VMWare Converter

HOWTOForge has a tutorial on converting a Windows machine running on bare iron into a VMWare virtual machine using their VMWare Converter product. The downside to the free version is that it runs under Windows, meaning that the machine can’t be converted in-place, you have to write out an image file, so you need an external disk. The Enterprise version can do it the slick way, but that’s beyond the means of most small businesses. Anyway, it’s a cool tool to get Windows away from the raw hardware, so you can do snapshotting of the Windows box, do easy backups, run it on top of Linux software RAID, etc.