Recently I had a need to perform a P2V directly to an ESXi 5.1 host and found that I could not do this because it would fail with the error “The access to this host resource is restricted to the server ‘x.x.x.x’ that is managing the host”. The failure was caused because using the latest VMware standalone converter 5.0.1 and trying to connect directly to an ESXi5.1 host managed by vCenter requires you to select the vCenter server as your target. Well you may be asking well why didn’t you just do that. :) The issue was that the subnet that location I was at did not have network access back to where the vCenter server was, but I had access directly to the host which was in a remote site. I was shocked because I had done this many times in the past but not with an ESXi 5.x host. But the good thing is that it is fairly simple to get around however there is a small catch which is that if you only have a 2 node cluster for your target host then you will be in effect disabling HA functionality.
I decided to do this video real quick to show what the scenario would look like and how to get around it.