VMware has quietly announced a beta of vCenter Converter – a tool it withdrew earlier this year over security concerns.
vCenter Converter is a tool that converts physical servers into virtual machines and can automate the process so that users can convert multiple physical machines. The tool also allows hot cloning of source machines, meaning they can be migrated to the virtual realm without disrupting operations.
The last full release of the tool emerged in 2018, but support ended in 2019.
In early 2022 VMware admitted the software “does not comply with VMware’s high standards for security and stability” and pulled the application from its software downloads site.
VMware didn’t detail the security issues that impacted the software, but offered the scarifying observation that “risks reached a level where we had no choice but to remove it from the download site.”
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As we noted at the time, the withdrawal of the converter was quickly followed by the release of a tool that converts virtual machines to containers – a reflection of VMware’s current priorities and strategy.
News has since emerged of a comeback for vCenter Converter.
VMware blogger William Lab revealed that the product team has let him know a beta is imminent.
“The initial scope of this first re-release of vCenter Converter is to bring feature parity with the last supported version of vCenter Converter, which was the 6.2 release,” he wrote.
Lam added that once the beta is done, and a product released, the vCenter Converter development team “will then be focusing their attention on adding new and exciting features that will help customers easily convert and migrate their workloads from a number of different platforms.”
Feedback gathered during the beta program will inform those new features.
VMware has previously promised the update will include “the latest technologies available in vSphere virtual machines.” So perhaps that will include support for data processing units, and also for Windows 11’s mandated use of Trusted Platform Modules. Since 2018 vSphere has also gained features to allow it to handle GPU-dependent apps, and handle more memory. Which is probably why the tool is needed – the few remaining apps on bare metal have become candidates for virtualization since the app’s last release.