Switch to Hyper-V with the Hyper-V Switch Program – Part 1 by Michael Lubanski

Switch to Hyper-V with the Hyper-V Switch Program – Part 1
By Michael Lubanski

imageIf you are thinking about travelling down the road to the Microsoft Private Cloud, one of the challenges you might face is how to migrate your virtual machines from your current VMware platform to a Hyper-V platform. Sure, you could do this all by hand, using manual processes and file conversion tools, but that does not really make a good ROI story to tell your CIO. What you really want to know is how can you move off VMware when there seems to be limited guidance and proof points that justify the risk of migrating production virtual machines.

We understand your challenges and that is why we put together the Hyper-V Switch Program. The Hyper-V Switch program offers you:

  • Assessment - During this phase, an assessment is completed to see if you have capacity for moving your current VMware virtual machines into a Hyper-V environment. This assessment will also give you an estimate of how much time the migration will take and how many VMs will be moved. Don’t have a Hyper-V environment yet ? No problem. We have the Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) Hyper-V Cloud Jumpstart. This jumpstart program will result in a four-node Hyper-V cluster and leverages System Center for management, monitoring and automation of the cloud. The instantiation of the Hyper-V Cloud Jumpstart environment takes about 20 days, and requires Hyper-V Fast Track hardware. Using the assessment data, we will ensure your Hyper-V environment can run your virtual machines from VMware and more.
  • Once the infrastructure is in place and working, the next step is the installation of the toolkit virtual machines. This results in the deployment of the migration engine (which includes components from Veeam, Opalis, workflows and a portal) and subsequent migration of the virtual machines. This will include assistance from Microsoft Global Delivery for round-the-clock work or off-hours work to accommodate change windows.
  • Finally, there is training for the IT Pros. Knowledge transfer and training for the IT Pros on the Microsoft platform, which includes specific training for VMware professionals is included here. We don’t want to install Hyper-V, migrate the workloads and then just walk away! We want to make sure that the IT Pros of the organization know how to use, manage and monitor Hyper-V so that they can get the most out of their new platform.

Hyper-V Switch Deployment Scenarios

There are essentially two major Hyper-V Switch scenarios. The first one is when there is an existing Hyper-V environment. If that’s the case, we’ll investigate the current Hyper-V infrastructure and evaluate if it’s capable of hosting the migrated virtual machines from the VMware environment. The assessment will include considerations to ensure that the new solution is at least as capable as the VMware environment.

The second scenario is when there is no existing Hyper-V environment or when the existing Hyper-V environment is determined to not be capable of hosting the VMware virtual machines workloads currently in production. In this case, we’d start with implementing the Hyper-V Fast Track to get the hardware in place. Then, MCS comes in to deploy the Hyper-V Cloud Jumpstart. Finally, we complete the migration with the Hyper-V Switch program.

“What Do I Get with the Hyper-V Switch Datacenter Consolidation and Migration Offering?”

Great question!

In three phases you get:

  • Discovery and assessment
  • Proof of concept/pilot deployment
  • Full consolidation and migration of your VMware workloads

During the discovery and assessment phase, we start with a discovery and assessment workshop. We then deploy the assessment tool to collect information about your current VMware environment and if you have a current Hyper-V environment set up, we’ll asses that too. After the assessment, we do an analysis of the data to determine what the right Hyper-V capacity will be required to support your VMware virtual machines. The discovery and assessment phase finishes off with recommendations for consolidation, migration, and proof of concept/pilot approaches. If there are workloads that have dependencies on other workloads, we’ll factor that information into the plan too.

Now we’re ready for the proof of concept/pilot phase. We’ll begin with a consolidation and migration decision leading workshop and do some knowledge transfer so that the teams are in line and aligned with the plan. We then will deploy the migration engine. With the migration engine in place, we’ll begin by migrating a small subset of virtual machines. There will be no downtime during this phase and the goal is to demonstrate that there is no loss of data and that applications run as expected in the new environment. That way, you’ll feel more confident of the solution and our approach and will be excited about completing the full migration!

Finally, there is the full consolidation and migration. Here we’ll work together with you on the full analysis and planning which will scope the entire consolidation and migration process. We’ll coordinate and execute the consolidation and migration of the workloads that are currently in your VMware infrastructure. To complete this consolidation and migration, we’ll bring in Microsoft Global Delivery, as they are a bit more cost effective than using a MCS consultant.

What’s Out Of Scope for the Hyper-V Switch Program?

We’d like to think that we could do anything, but there are some hard decisions we’ve had to make to ensure that the entire process works quickly, effectively and can deliver a reasonable return on investment. Therefore, there are a few things that are out of scope for the Hyper-V Switch Program.

Out of scope activities include:

  • Planning, design or deployment of Hyper-V or a specific System Center-based solution (either conventional or private cloud) because this is actually part of the Hyper-V Cloud Jumpstart. The Hyper-V Switch Program is about consolidating and migrating your VMware virtual machines workloads to the new Hyper-V platform. You might be interested in what the suite of System Center products can do for you once you’ve made the switch, but that would be outside of what we’d do in the Hyper-V Switch Program
  • Remediating incompatible workloads or operating systems, such as Windows 2000, Windows NT 4 or any other older operating system that isn’t supported on Hyper-V. The fact is, if it won’t run on Hyper-V (or isn’t supported on Hyper-V), there’s not much we can do about that.
  • Training of your operations personnel on core products. While we do knowledge transfer on the Hyper-V platform, we do not go into general Windows Server training, etc.


Hyper-V switch is a great way to get started on your journey to the Microsoft Private Cloud. The Hyper-V Switch Program take a look at your existing environment, makes a capacity assessment, makes a workload assessment and then completes a small pilot to make sure that your services continue to run the way you expect them to do. After the pilot phase, the switch process completes, and your IT Pros are trained on the technology so they can get the most out of it. In the second part of this series, we’ll take a look at the details of each of the steps in the Hyper-V Switch program.

Michael Lubanski
US Private Cloud Center of Excellence Lead
Microsoft Services