Reviewing the Features of OnCommand Shift 1.2

By Shashanka S R, Technical Marketing Engineer, NetApp


NetApp® OnCommand® Shift, a virtual machine (VM) conversion product that dissolves VM migration barriers and enables multi-hypervisor environments by dramatically reducing the time, cost, and complexity of migrating data between hypervisors. OnCommand Shift converts any-size VMs bi-directionally between VMware ESXi and Hyper-V in minutes. The latest release of NetApp® OnCommand® Shift version 1.2 provides support for disk conversion and a user-friendly user interface (UI) for virtual machine (VM) conversion and job tracking, along with other key enhancements.


What’s New in OnCommand Shift 1.2?

  • Virtual machine conversion and the Job Tracker UI
  • Abort job functionality
  • Capability to specify two destination paths for converting VMs
  • New Shift Server configuration options
  • Linux guest operating system support
  • Foundation REST APIs and cmdlets support

For more information on OnCommand Shift 1.2, watch the video below:



UI Wizard Enhancements

OnCommand Shift 1.2 brings enhancements to the UI. Conversion and job tracking are new additions to the user interface.

The conversion page helps you to configure virtual machine details for conversion, a capability that was available only through PowerShell cmdlets in earlier versions. Once conversion is initiated, you can track its progress through the OnCommand Shift Job Tracker.


Figure 1) Virtual machine conversion UI


As seen in Figure 1, the virtual machine conversion UI provides various conversion settings, including an option for selecting the source and destination hypervisor type. There is also an option for choosing a virtual machine for conversion. The UI also provides guest OS and other settings.


Figure 2) Job Tracker UI


As seen in Figure 2, the Job Tracker UI provides information about pending, running, and aborted jobs on the Shift Server. The UI also provides an option to abort these jobs.


Two Destination Paths

OnCommand Shift 1.2 lets you configure separate destination paths for the respective hypervisors to store the converted virtual machines.


Figure 3) Two destination paths


As shown in Figure 3, you can configure separate destination paths for ESXi and Hyper-V hypervisors at the same time.


New Shift Server Options

You can now configure and change the Shift Server options through the UI wizard.


Figure 4) New Shift Server options


As shown in Figure 4, you now can perform Shift Server configurations in the UI, including:

  • Setting the log level
  • Choosing whether or not to run prestaging during the VM conversion process
  • Choosing whether or not to perform a backup of a source VM or target VM
  • Choosing whether to validate network configuration or guest OS credentials
  • Setting a VM shutdown time-out value to specify the length of time that the source VM will wait before shutting down

Linux Guest OS Support

OnCommand Shift supports Linux guest OS conversion. You can now convert a VM with the Linux guest OS from ESXi to Windows 2012 R2 Hyper-V Server.


Shift 1.2 Foundation APIs

OnCommand Shift 1.2 introduces the Shift Foundation Module, which provides the REST APIs and cmdlets for disk conversion. External applications can use these REST APIs and cmdlets to provide disk conversion capability in their product.


Figure 5) Shift Foundation APIs


As shown in Figure 5, OnCommand Shift 1.2 now has two modules:

  1. OnCommand Shift Module: Exposes virtual machine conversion APIs that are leveraged in OnCommand Shift PowerShell cmdlets and the UI wizard.
  2. OnCommand Shift Foundation Module: Exposes virtual disk conversion APIs that are leveraged in OnCommand Shift PowerShell cmdlets and can be leveraged by any third-party applications or scripts as well.

OnCommand Shift Foundation APIs support bidirectional disk conversions of virtual disks between hypervisors for the following disk formats:

  • VMware ESX (VMDK) and Microsoft Hyper-V (VHD/VHDX)
  • VMware ESX (VMDK) to Red Hat KVM (QCOW3)
  • Red Hat KVM (QCOW2/QCOW3) to VMware ESX (VMDK)

Note: OnCommand Shift Foundation APIs support disk conversion only. The VM must be configured manually by using the converted disk once the disk conversion is complete.


For more information on OnCommand Shift Foundation APIs, review the section “Overview of Shift Foundation Disk Conversion REST APIs” in the Conversion and Administration Guide.


About OnCommand Shift

To learn more about OnCommand Shift and its previous versions, read how to migrate VMs of any size in minutes with NetApp OnCommand Shift in OnCommand Shift 1.1 Is Now Available.


OnCommand Shift 1.2 is available for download on the NetApp Support site.


For more information on OnCommand Shift 1.2, review the Release Notes, Installation and Setup Guide, Conversion and Administration Guide, or the Cmdlet Reference Guide, or visit the NetApp Community.