Tuesday, December 29, 2009

vCenter 4 Upgrade A Success!

Wow after a lot of planning today was the day I pulled the trigger for our big upgrade to vCenter 4. The upgrade went very smoothly and I am really impressed with the speed of vCenter compared to Virtual Center 2.5 update 5. You need to upgrade for that reason alone!

Our virtual center and SQL 2005 servers are both virtual, and our goal was to follow the strong suggestion from VMware: Future releases of VMware vCenter Server might not support installation on 32-bit Windows operating systems. We also wanted it to be the license server for the ESX 3.5 servers as well until we get migrated.

The vSphere Upgrade Guide for Update 1 had some instructions for doing this but I'll walk you through the steps I took below which might help. I had already prepared items in a folder I would need during the rebuild of the new 64bit vCenter.

You will need:
SSL files from old virtual center:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\SSL

SSL files go here on new 64bit server:

C:\Users\All Users\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\SSL

Sysprep files Old:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\sysprep
Sysprep files new:
C:\Users\All Users\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\sysprep

35 license server files old:
\Program Files\VMware\VMware License Server\Licenses
35 license server files new:
\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware License Server\Licenses

  • rename current virtual center 2.5
  • deployed new Server 2008 64 Enterprise SP1 vm
  • removed my DRS rule to keep the SQL and old virtual center together
  • made a note of the ESX server new vcenter vm is on
  • shutdown old vcenter, remove from AD
  • configure new vCenter 64 bit OS, Join domain
  • copy SSL files (make the directory that doesn't exist yet--see above)
  • install sql native client (64 bit version)
  • setup ODBC (remember to use 32 DSN by running c:\Windows\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe and select SQL Native driver)
  • Perform the vcenter install
  • copy sysprep files, check everything out (agent updates take place on the servers)
  • Install the virtual center 2.5 update 5 license server only and point to your license files
  • set vCenter to be the license server for ESX 3.5 servers (under vCenter Server Settings)
  • and that was about it...still need to update the other components (update manager, etc)
Hope this helps you...


Anonymous said...

Jay, do you still need the sysprep files on vSphere? I heard that they were no longer needed or maybe that was just for Windows 2008 templates?

Anonymous said...

You still need sysprep for older operating systems like W2k and 2003. Windows 2008 and Vista have build in tools that does not need sysprep to deploy them.

Jay Rogers said...

Yes...sysprep files still needed except for Windows 7, Server 2008.

Gert Van Gorp said...


in an environmet with only windows 7 and W2K8 some older sysprep files areneede, otherwise the customization will not be enabled



Fred said...

What is the purpose of copying the SSL files from the old server? Are you reusing the same name VCenter server? Is that the only reason?

Jay Rogers said...

I was reusing the same vcenter server name. If you don't all your hosts will have to be reconnected and you could cause bigger issues in a larger environment with Vmware View and SRM, etc.

marry said...

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

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