During a recent VMware Converter-based physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversion, I made an observation and subsequent change that enhanced the performance of the conversion. During the conversion, the locally installed antivirus application became extremely CPU-hungry while VMware Converter was running. I have written quite a few blogs on topics ranging from converting large storage, cleansing drivers, breaking the conversion into stages and some gotchas related to block size on the VMFS volume. Now, there is another way to streamline a VMware Converter P2V conversion: stop the antivirus service on Windows guests.
Some antivirus platforms, howeverm don’t seem to affect the P2V conversion. This particular system was a new antivirus program for me, and it was consuming approximately 70% of the CPU during the conversion. Once the Windows-based service was stopped, the VMware Converter executable, vmware-ufad.exe, was able to consume more processing power and proceed with the conversion more quickly.
Stopping the antivirus software is a natural complement of other preparatory stages of the P2V process. Other steps that can quiet down the candidate virtual machine during the conversion process include stopping database services if installed, stopping file sharing on large file shares, changing the guest machine to a private network that is only routed to the VMware host for direct access for the conversion, and possibly using a VMware Converter boot CD for the cold clone of the computer in a zero-transaction state.