One of the challenges we face is how to recover a large vCenter to a different VM, without having to restore any databases or use vCenter VMs and databases on replicated storage. We currently have a PowerCLI based process for exporting vCenter configurations - vCenter settings, roles/privs, alarm definitions, datacenters/clusters/hosts - to an XML file, which can then be used to import that vCenter configuration into a recovery vCenter. Three part process - export the vCenter configuration, import the settings and structure (datacenters, clusters, alarms), then import the hosts. This last step pulls in the hosts once by one from the original vCenter, complete with their running VMs and once all hosts in a cluster are imported creates the required Resource Pools and moves the VMs in to them. A subsequent script moves all the VMs into appropriate blue folders based on their CMDB classification/OS.
The above process is OK, but has a number of faults:
We'd really like to see a native tool built in to vSphere Client or the Web Client that will allow all or part of a vCenter configuration to be exported to an XML or other flat file and then imported into another vCenter in one easy step, taking running VMs, dvSwitches - the lot. In the same way you can export host and vCenter logs with a few clicks, it should be possible to do something similar for vCenter configurations. This would be useful for a number of things - vCenter recovery, vCenter upgrade, individual datacenter or cluster migration.