I recently setup a lab that hosted a Windows 2003 R2 32-bit server with VMware VCenter 4.0U2 using a local SQL Express database. This was used for a home testing environment so I wasn’t too worried about any data loss that may occur. When VMware VCenter 4.1 was released I thought an upgrade was a must! As you’re most probably well aware VCenter 4.1 requires a 64-bit host so I setup second system that ran Windows 2008 R2 in preparation for the migration.
Before we begin this process I should point your attention to a document that I stumbled across when searching for various answers. It basically highlights a few errors that could occur if you’re performing this migration from a VC that has already been upgraded in some shape or form. Well worth checking out beforehand to see if it affects your setup.
VMware bundle a tool named datamigration with the VCenter 4.1 media that aids in circumstances such as this, i.e. migration of VC supported by SQL Express from a 32-bit host to a 64-bit host. The steps I performed are documented below.
1. Extract the datamigration.zip tool from the root of the VCenter media onto the root of your system drive (most likely C:)
2. Stop the following services:
- VMware Update Manager
- VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices
- VMware VirtualCenter Server
3. Open a command prompt window and change the working directory to C:datamigration
4. Run the backup.bat script
5. Once the script has executed you’ll need to copy the newly populated datamigration folder to the root of the new server.
6. On the new server change to the working directory C:datamigration
7. Run the install.bat script
8. Follow the instructions for VCenter installation (you’ll need the VCenter media mounted)
You’ll also need to backup the SSL certificates. These can be found at:
Microsoft Windows 2003:
%ALLUSERSPROFILE%Application DataVMwareVMware VirtualCenter
Microsoft Windows 2008 Server:
I found that although the above information was readily available on the VMware website, the latter steps were less clear. I came to the conclusion, with the aid of a VMware community posting or two, that the following seemed to be the recommended solution.
9. Remove the old VCenter from the domain
10. Shut down the old VCenter server
11. Issue the new VCenter server with the IP address that was previously used on the old server
12. Rename the new VCenter server to that of the old server (reboot)
13. Restore the SSL keys – as simple as to copy/paste from old location to new
NB. The migration of the VCenter server that uses a remote SQL database is very similar to this process, but you don’t need to bother with the datamigration tool (for obvious reasons), instead you’ll need to create the relevant ODBC connections.
Post install issue
After a final reboot I found that I couldn’t connect to the VCenter server using the vSphere client (I’d already updated to the latest version). I logged onto the server, opened eventvwr and found numerous events stating that the transaction log for database ***VCDB_NAME*** was full. I thought the easiest way to overcome this (remembering this is a test environment) was to install SQL Express Management Studio and alter the recovery type of this database to Simple. This seemed to do the trick and I’m now happily working away on a test environment hosted by VCenter 4.1.