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Physical to virtual

Physical to virtual

(also P2V)

Physical to virtual definition

Physical to virtual (often shortened to “P2V”) is the process of migrating a physical computing environment (traditional computing infrastructure with physical servers) to a virtualized one (hypervisors and virtual machines).

See also: virtual machine configuration, virtual machine migration, virtual machine cluster, virtual machine snapshot, hypervisor

Carrying out a physical to virtual migration

To ensure that the migration process is as smooth as possible, the organization must first assess its existing infrastructure and plan out the migration steps. This includes identifying the applications, services, and data hosted on the physical servers, and then developing a comprehensive plan for moving all critical parts to the virtual environment.

It is very important to create backups of the data on the physical servers at this stage — even the best-planned P2V migrations may encounter snags, and backups prevent the loss of critical data.

After completing their assessment, planning, and backup, the organization selects a virtualization platform (such as VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, and KVM) for hosting its virtual machines. Virtual machine images are created based on the configurations of the physical servers, including defining their CPU, memory, storage, and network settings.

At this point, the environment is ready for the physical to virtual migration. The actual migration process uses a variety of methods, such as disk imaging and cloning. Post-migration, the organization must test its new environment to make sure the virtual machines are operating as intended.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security