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Inplace upgrade of vCenter Server from 4.1 to 5 and SQL Express

Posted on 2012-04-11
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Last Modified: 2012-04-12
I have an existing installation of vCenter Server 4.1.xxx.  I am looking to do an inplace uprade to version 5.0.  Its a small environment and the database I am using is SQL Express 2005.  If I use the vCenter Server install Wizard it tells me I need to upgrade the database.  Will that automatically upgrade SQL Express 2005 to 2008?
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Question by:thelink12
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by:Subhashish Laha
Subhashish Laha earned 100 total points
ID: 37833259
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by:Subhashish Laha
ID: 37833266
Backup your SQL database first before upgrading the Database.
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by:thelink12
ID: 37833367
I have seen that article, I am looking to find out if the install process will upgrade SQL 2005 to 2008 or if the the author already did that as part of the article.  THe author states that he is running version 4.1 but not if the database is 2005 or 2008.
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Expert Comment

by:unsatiated
ID: 37833517
If you are running a 32bit OS, you cannot perform an in-place upgrade and will have to migrate the database using the follow procedure.

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2005328

Even if you have a 64bit OS, 2005 SQLExpress is not supported and you will have to backup the SQL2005 database and restore it into the newly created SQL2008 express instance.
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Expert Comment

by:Subhashish Laha
ID: 37833556
Go through below article, this is related to your query and will help you out

http://communities.vmware.com/thread/345105
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LVL 117
ID: 37833740
We complete inplace upgrades for clients from vCenter 4.1 to 5.0.

The installation wizard detects an existing version of vCenter and upgrades.

No upgrade is performed to SQL Express 2008. SQL Express 2005 is left.

The database is upgraded to work with vCenter 5.0.

It is true if you read Pages 32 of the Upgrade it states SQL Express 2005 - Not Supported.

But that does not mean it does not function and work.

Its a shame the installation does not warn in v5.0, this could have changed in v5.0 u1
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Author Comment

by:thelink12
ID: 37833793
I am confused.  The interoperability guide says that SQL 2005 express does not work with 5.0.
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ID: 37833802
Its wrong!

its not supported, not supported and work are two very different things.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 400 total points
ID: 37834107
Okay, here are some screenshots from our vCenter 5.0 installation, which was an in-place upgrade ontop of vCenter 4.1. (SQL Express 2005)

It works satisfactorily, like all our client sites, which know, it's not officially supported by VMware, if there was an issue with vCenter, which you have to have a seperate support contract, ontop of the ESXi servers support contract.

Our clients decided, they would test on SQL Express 2005, and if there were any issues with vCenter 5.0, they would then proceed with an SQL Express 2008 installation, but for them it was little risk, versus the effort, of installing new SQL Express 2008, and then compelting upgrade due to timescales.

SQLExpress2005-1.jpg
SQLExpress2005-2.jpg
SQLExpress2005-3.jpg
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Author Closing Comment

by:thelink12
ID: 37837583
Excellent.  Thank you for your help!
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