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VCenter Migration 5.0 to 5.1

Currently I'm running VCenter 5.0 Build 623373 and hosts running 5.0.0 Build 623860.
I would like to move my hosts to a new 5.1 VCenter on new hardware. When I try to remove the hosts from the cluster it tells me the hosts need to be in maintenance mode. I need to be able to do this migration with as little downtime as possible. VMware docs are saying that the host must be in maint. mode to move them to another VCenter. Is their any other way to move these hosts without shutting down my VMs?
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I think the only way is use vmotion. Do you have this license?
yes i agree with johnnypt but you don't need a license. For a new installation you have full product for 60 days.

you could also use svMotion (storage vmotion) in you need to change datastore.

Be aware to have the new vswitches configuration  full compliant with the old one.

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Im not sure VMotion can help me in this scenario. My current VCenter is 5.0 and physical, my new VCenter is 5.1 and physical. I need to move the vsphere hosts from vcenter 5.0 to vcenter 5.1 without shutting them down or going into maintenance mode.
ok just shutdown you vcenter 5.0 and add esxi hosts to your new vcenter 5.1.

shuting down you vcenter, will not affect the running vms
When you will connect esxi host to new vcenter you will have a warning message saying that the host is attached to another vcenter.

force connection
Avatar of Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
Just perform an in-place upgraded of vCenter 5.0 to vCenter 5.1, e.g. insert the cdrom, and run setup, and upgrade.

an inplace upgrade will not affect the running of your VMs.

if you want to Live Migrate VMs without licenses, see my EE Article....

HOW TO: "Live Migrate" VMware Virtual Machines between ESX/ESXi hosts and/or datastores for FREE without licenses for vMotion or Storage vMotion
hanccocka, author as already the 2 vCenters 5.0 and 5.1 installed
if you want to move your hosts to new vCenter Server, you will have to enable maintenance mode, to remove the hosts from the current cluster.

unless you delete the existing cluster.
ok, can I delete the cluster without causing issues with the VMs that are running. I can disable the HA and DRS settings before the deletion. Then add the hosts to the new clusters in the new VCenter?
Avatar of Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
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Explanation worked. Turn off HA. Remove cluster, add hosts to new VCenter