Schaedle
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Migration Path from vCenter 5.1 Windows to 5.5 linux Appliance

Hi to everybody,

we have a vCenter 5.1 with Update Manager and SSO running on a Windows Server 2008 R2. We use on the same server the free MS SQL Server 2008 R2.

In December or January we want to migrate to vCenter 5.5 which is shipped as a virtual Appliance.

Just a short overview of our environment. Currently we have 8 ESXi hosts (enterprise and standard) and approx 160 virtual machines.

1. Does it make sense to use our MS SQL Server as database or has the Appliance a database shipped with.

2. What is the right way to migrate ? First upgrade to 5.5 on windows and then migrate to the appliance. Or first migrate to the appliance 5.1 and then upgrade to 5.5.

3. How do I have to migrate from Windows to the appliance. I don't mind if I loose the performance statistics, alert history, updatemanager information.... But I need to keep the complete configuration from our environment.

Regards Wolfgang

22 Replies
admin
Immortal
Immortal

we want to migrate to vCenter 5.5 which is shipped as a virtual Appliance.

vCenter server 5.5  is available for both Linux [vCSA] and Windows platforms.

Does it make sense to use our MS SQL Server as database or has the Appliance a database shipped with.

in 5.1; Bundled database that you can use for small deployments of up to 5 hosts and 50 virtual machines. For bigger deployments its recomended to  use different database.

The 5.5 vCenter Server Appliance with the embedded (internal) database used to be limited to a maximum of 5 hosts and 50 virtual machines this has been increased with vSphere 5.5 to 100 hosts and 3000 virtual machines.

What is the right way to migrate ? First upgrade to 5.5 on windows and then migrate to the appliance. Or first migrate to the appliance 5.1 and then upgrade to 5.5.

The upgrade process is pretty simple whether its Linux / Windows, but  migrating from Windows vCenter to VCSA is always a challenge. Though there are some tools which will help you migrate  from linux to windows or vice versa.. Please look here ( InventorySnapshot – VMware Labs ) for all the info..

There are some useful blogposts which help you to migrate ..

Migrating a vCenter appliance to a vCenter Windows server | The Little Things

http://dellaert.org/2013/09/28/migrate-vcenter-5-1-standard-to-vcenter-5-5-server-appliance-with-dis...



~dGeorgey


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abhilashhb
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

vCSA does not support MS-SQL database yet.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ If you find this or any other answer useful please mark the answer as correct or helpful. Abhilash B | Blog : http://vpirate.in | Twitter : @abhilashhb | LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/abhilashhb/ |
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Schaedle
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Because of the support of 100 hosts and 3000 virtual machines there is no more need of the MS-SQL database.

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abhilashhb
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

I mentioned it coz of your point.

1. Does it make sense to use our MS SQL Server as database or has the Appliance a database shipped with.

Or did i understand it wrong.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ If you find this or any other answer useful please mark the answer as correct or helpful. Abhilash B | Blog : http://vpirate.in | Twitter : @abhilashhb | LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/abhilashhb/ |
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Schaedle
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

You understood it absolutely right. And it's good to know that there is no support for MS-SQL. So I don't have to decide if I would use MS-SQL or not.

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abhilashhb
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Well VMware is currently thinking about supporting MS-SQL. All these days they weren't coz the Appliance comes on SUSE linux and there was no ODBC driver for SLES. last year MS released a ODBC driver which is still not GA'd. Once it is, I'm sure VMware will support MS-SQL too.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ If you find this or any other answer useful please mark the answer as correct or helpful. Abhilash B | Blog : http://vpirate.in | Twitter : @abhilashhb | LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/abhilashhb/ |
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rvieira
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Just curious if you completed this yet? I am also looking at doing this in my environment which is much smaller. We only have 3 ESXi Servers and about 50 VMs on them. We are using vCenter Standard so we have no dvs or profiles. So I believe it would be pretty straight forward, however I like to research everything first.  Any info or tips would be greatly appreciated. 

