Migrate physical vCenter 5.0 to Virtual (VM) Vcenter 5.5

Hello friends , i wanted to move/migrate the vCenter 5.0 which is installed on physical box to a virtual with vCenter 5.5 as my SQL DB is also on remote server which also needs to be migrated so i can do like backup and restore to a new sql erver and then create a new 64 bit DNS connection and then connect..

So i just wanted to know is there any challenges to migrate the vCenter 5.0 to a new VM with 5.5. DB.Can i use the below steps to achieve this .

1. Build a new VM with the same name and IP address without connecting to network.

2. Stop the existing vCenter server 5.0 and shutdown the same . Bring up the new VM and installed all windows update.

3.Start installing the vCenter server 5.5 install all components SSO, inventory service, web client etc etc..once it will ask to reconnect the that time i can give a new server location with 64 bit DSN connection.

4.Import the SSL certificates to the same location.

5. Create the Roles and permission.

So apart from above is any thing else i need to check or any issue ??

See i know i have an option for P2V , but as i was reading somewhere that i need to disconnect he ESXi host and need to restart the Management server on that particular host which i can not do as my all the esxi host are running with business critical servers and can not loose any connection for those machines, so any better idea.


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5 Replies
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I'm pretty sure you need to have your vCenter 5.0 SQL server up and running and point to it during the 5.5 install. vCenter has to make changes to the SQL database during the 5.0 -> 5.5 upgrade.

Also restarting the management services on an ESXi host does not impact running VMs. I'm not too sure I'm following your question at the end?

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Are you familiar with the process to update the SSL certs in the VCSA? It's a bit different from the Windows vCenter.

VMware KB: Configuring Certificate Authority (CA) signed certificates for vCenter Server Appliance 5...

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Actually, disregard. I thought you were migrating to the VCSA.

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I think you are following right steps. Please have a look at the below steps.

You need to migrate SQL server from Physical to virtual. Please follow the right DB migration steps. See the below KB article it might help to migrate DB.VMware KB: Migrating the vCenter Server database from SQL Express to full SQL Server

Now you can follow the below steps for virtual center migration from physial to virtual.

- Deploy new OS  and give same IP and hostname which you are using for old Physical operating system.

- Take database backup for safer sise.

- Take SSL certificate back up from old server from C:\ProgramData\VMware\VirtualCenter Server\SSL

- Create the appropriate System DSN connections on the new vCenter Server host. For more information, see theViewing and modifying the database server section of vCenter Server installation fails with ODBC and DSN errors (1003928).

- If the new VirtualCenter server uses the same hostname and IP address, the SSL certificates can be copied to the new server to eliminate the need to reconnect the ESXi/ESX hosts.

To copy the VirtualCenter Server SSL certificates:

  1. Create the this folder structure on the new server:
  2. C:\ProgramData\VMware\VirtualCenter Server\SSL

- To copy the VirtualCenter Server SSL certificates:- Copy these files from the original VirtualCenter server to the new server, preserving the folder structure:

  • C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter Server\SSL\rui.key
  • C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter Server\SSL\rui.pfx
  • C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter Server\SSL\rui.crt

- Initiate Virtual center 5.5 fresh installation see the setup guide for 5.5, before installing virtual center server, need to install SSO and IS as you know.

-When prompted, select Use existing database, and provide the correct credentials to that database.

- When prompted, select to not re-initialize the database to preserve all of your inventory data.

- Reboot the machine after the installation completes.

For details info see the below KB article.

If you find this or any other answer useful please mark the answer as correct or helpful.
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Thanks all, i successfully upgraded the vCenter and SQL as follows, i hope the below help others also . Thanks again.

  1. Build New Server; New VM for vCenter and for a New SQL server (VM)
  2. Take a snapshot of the newly built VMs before preceding any activity
  3. Shut down the existing machine(vCenter – Physical box)  and assign the same name and IP to the Newly created VM vCenter
  4. Install V Center 5.0 on the newly built VM
  5. Point the Newly created VM (vCenter) after installation of V Center 5.0 to OLD SQL VCenter DB
  6. Confirmed the connectivity
  7. Checked all the Network Configuration and ESX Hosts and VM’s connectivity
  8. Upgrade the newly created VM V Center to 5.0 Update 2
  9. Confirmed the connectivity with old SQL version
  10. Check all the VMs, Network Configuration and ESX Hosts are accessible
  11. Install SQL 2008 R2 SP2 Enterprise on new SQL VM and restore the vCenter DB from OLD SQL 2005 server to the new server SQL 2008 R2 SP2 VM
  12. Point the Newly created vCenter VM after installation of V Center 5.0 Update 2 to New SQL V Center DB
  13. Confirmed the connectivity
  14. Checked all the Network Configuration and ESX Hosts connectivity
  15. Upgrade the new V Center from 5.0 Update 2 to Update 5.5 Update 1 which is compatible with the SQL 2008 R2 SP2 and also install the SSO and Web Client on the same.
  16. Confirmed the connectivity
  17. Checked all the Network Configuration and ESX Hosts connectivity
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