When we shutdown all the VMs on a ESX server, vCenter suddenly stop responding. After some troubleshooting and rebooting the vCenter, we realized that the vCenter database was running from one of the VM with Microsoft SQL Server 2005!
In order to ensure that vCenter is not down just because the ESX server that host it's database is down, we intend to install SQL Express on the same Machine as the vCenter to reduce multiple point of failure. This mean we will need to migrate the database to SQL Express. Can this be done by just exporting and importing the database?
Or do you guys have better suggestion that doesn't involve purchasing additional SQL server?
I think your taking a huge step back going from a full blown SQL Server to 2005. My suggestion would be to keep your vCenter DB on SQL 2005, and if it stays on a VM, set the HA restart priority to high. If a planned outage, ensure you startup the ESX Host that is hosting the vCenter DB Server first. Also, so you know where this VM is at all times, you could also disable DRS for it.
I am not able to use HA yet as our VMs are all running from local datastore due to some vmware bugs with iSCSI. That's is also why we need to shutdown the VMs to update our ESX hosts to fix this vmware iSCSI bug. It's a chicken and egg issue isn't it?
It's a chicken and egg issue isn't it?
I don't think so. SQL 2005 is an Enterprise class solution. SQL Express is only recommended for testing purposes and has a 4GB limit for DB size is intended to be used for small deployments of up to 5 hosts and/or 50 virtual machines. If/when you have to shutdown your environment, make a note of your VCDB and ensure it gets powered on first, then power on vCenter.
With all that said, it's your environment and if you feel as though this move will benefit you, then have a look at the below KB article, which may or may not be useful when going to SQL Express
I know Express is for small deployment which suit our existing needs at the moment until we expand later. If not, how do we use the vCenter's Update Manager to update the ESX server that is running the VM that host the vCenter and Update Manager's database where the VM's storage is right in the ESX's local datastore?
btw, I have marked your reply as helpful.