9 Replies Latest reply on Jul 1, 2020 11:54 AM by lamont77

    VMware management servers - Windows OS upgrades from 2008 to 2012

    lamont77 Lurker

      Hi all. Would really appreciate some advice on this.

       

      We have a production and DR vsphere setup. Each have their own vcenter, VUM, External SQL, and SRM servers. They are all running on Windows server 2008. Great!!

       

      8 servers in total.

       

      - vCenter 6.0 (OS 2008) x 2

      - VUM (OS 2008) x 2

      - SQL (OS 2008) x 2

      - SRM (OS 2008) x 2

       

      Im trying to plan the underlying OS upgrade.

       

      I know the VCSA is all the rage these days, and I would consider this, but would also like advice for upgrading to Server 2012 and keeping the above assorted mgmt servers on a windows OS (for now anyway).

       

      A couple of things worth noting

      - The vcenters are running 6.0  with integrated PSC

      - The ESXi hosts are running ESXi 6.0 and can't be upgraded (Dell R815s are only compatible up to this version and no further)

      - We are aware that 6.0 is End of General support.

       

      There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of advisories for this, because I guess it isnt highly advised, but I still want to understand what the most logical and safest way to do this is.

        • 1. Re: VMware management servers - Windows OS upgrades from 2008 to 2012
          daphnissov Guru
          vExpertCommunity Warriors

          It is basically pointless to upgrade your Windows OS with Windows vCenter installed there. An upgrade/migration to the vCSA on 6.5 is your only course at this point, especially given you get more features and avoids using Windows (which is dead past 6.7 anyway). You can continue to manage those 6.0 ESXi hosts with a 6.5 or 6.7 vCenter, but obviously that'll only take you so far.

          • 2. Re: VMware management servers - Windows OS upgrades from 2008 to 2012
            lamont77 Lurker

            I knew this would be the kind of answer received, and probably for good reason .

             

            If I do go down the VCSA route can you help me fill in some of the finer details?

             

            - Is it possible to keep the same name and IP of the vCentre once migrated to VCSA 6.5?

            - I have been told that the VCSA 6.5 appliance will mean that we do not need a VUM or SQL server. Is this right?

            - If that is the case, is there a guide that I can follow to do this migration?

            - Will SRM 6.1 work with VCSA 6.5 appliance?

             

            Thanks for your time here.

            • 3. Re: VMware management servers - Windows OS upgrades from 2008 to 2012
              daphnissov Guru
              Community WarriorsvExpert

              - Is it possible to keep the same name and IP of the vCentre once migrated to VCSA 6.5?

              When the migration is performed, the same IP and name are maintained. It's not like manually standing up a net new vCenter; the application instance is migrated over and upgraded simultaneously.

               

              - I have been told that the VCSA 6.5 appliance will mean that we do not need a VUM or SQL server. Is this right?

              VUM comes built-in starting in 6.5. An external database is not needed, nor can it be used. That part is correct.

               

              - If that is the case, is there a guide that I can follow to do this migration?

              The migration to vCSA is covered many, many times. Please use Google for good blogs or just read the documentation. It's quite straightforward.

               

              - Will SRM 6.1 work with VCSA 6.5 appliance?

              No, you will need to upgrade SRM to at least 6.5.1 to be compatible with vSphere 6.5.

              • 4. Re: VMware management servers - Windows OS upgrades from 2008 to 2012
                lamont77 Lurker

                Thanks for the quick response.

                 

                Just to clarify. Our external SQL server hosts DBs for vcenter, VUM, and SRM. Are you saying that the VCSA upgrade will remove the need for the vcenter and VUM DBs?

                 

                Is there an SRM appliance, or any smarter of working with SRM rather than upgrade server 2008 to 2012 and reconfigure?

                 

                Thanks

                • 5. Re: VMware management servers - Windows OS upgrades from 2008 to 2012
                  TimSheppard Novice

                  The vPostgres database contained within the VCSA is used for both vCenter and VUM.

                   

                  Incidentally, if you use the migration tool to migrate from Windows to the VCSA then the VCSA will have the original of the Windows vCenter UUID migrated too.

                  • 6. Re: VMware management servers - Windows OS upgrades from 2008 to 2012
                    daphnissov Guru
                    Community WarriorsvExpert

                    Just to clarify. Our external SQL server hosts DBs for vcenter, VUM, and SRM. Are you saying that the VCSA upgrade will remove the need for the vcenter and VUM DBs?

                    Yes, correct. To be clear, those databases will be migrated into the internal Postgres database as pointed out by the previous response. Additionally, if you do not have specific settings you need to preserve in VUM, it's easier to simply uninstall it first before beginning the migration. VUM will be deployed inside the vCSA from a clean state if so.

                     

                    Is there an SRM appliance, or any smarter of working with SRM rather than upgrade server 2008 to 2012 and reconfigure?

                    Yes, I would probably move to SRM 8.2 so you can use the Linux-based appliance. However, keep in mind that while your vCenter will be compatible, since you have those ancient hosts that don't support anything past 6.0, you will need to ensure that they are patched up to 6.0 U3 to use SRM 8.2. See the Interop Matrix for more.

                    • 7. Re: VMware management servers - Windows OS upgrades from 2008 to 2012
                      lamont77 Lurker

                      After looking very closely at this I dont want to move to the VCSA for various reasons not least of all is the fact that this is a customer that is moving all VMs slowly off of this environment to a newer external virtual environment. It is a slowly diminishing VMware install that already has old and restricted hosts in play. The main aim of this project for me is to get the VMware MGMT VMs off of Windows server 2008 and moved to 2012. By the time 2012 is EOL all these VMs will have been migrated to a fresher playing field.

                       

                      So I would like to build fresh 2012 VMs (we have hardened templates already built and tested hence 2012) and migrate the vcenter / vum / srm / SQL servers accordingly.

                       

                      I cant find any comprehensive approach to doing this and would really appreciate help in creating a solid checklist for the migration.

                       

                      *Our configuration*

                       

                      We have a production and DR site with each of these:

                           - Vcenter 6.0 with emedded PSC

                           - External SQL (2008) sever

                           - VUM server

                           - SRM server

                       

                      I want to retain the same names and IPs of all these VMs.

                      • 8. Re: VMware management servers - Windows OS upgrades from 2008 to 2012
                        daphnissov Guru
                        vExpertCommunity Warriors

                        I hear what you're wanting to do, but if you think about this it is actually going to cost you more hours, effort, and risk than if you used the automation pre-built in migrating from a Windows vCenter to the vCSA. In addition, it preserves the IP and hostname for you along with all the settings and configuration. It has the added benefit of eliminating totally your external SQL server and VUM server. So I think it makes very little sense to eschew all of this automated ability in favor of manually deploying and configuring more Windows VMs. With the vCSA migration you would move to 6.5 and still have the ability to manage 6.0 hosts if they're not compatible. Meanwhile there is no procedure for moving horizontally on the same version of vCenter to different systems, and since you're unsupported anyway you need the path of least resistance in order to get help from GSS.

                        • 9. Re: VMware management servers - Windows OS upgrades from 2008 to 2012
                          lamont77 Lurker

                          I want to build fresh windows servers to migrate to. These servers aren't on a domain for security reasons, they have a lot of local accounts that are configured for access. The vcenter is also a proxy for commvault VSA solution. Everywhere I look in the VCSA documentation I see gotahas for our particular setup. Can you please advise the safest way for me to do this the way that I think is the best fit.