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Migrating the vCenter Server database from SQL Express to full SQL Server (1028601)

Purpose

This article provides information on migrating a VMware vCenter Server database from a SQL Express server to a full SQL Server instance.

Note: You may need to migrate from SQL Express to SQL Server if you are close to or exceeding 5 hosts, 50 virtual machines, or 4 GB database size. (In Microsoft SQL Express 2008 and newer, the maximum database size has been increased to 10 GB.)

Resolution

To migrate the vCenter Server database from an SQL Express instance to full SQL Server:

Note: Ensure that you are using the dbo schema and not custom schemas in your vCenter Server database. For more information, see Upgrading vCenter Server to a newer version fails with multiple schema errors (1011386).
  1. Stop the VirtualCenter Server service. For more information, see Stopping, starting, or restarting VirtualCenter services (1003895).

  2. Take a complete backup of the vCenter database. Do not skip this step.

  3. Stop the vCenter database on the SQL Express server.

  4. Copy the backed up database to the full SQL Server host.

  5. Create a new database on the full SQL Server.

  6. Restore the backed up SQL Express vCenter database to the newly created database. To ensure a proper restore, navigate to Options and click Overwrite existing database with replace.

    Notes:
    • The instructions above also apply when full SQL Server is installed locally on the vCenter Server Windows host. SQL Express 2005 is upgraded to SQL Server 2008 after you have created the new 2008 database and restored the SQL Express 2005 database to the SQL 2008 Server.
    • If the new instance of full SQL Server is installed locally for the database migration, the vCenter Service's SQL Server Instance dependency may need to be re-created or modified. For more information, see VMware VirtualCenter Server service does not start automatically after reboot (1007669).
    • You must remove and recreate the System DSN so that it uses the SQL Native Client 10.0 driver, which you can download from here.

      The preceding link was correct as of March 13, 2014. If you find the link is broken, provide feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.

    • Ensure the DSN connects to the newly created database on SQL 2008 Server. For vCenter Server 4.1 and later, ensure a 64-bit DSN is created for the ODBC connection.

  7. Configure the vCenter account that connects to the database as the dbo user of the MSDB system database. For more information on database requirements, see:

  8. Update the ODBC connection on vCenter Server. For more information, see Cannot start the VirtualCenter Server service after migrating the vCenter Server database to a new server (1020836).

    Note: This procedure modifies the Windows registry. Before making any registry modifications, ensure that you have a current and valid backup of the registry and the virtual machine. For more information on backing up and restoring the registry, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 136393.

    To update the ODBC connection:

    1. Click Start > Run, type regedit, and click OK. The Registry Editor window opens.
    2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > VMware, Inc > VMware VirtualCenter.
    3. Modify the key DbInstanceName and remove the current Value data. Do not delete this key.
    4. Modify the key DbServerType and change the Value data from Bundled to Custom.
    5. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > VMware, Inc > VMware VirtualCenter > DB.
    6. Modify Key 1 and change the ODBC driver to the new driver.
    7. Modify key 2 and add the vCenter Server user, for example sa.

  9. To change the database password stored in the registry and to allow the user to update the ODBC information without reinstalling vCenter Server, run this command:

    C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\VirtualCenter Server\vpxd.exe -p

    Notes: This is the default path to the vCenter Server installation directory. Change the path appropriately, if required.

  10. Re-create the rollup jobs. For more information, see Verifying jobs and stored procedures installed in vCenter Server 5.1 and 5.5 (2033096).

  11. Ensure the vcdb.properties file reflects the new SQL database information. For more information, see vCenter Server fails to populate performance charts and displays an error message when using a custom JDBC SQL port (1021202).

  12. Ensure that the database settings used by the Tomcat Server have been updated. For more information, see After migrating the vCenter Server database to a new host, the VMware VirtualCenter Management WebServices service does not function correctly (2010958).

Note: If you experience issues accessing the Storage View tab after the migration, see Accessing the Storage tab view in vCenter Server 5.0 fails with an internal error: com.vmware.vim.sms.fault.serviceInitializationException (2015180).

Additional Information

For more information on migrating the Update Manager database, see the Migrating the Update Manager Data and Upgrading Update Manager on a Different Machine section of the vSphere Installation and Setup Guide.

For translated versions of this article, see:

See Also

Update History

10/08/2013 - Move the step on roll up jobs from step 9 to 10.

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