installing new fresh vcenter server in live environment


I would like to reinstall Vcenter/license server on a new server, with a fresh new database.  I currently have 2 esxservers in a vcenter cluster with about 20 virtual machines all running live.

what i propose to do is, reinstall vcenter on new server with new database, remove esx servers from existing virtual center cluster, disable all vcenter services on old server, add esxserver's to new vcenter cluster, reconfigure from new.. done!

is it possible to do this?  especially the part about removing esx servers from a live cluster, will all the VM's still run?


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provided you don't shut down the ESX hosts, then everything will carry on running as normal.

you shouldn't need to remove the ESX hosts from the old cluster as when you try and add them to the new cluster you will get a warning that they are managed by a different vCentre - do you want to continue?
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
This should work just fine.  Just make sure you put the licensing in.
"phil"...if you're running vCenter, then there is no more 'license server' per sè. In 3.5 and previous, there was a separate license server install, but is no longer needed. It's a part of vCenter now. :)

Just to make a clean transition, if you have any services (HA, DRS, etc) running in your current cluster, I would disable them, remove the hosts from the cluster, then delete the cluster. You can then add them to your new datacenter when you get it built. As "jake..." states, you don't have to do this, but I recommend it as sometimes services 'hang' on hosts and can cause for a rough transition.

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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
coolsport:  If he's still running ESX3.5 servers the License Server is still needed and needs to be installed. In vCenter 4 you have to point to the license server and the .lic license file.

If ESX4 only hosts are installed then it is not needed.  Just be carefull otherwise the 3.5 hosts may become unlicensed
Yep..correct; Since he said "vCenter" (instead of vitual center), I assumed his infrastructure is vSphere (I know...never assume) :)
philipfarnesAuthor Commented:
sorry it is virtual center 2.5.. does this change things
coolsport00Commented: does, as "paul..." mentions above. You're still ok, just add the license server info given.

Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
If it's vCenter 2.5 you can leave the License Server as is and just uninstall/re-install vCenter or you can re-install the License Server (make sure you backup the license file) and vCenter.  The ESX hosts can last 14 days without contacting a license server and becoming unlicensed
philipfarnesAuthor Commented:
How do i remove the virtual machines from the existing cluster/virtual center.. it says cannot do unless in maintenance mode?

Are your VMs on shared storage or local? If they're on shared storage, you don't need to remove them. You just need to remove the hosts from the cluster is all. Wait a looking back over your orig says you're just wanting to rebuild your vitual center (not vCenter) server, correct? You're not rebuilding/reinstalling ESX OS correct? If that is the case, you don't need to worry about your VMs. VMs are installed on hosts, not virtual center. So, that being said, what you should do is remove your hosts from the cluster, deconfigure your cluster (HA, DRS, etc.), then delete the cluster. All of this while logged into virtual center through your VI Client. Remove your hosts from inventory (your VMs will still be on and in production, so no worries there). Then, log out of your VI Client. Is your vitual center server a VM? You can build up another VM, install virtual center, add the database (unless it's local, then it will install with virt. ctr) and be good to go.


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