convert VMs located on a NetApp controller between formats at amazing speeds.

It can convert between several formats but I was obviously most interested in the VMDK to VHD. For example, this Project Shift can take a 40GB VMDK file and convert it to a VHDx using their cmdlet “ConvertTo-NaVhd” in about 5 seconds.


The trick here is that they don’t have to move the data, it stays on the controller. More than that, they don’t even need to copy the data on the controller. Their cmdlets use NetApp FlexClone technology to create a virtual copy of the VMDK that consists of a minimal amount of metadata (pointers to existing data blocks).


The NetApp cmdlet simply Clone the Data from the VMDK into a VHD/VHDX writing the appropriate metadata as it goes. The resulting file is a VHD or VHDx file that takes up practically no extra space on disk. It’s like magic.

project shift  

In terms of conversion, the NetApp cmdlet just converts the disk format from VMware to Hyper-V. It doesn’t actually create a new VM. For a complete conversion, you need to collect details about the VM, remove VMware Tools and of course create a Hyper-V VM to which uses that new VHDx file.

Offline VM Template Servicing Server 2012

Written by Mo Elamin. Posted in Microsoft

With Hyper-v you can have the ability to export sysprepped virtual machines as VM templates for quick provisioning new VMs.

However having VM templates up-to-date with the latest Windows Updates can be time consuming, because the VM templates are not actively running as VMs that can be updated online. So usually you have to turn a VM template to a live machine, update it and then turn back to a template.

Below is a sample PowerShell script, with comments, that you can leverage as the starting point for your own automated offline VM template servicing process.

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