Vmware Workstation To Fusion

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I used to run a VM in my mac with VMware Fusion. As my mac is getting older, the VM is becoming slower and slower. One day I got an ESXi host which had sufficient resource to run that VM, but migration from VMware Fusion to ESXi was not a straight forward task. If you are facing similar problem with VMware Workstation or Fusion, the following steps will help you.

PALO ALTO, Calif.-(BUSINESS WIRE)- VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), a leading innovator in enterprise software, today unveiled the newest versions of its VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation desktop hypervisor solutions. VMware’s updates support the changing needs of modern developers by extending the tools traditionally used to simplify workflows and expand capabilities of virtual machines (VMs) to container-based applications orchestrated with Kubernetes. For those who might not have studied the history of VMware, the hypervisor stack in Fusion shares much of the same code as the stack that runs in the majority of the world’s data centers: ESXi, which itself was created from breaking apart the internals of VMware Workstation into it’s functionally discrete components: Storage, Networking and Compute.

  1. For maximum compatibility I generally create VMs targeting Workstation 5 with ESX Server compatibility. This gives me a image that is 100% portable between Workstation 6, Fusion, ESX, VMWare Server and VMWare Player. If your images were created in Fusion, they'll be portable to Windows (i.e. VMWare Workstation 6.5) with no issues.
  2. VMware Fusion: Powerfully Simple Virtual Machines for Mac. VMware Fusion Pro and VMware Fusion Player Desktop Hypervisors give Mac users the power to run Windows on Mac along with hundreds of other operating systems, containers or Kubernetes clusters, side by side with Mac applications, without rebooting. Fusion products are simple enough for home users and powerful enough for IT professionals, developers and businesses.

Step 1: Export VMDK

Assuming you want to migrate this VM in your local environment:

First you need to export the VM, which contains the VMDK file you will need to transfer to the ESXi host.

A VM can be export as a single OVA file, or two separate files (OVF file + VMDK file). The recommendation is choosing separate files, since only VMDK file is needed in later steps.

Vmware Workstation To Fusion

Vmware Workstation To Fusion Tutorial

Step 2: Upload and Convert VMDK

When the export finishes, you can use scp to upload the VMDK file to ESXi datastore.

The VMDK format between ESXi and VMware Workstation / Fusion is different, so the uploaded file can't be consumed by ESXi directly. There is a command vmkfstools to convert Workstation and Fusion VMDK into ESXi's format. Let's rename the uploaded VMDK and do the conversion.

Now you should have the following files in the datastore:

'Windows-10-64-Enterprise-disk1.vmdk.fusion' is the original VMDK you uploaded. 'Windows-10-64-Enterprise-disk1.vmdk' and 'Windows-10-64-Enterprise-disk1-flat.vmdk' are the new files generated by vmkfstools command.


Step 3: Create New VM with VMDK

Now you can create a new VM with the generated VMDK in the datastore. The UI may be different in your environment.

Click 'New Virtual Machine...'.

Vmware Fusion 12

In creation type, select 'Create a new virtual machine'.

In customize hardware, click the cross at the right of 'New Hard disk *' to remove the default disk assigned to this virtual machine.

Then click 'ADD NEW DEVICE' -> 'Existing Hard Disk', and select the generated VMDK file.

After that, you should be able to see the generated VMDK is listed as 'Disk File'.

Vmware Workstation To Fusion Converter

When everything is correct, move forward to create and start VM. Now you should be able to access the VM from Workstation or Fusion even though it is running in ESXi.