VMware vCenter Converter is a free application to convert physical local and remote machines into virtual machines. The conversion is supported for both physical machines and virtual machine formats. vCenter has versions for Windows and Linux based operating system which includes Windows Server 2008. The conversion of physical machines into virtual machines takes place without disruption or down time, which means that you can convert physical servers into virtual servers without suffering from network disruptions. vCenter can be used to convert multiple virtual machines simultaneously, however, you might need some good hardware to ensure the process to be seamless. The supported formats for physical machine conversion into a virtual machine include Microsoft Hyper-V, Microsoft Virtual PC and Microsoft Virtual Server. Backup images can also be converted into virtual machines such as a backup image of Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery or Norton Ghost can be converted into a VMware virtual machine.
You can convert a physical machine by clicking on Convert Machine and following the steps of the conversion wizard. Likewise, Configure Machine option allows converting virtual machines.
After clicking on Convert Machine, you can either choose “This Local machine” to convert the exsisitng OS or provide IP, username, password and operating system type (Windows or Linux) of a remote machine to convert it.
Similarly, you can select a backup or VM image to convert it between separate formats from the Configure Machine option.
VMware vCenter Converter is a free product, but you can optionally buy customer support for $90. It works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.