Changing ESXi host name

king daddy
king daddy used Ask the Experts™

We moved a cluster to a datacenter in another city and would like to rename the hosts in the cluster accordingly (the hosts are named by the city they're located in, so I need to change from OLDCITYvmhost01, 02, 03, 04 to NEWCITYvmhost01, 02, 03, 04). I believe the process to be:

Put the host into maintenance mode.
Disconnect the host from the vCenter server.
Connect to the host directly (I am using the stand-alone client).
Go to Configuration > DNS and Routing > Click Properties... then edit the name accordingly.
Click OK.
Go to vCenter web client.
Go to the cluster.
RIght-click cluster and choose Add Host.
Choose renamed host and configure through wizard.
Exit maintenance mode.

Will VMs migrate back to this host, now with a new name? I suspect they will in that the host is part of the cluster and the cluster is configured for HA and DRS. However, I wasn't sure if the VMs that were migrated off of the renamed host when it was put into maintenance mode would have some issue moving back.

Please let me know if there are other locations I need to update the host name, any caveats or errors I may encounter with the cluster, or if there is a reason besides personal preference to use the host's web client to do this.
Much appreciated.
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VMs will not move ANYWHERE, they'll always in in the hosts Inventory!

Make sure that you make A Record changes to your DNS...FIRST....

All looks good.
Sebastian TalmonSystem Engineer Datacenter Solutions
VMs should have no problem with a renamed host - and also Backup software should link the VM through the VM ID in vCenter and not through ESXi Host name.

Please do not just rename the host, but also make sure that DNS records are in place for the new host, if you want to add it to vCenter using its DNS name.
(EDIT: Andrew was faster - just do as he said ;-)


Great - thanks to both of you!


went well but wanted to note some things in case someone else ran across this.

Once in maintenance mode I could not connect to the host I wanted to rename by name or IP from the stand-alone client. Was able to access it through its webpage. The following was my process. DNS was edited a couple of hours before hand, as suggested.

went to host webpage using original name
changed name in networking > tcp/ip stacks > default TCP/IP stack
went to new name of host web page to confirm
also successfully pinged by IP
went to vcenter, right-clicked host (original name) > connection > disconnect
right-click host (original name) > remove from inventory
right-click cluster > add new host > went through wizard and added host (new name) to cluster
exited maintanence mode
VMs started migrating back automatically and with no issue

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