sufirumi
Contributor
Contributor

Best method to upgrade/migrate vCenter from 4.0 to 4.1?

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Hello,


I have been pondering upon the best method for upgrading/migrating my vCenter server from 4.0 to 4.1. I currently have vCenter 4.0 on a *Virtual Machine* which has been a PITA  when it comes to maintenance so I would like to just stand up a new *Physical Machine* and install vCenter 4.1 on it. I would like to decommission the existing VM vCenter 4.0 altogether and just use this new Physical server to manage my ESX hosts from vCenter 4.1.

Would it be feasible to disregard any *upgrade procedures* and just set up a new vCenter 4.1 from scratch on the new server or are there any special caveats I should be aware of when decommissioning my existing vCenter 4.0 server to bring up a new vCenter 4.1 online?

Any help or guidance fellow VM techies can provide for my scenario will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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Troy_Clavell
Immortal
Immortal

I need to stand up my new physical server w/ SQL Server 2008;

yes

I need to backup my existing vCenter 4.0 DB;

yes

I need to then restore my vCenter 4.0 DB from the existing server to the new server;

yes

I then need to install vCenter 4.1;

yes

I then copy the SSL directory from existing 4.0 to new 4.1

no... You'll have to create the directory structure, prior to installing vCenter.  \ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter  Then copy in the SSL directory, then start the vCenter install.

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Troy_Clavell
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Would it  be feasible to disregard any *upgrade procedures* and just set up a new  vCenter 4.1 from scratch on the new server or are there any special  caveats I should be aware of when decommissioning my existing vCenter  4.0 server to bring up a new vCenter 4.1 online?

yes, that is possible... However, are you using the bundled SQL Express DB, or are remote DB?  For SQL, you'll still need to copy the SSL directory out of your existing vCenter Server prior to the upgrade.

Also, remember, if not connecting to a remote DB, and you start from scratch, it is just that, you lose all historical data.

sufirumi
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for the quick reply, Troy.

I'm actually using SQL Server 2008 (not sure if that answeres your question, I'm kind of a newbie w/ SQL) for the new physical server. The DB itself will be on the same new physical box so "no" to your question about "remote DB"... ? :smileygrin:

The existing vCenter 4.0 was setup by a previous sys admin before my time so I'm not sure what special configs (if any) were applied for the existing SQL DB.

In regards to the historical data, only things I'm concerend w/ are user access/permissions for vCenter and any alarms previously defined in the existing vCenter 4.0.

As far as Host or VM resource useage and the related historical data such as events logging, I do not care for this.

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Troy_Clavell
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well, in your current setup, are you using SQL Server?  If so, I would install SQL Server first and do a backup and restore, or a DB migration.  This way you retain you entire VI setup.  If you install a new DB, you lose everything, including any configured alarms and permissions.  All of these will have to be recreated.

So, if you migrate your DB instance to your new vCenter/SQL Server, you'll still need to SSL directory which can be found at C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\SSL\

Troy_Clavell
Immortal
Immortal

one other thing... If starting from scratch, you could always take a look at the below blog for exporting and importing some of your old settings into the new

http://technodrone.blogspot.com/2010/01/vcenter-powercli-migration-script.html

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sufirumi
Contributor
Contributor

Yes, SQL Server 2005 for the current vCenter 4.0.


Okay, just so I understand correctly:

I need to stand up my new physical server w/ SQL Server 2008;

I need to backup my existing vCenter 4.0 DB;

I need to then restore my vCenter 4.0 DB from the existing server to the new server;
I then need to install vCenter 4.1;

I then copy the SSL directory from existing 4.0 to new 4.1.

Does that sound about right or am I missing any other crucial steps?

Thanks again, btw!  Smiley Happy

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sufirumi
Contributor
Contributor

Excellent!

The link you posted definitely covers a lot of the questions I have in mind regarding this migration.

Thanks!

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Troy_Clavell
Immortal
Immortal

I need to stand up my new physical server w/ SQL Server 2008;

yes

I need to backup my existing vCenter 4.0 DB;

yes

I need to then restore my vCenter 4.0 DB from the existing server to the new server;

yes

I then need to install vCenter 4.1;

yes

I then copy the SSL directory from existing 4.0 to new 4.1

no... You'll have to create the directory structure, prior to installing vCenter.  \ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter  Then copy in the SSL directory, then start the vCenter install.

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sufirumi
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Contributor

Awesome!

Thanks again, Troy.

I believe most, if not all of my questions have been answered here.

I'll go ahead and mark this as "answered."

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Troy_Clavell
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Immortal

a couple of final thoughts. If your current vCenter is W2K3 the path to the SSL directory is c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\SSL

...and remember vCenter 4.1 is 64bit, so you need a 64bit Host OS.  I prefer W2K8 Standard R2.  You'll also need to create a 64bit DSN.

Good Luck!

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sufirumi
Contributor
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Indeed, the existing server is W2k3 so I'll keep an eye out for the SSL path.


And correct, the new server will be W2k8 R2 Standard 64-bit.

Thanks!

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sufirumi
Contributor
Contributor

So we finally got around to performing this upgrade/migration and I have to say, Troy, you sir are a gentleman and a scholar. You covered all the important steps involved w/ this work and provided the exact info needed to get this project under wraps.

We are thrilled to finally have our vCenter upgraded to 4.1 and running on a different system altogether. The only hitch I ran into during the installation was port 80 was being utilized by the SQL Reporting Service (which wasn't too difficult to figure out) so stopping this service allowed me to power through the installation of 4.1.


I can now move on to the next phase of our upgrades, swap out ESX 4.0 hosts w/ ESX 4.1 hosts. Should be pretty straight-forward but you bet I'll come back here to pick the community's collective brain if I run into any issues. Smiley Happy

Thanks again!

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Troy_Clavell
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Immortal

Good to hear and glad I could help!

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