moving vCenter 5 server on 2003 to new 5.1 server on 2008R2


I need to move vCenter to a 2008 R2 server from a 2003 64-bit server. Would it be easier / is it feasible to just install a fresh vCenter server as opposed to migrating everything? I only have two hosts with 7 VMs on each (14 total) in this location.

Either way, any direction on the simplest way to either migrate the existing instance or configure a new one from scratch is appreciated.

king daddyAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Login to vCenter Server, and remove the current hosts.

Shutdown server and put on scrap pile etc

This will not affect the Hosts or VMs running. (Clearly any VMware DRS, vMotion, admin tasks cannot be performed, as vCenter has gone!)

Install new vCenter Server 5.1, login, and add your old hosts - done.

30 minute job.
Aravind SivaramanConnect With a Mentor Technical Subject Matter ExpertCommented:
You can do a fresh installation of the vCenter server on W2K8 server and point it to the database server.

Check the following KB it will help
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
To be honest with you, re-install vCenter Server from scratch. Unless you desperately want to keep older performance Summary data.
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king daddyAuthor Commented:
thanks aravindsivaraman. I had seen that article earlier when I was looking into this. I have a local SQL instance and was hoping I could just start from scratch so-to-speak.

thanks hanccocka. Ha. No need to keep that old data. Would I need to shutdown the old vCenter server prior to putting the new one into production? Do I need to update the hosts or VMs in any way to point to the new vCenter server? I appreciate any direction on configuring a new vCenter server that won't conflict with the old one.
king daddyAuthor Commented:
awesome - thanks. Hate to nest a question but I am getting conflicting info regarding going to 5.1 or 5.5. I would like to be cautious at this site and generally don't like to install into production new software as soon as it is released. Again though, I am receiving conflicting info. May I get your opinion / ask what you have done (or will do)?

coolsport00Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I would stick with 5.1 at this point. In some previous posts, I expounded on steps to do an upgrade to 5.1 (but's moreso a 'fresh' install). See below (I recommend reviewing Derek's post as it's extensive & covers certs really well):

Procedures I do with small deployment:
1. Upgrade vCenter - you can do a new deployment or create a new VM and just redeploy vCtr and connect to a newly created DB on a supported remote DB server
2. Recreate your vCenter structure if new and install your vCenter/Host 5.x licenses
3. Migrate VMs off an ESXi Host to others in your Cluster, assuming you have vMotion
4. Document your Host settings (networks, mgmt IPs, VLANS, NTP settings, etc.)
5. **THIS IS JUST PRECAUTIONARY - assuming your Hosts are using Shared Storage, I disconnect my Fibre cables to the Host
6. Use a USB or SD to connect to your Host and install your ESXi 5.x version onto this device. If you have an internal SD, you can create a bootable USB or CD and install it on your SD
7. Once the install completes, log into your Host directly and configure (at this point, if you didn't already install it, you'll need to install an upgrade version of the vSphere Client)
8. Once config'd, add your Host to vCenter and migrate VMs back to it
9. Repeat for remaining Hosts
10. Once all Hosts are done, upgrade VMware Tools on your VMs (you can do groups of VMs by using the Virtual Machines tab of your Cluster)
11. Upgrade VM Virtual Hardware after Tools upgrade
12. NOTE - I recommend also upgrading your Datastores to VMFS5. I also doing a 'fresh' upgrade so as not to have residual VMFS3 on them. Just remove VMs off your Datastore using Storage VMotion, remove the datastore (****AGAIN, DO THIS ONLY IF ALL DATA, VMs, ISOs, ETC ARE OFF YOUR DATASTORE), then simply re-add it. Now, you can do a non-disruptive upgrade to VMFS5 with VMs, etc still on your Datsatore, but you still have residual MBR until a certain point

Also, Derek Seaman goes through the process of upgrading to 5.1 on his blog site. GREAT process! (he goes through each component)

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You would be a fool, to jump to 5.5 at this present time!
king daddyAuthor Commented:
thanks coolsport00. excellent info.

hanccocka - seemingly I am a fool for several reasons. the move to 5.5 at this time will not be able to be counted as one of those reasons.

Thanks fellas, much appreciated.
No problem; as an FYI... I *always* wait to at least an Update release to vSphere before I install. If my boss is impatient in doing so, I stall him :)  No sense in spending a bunch of time troubleshooting 'bugs' that exist in a new GA release of software IMO.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We only deploy GA to New VMware vSphere Clients.....
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