A public Beta of VMware Converter is available for download now.
The VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 beta includes the following new functionality:
- Preserving the LVM configuration on the source machine during Linux conversions.
- Enhanced synchronization including options for scheduling synchronization tasks and performing multiple synchronization tasks in a conversion job.
- Optimized disk and partition alignment and cluster size change.
- Conversion data is encrypted between the source and the server.
The most intersting feature is the ability to align partitions. Alignment is important to get the most out of the storage. There are many articles on Internet about alignment. See http://vmtoday.com/2010/06/storage-basics-part-vii-storage-alignment/ for example.
When Windows Server 2008 is installed on a newly created virtual machine it will align itself.
When optimized disk aligment is selected in Converter 5 (it is on by default) the partitions on the target disk are aligned on 1 MB boundary for Windows guest OS, and on 64 KB boundary for Linux P2V. If a SAN is using a different cluster size the default can be changed. On the Options page in the wizard you need to select Data To Copy page, then click on Advanced view and then select Destination tab. If volume-based cloning has been selected you have an option to change the target cluster size of each individual volume.