Here are some notes on a recent migration I completed for vCenter. The source machine was a Windows 2008 R2 Server box that was running vCenter 5.1 and the new machine was a Dell R320 running Windows 2012 Server. I initially tried to install vCenter 5.1 on the Windows 2012 server, but it had a lot of errors with the install of the Single Sign On Service. Even with the latest version of vCenter 5.1, there are major issues when installing it with an existing vCenter database. I tried creating users from scratch in SQL Management Studio, installed SQL 2012 and 2008 R2 to no avail, and created ODBC system connections to no avail. There appears to be some issues with the way vCenter 5.1 communicates with the SQL server in Windows 2012.
The easiest solution to this was to upgrade vCenter on the source machine to vCenter 5.5. Using this vCenter 5.5 tutorial, the in-place upgrade to 5.5 worked well. To make things easier with the install, use the same password for the two accounts: vCenter 5.5 uses the username of email@example.com, while vCenter 5.1 uses admin@system-domain for the username.
VCenter 5.5 works great on Server 2012 as I was able to install without any errors using this guide on the VMWare site. I installed SQL 2008 R2 on the new server in order to ensure that the database backup/restore wouldn’t have any issues. You still will need to create the 64-bit ODBC driver sources in the system in order to have VCenter communicate with the database. After the databases have been restored on the SQL server, proceed with the installation and make sure you select the existing database option to keep the old data.
Once vCenter is installed on the new machine, you will need to reconnect all vSphere hosts with the username/password. If you notice that the host initially connects and then disconnects, double check the firewall setting on the vSphere host to ensure the heartbeat check is able to pass through.
- VMWare vCenter 5.5
- SQL 2008 R2 with SQL Management Studio (to backup/restore the databases)
- ODBC connection setup for 64-bit data source