How to Import VMware Fusion VM into VMware vSphere
Executive Summary: There are lot of methods. If at first you don’t succeed give it another go. 2nd Time lucky and all that.
I recently lost my Windows10 Jumpbox due to a power failure. It disappeared from my SAN array. I didn’t have a backup (which was stupid of me) and Windows wasn’t activated. In the meantime I realise I had an activated version of Windows10 running in VMware Fusion. So I thought heck might as well import to vSphere, and avoid re-installing and that annoying watermark in the right-hand corner of my RDP desktop.
Ironically, after completing the move – because Windows10 was sitting on a different virtualization hardware platform – it de-activated itself – and wouldn’t reactivate. So it was all a waste of time really – I could have just deployed a fresh copy of Windows 10.
Anyway, I’ve learn my lesson the hardware – always backup your Jumpbox and make sure any work in progress is held elsewhere such as Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive. That way if your jumpbox is toast you don’t loose that PowersHell script you have been perfecting all week.
METHOD1: Connect to Server from VMware Fusion
This initially failed when the target was vSphere6.5 U1, but worked with vSphere 6.7. Hard to tell if the vSphere uplift was the decisive difference, or whether it was a case of just try, try and try again.
VMware Fusion has a “Connect to Server” option
Once connected and authenticated to the vCenter or ESXi host – you can drag and drop a VMware Fusion VM like so:
METHOD2: Export/Import OVA
Another method is to export the VM from Fusion into a the OVF/OVA format. I prefer OVA as its pre-compressed and gives you a single file to deal with – as OVF gives you a text-based “descriptor” file and whole bunch of VMDK files.
Select the VM in Fusion, and in the File menu, choose Export to OVF
Once exported you can login to either VMware vCenter or VMware ESX to import there. Personally I’ve found the import/export process in vCenter/ESX a bit 50:50…. Again, this failed in vSphere 6.5 U1, but was successful in vSphere 6.7.
Select a host or cluster in vCenter, and choose Deploy OVF Template…
Watch out for the format of the disk – as it does not default to “Thin Provisioning”.
METHOD3: VMware Convertor
I tried this – a number of times, and it did not work. VM would not boot. This is kind of odd because I’ve had more success with this method for importing physicals into VMware Fusion, than I have had with other methods of “importing” OSes into VMware Fusion….