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Creating a VM of VCenter host

Posted on 2011-09-19
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I am running VCenter on a stand alone server. The server is running Server 2003 Standard.  I need to upgrade to Server 2008.  I want to create a VM of the host so I can run VCenter while I upgrade server. What is the best way to accomplish this?  I want to be able to go back to the database on the old VCenter to avoid having to set the whole thing up again.
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Question by:funkyone60
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Expert Comment

by:Stelian Stan
ID: 36561145
Have a look on this: http://blog.nettraptor.net/?p=296
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LVL 118
ID: 36561201
You are wanting to do an inplace upgrade of the old 32 bit Server?

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LVL 118
ID: 36561220
Do you want to keep your existing database of performance?

Why do you need yo upgrade you server to 2008? (to support vCenter 4.1 64 bit?)
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LVL 118

Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 400 total points
ID: 36561223
You can create a P2V of the existing physical host using VMware vCenter Converter here
http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/datacenter_downloads/vmware_vcenter_converter_standalone/4_0

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.x Documentation
http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/converter_pubs.html

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 User Guide
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/convsa_43_guide.pdf

If you have issues, you may want to consult the following guides

Read fellow Expert Bestway's article.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/A_3639-VMware-vConverter-P2V-for-Windows-Servers.html
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Author Comment

by:funkyone60
ID: 36561234
I can't upgrade to 4.1 with 32bit op system. And I am sure that is the same with 5.0 although I have not researched that.

I would like to make use of the existing database.
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LVL 118
ID: 36561260
Okay so the goal is to upgrade the physical server to WIndows 2008 R2 64 bit.

1. Complete a P2V of the existing 32 bit physical server to VM.
2. Destroy the old server and install Windows 2008 R2 64 bit

and then Migrate vCenter to the new server?
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LVL 118
ID: 36561274
You need to use the Data Migration Tool, in this article

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1021635

Also checkout the Upgrade Guide

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_upgrade_guide.pdf
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Author Comment

by:funkyone60
ID: 36561293
hanccocka- you are exactly getting what I want to do in the questions above with Steps 1 and 2.
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LVL 118
ID: 36561586
Okay, checkout the Data Migration Utility, (but I warn you in advance, we've seen this work 50 percent of the time).

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Author Comment

by:funkyone60
ID: 36561781
50/50 does not make me feel warm and fuzzy.  How would you do it?
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LVL 118
ID: 36561847
We often recommend that clients, try and use the Data Migration Wizard, that is the supported mechanism, we have no idea, why it works at some sites, and fails at others. If it works successfully it's pain free, otherwise, you have got to understand SQL.

If it fails, there is no harm. Some clients, at this point just decide to start a fresh with a new vCenter installation, because they have no requirement to keep the performance data from the old installation, which is the main content of the database.

others decide, to keep the database, which requires copying the database from old Database server to new vCenter database. (depends on their level of SQL ability).
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LVL 51

Assisted Solution

by:Netman66
Netman66 earned 100 total points
ID: 36568924
Moving up to 4.1 or 5.0 requires a 64-bit OS - which you know is not an upgrade.

You need to also consider that the 4.0 and older DB is different than the 4.1 and 5.0 versions.

I would create a VM for your vSphere server - we run it in a VM here with no issues.  Install server 2008 and a new install of vSphere with new DB instances.  Once it's built remove the Hosts from the old vSphere and add them to the new one.

This will ensure you have a clean install, and a clean DB instance with correct tables.  You will then be able to use your hardware for another ESXi Host if you want.
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Author Closing Comment

by:funkyone60
ID: 36570772
I was able to creat a VM of Vcenter Host inside Vcenter- blow out the exisiting Vcenter Host server- load Windows 2008R2 and upgrade to VCenter 4.1.  Rather than migrate data I jsut set everything up clean.

Easy and effcient.  

Thanks to both
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