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casumo
Contributor
Contributor

+1 to this post - similar scenario in production here - would like to go for a fresh cluster with new vcentre VA

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Cyberfed27
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

+1 here too. We are tired of having to upgrade our vCenter server (physical Win2k8 box) every time VMware releases updates for security flaws which seems to be happening a lot lately. We want to move to the appliance. We have the SQL database separate from the vCenter server on a SQL server. How do we go about moving to the appliance and use our existing DB?

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

You basically don't, there is no official migration tool to move from windows and MSSQL to the appliance and vPostgres database.

It was the winner of the fling contest though for that exact idea: https://flingcontest.vmware.com/ideas/database-migration-tool-from-mssql-or-oracle-database-to-vpost...

So you might want to check out the flings site regularly.

So as of today you would be looking into a manual or scripted migration but would lose a couple of settings (performance data for example) as the database cannot be moved.

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Schaedle
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Even if I started the topic we decided not to move to the appliance, because in future we maybe need the feature to link additional vCenterns together and as far as I know this is not possible with the appliance.

BTW we move to a new domain. For that I decided to wait until v6 (I guess it will be released in autumn......) and then I install a new vCenter in the new domain. How I will move the data is not yet cleared - but this would be off topic for this thread.

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

Hi Wolfgang,

Not sure for next version, of course, but some pointers can be found here: vUnhandledException » Changing the host name of vCenter Server 5.5 without reinstalling

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MatteoMarchetti
Contributor
Contributor

Hi there,

I'm also on 5.1 on Windows VMs and Ms SQL database. I'm planning to migrate to 5.5 with virtual appliance and embedded database; installing a brand new instance of vCenter server.

Has anyone of you already done it?

These are the steps I'm thinking of:

  1. Install a new vCenter server 5.5 vApp based
  2. Replicate virtual Distributed Switches configurations onto the new vCenter.
  3. Replicate permissions configurations.
  4. Replicate clusters configurations.
  5. One by one. remove the ESXi 5.1 physical hosts from the "old" vCenter and add them onto the new one.
  6. One by one, update all the physical hosts to ESXi 5.5,

Do you see any potential issue with this approach?

Thanks.

Matteo

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MatteoMarchetti
Contributor
Contributor

Further question: are VM tags stored on the VM properties or are part of the vCenter database? If I move my hosts and their VMs onto a new vCenter, am I going to loose all the tags? thanks.

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

By tags you mean the ones you set in the Web Client?

They are actually stored in the Inventory Service database.

MatteoMarchetti
Contributor
Contributor

Yes, I meant those. Thanks for the clarification.

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RomGit
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

MatteoMarchetti a écrit:

Hi there,

I'm also on 5.1 on Windows VMs and Ms SQL database. I'm planning to migrate to 5.5 with virtual appliance and embedded database; installing a brand new instance of vCenter server.

Has anyone of you already done it?

These are the steps I'm thinking of:

  1. Install a new vCenter server 5.5 vApp based
  2. Replicate virtual Distributed Switches configurations onto the new vCenter.
  3. Replicate permissions configurations.
  4. Replicate clusters configurations.
  5. One by one. remove the ESXi 5.1 physical hosts from the "old" vCenter and add them onto the new one.
  6. One by one, update all the physical hosts to ESXi 5.5,

Do you see any potential issue with this approach?

Thanks.

Matteo

Hi all,

I'm planning the same steps to migrate my vCenter server on 5.5 (virtual appliance and embedded database).

Is it correct ?

Many thanks

Romain

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RAMESA
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Your step looks fine but are you using tags, storage profiles etc? If yes then you will have to re-create all of them.

Regards, Ramesh
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MatteoMarchetti
Contributor
Contributor

Moreover while you move a physical host from vcenter1 to vcenter2, if you're using dvswitches, you will have a downtime because you need to disconnect them from the uplinks od the dvswitches.

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