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Overview of upgrading or migrating from vCenter Server 4.x to vCenter Server 5.0 (1031307)

Purpose

This article provides information about the methods of upgrading to vCenter Server 5.0.

Resolution

When you upgrade vCenter Server, you must understand and follow best practices for a successful upgrade. 

Preparing for the vCenter Server upgrade process

It is important to understand the upgrade process, the effect of that process on your existing deployment, and the preparation required for the upgrade.
 
To prepare for the vCenter Server upgrade process: 
  1. If your vSphere system includes VMware solutions or plug-ins, ensure that they are compatible with the vCenter Server version that you are upgrading to. For more information, see the VMware Product Interoperability Matrixes.
  2. Ensure that you have read Preparing for the Upgrade to vCenter Server in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  3. Ensure that you have read the VMware vSphere 5.0 Release Notes for known installation issues.
  4. If your vSphere installation is in a VMware View environment, see Upgrading vSphere Components Separately in a VMware View Environment in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.

Note: For information about vCenter Server in Linked mode configurations, see Linked Mode Considerations in the vSphere Installation and Setup Guide.

Preparing your system for the upgrade 

To prepare your system for the upgrade:
  1. Ensure that your system meets requirements for vCenter Server 5.0. For more information, see System Requirements in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  2. Verify that your existing database is supported for vCenter Server 5.0. For more information, see vCenter Server Upgrade Scenarios for Each Database Type in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  3. Make sure that your vCenter Server database is prepared and permissions are correctly set. For more information, see Preparing vCenter Server Databases in the vSphere Installation and Setup Guide.
  4. Review the prerequisites for the upgrade. For more information, see Prerequisites for the vCenter Server Upgrade in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.

Backing up your vCenter Server databases and SSL certificates 

To back-up your vCenter Server databases and SSL certificates:
  1. Make a full backup of the vCenter database. For more information, see these sections in the vSphere Upgrade Guide:

    • Back Up and Move the vCenter Server Database

  2. Back up the SSL certificates that are on the VirtualCenter or vCenter Server system before you upgrade to vCenter Server 5.0. For more information, see Back Up VirtualCenter 2.5 Update 6 or Higher in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.

    Note:
    The default location of the SSL certificates is %allusersprofile%\ApplicationData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter.

Upgrading vCenter Server 4.x to vCenter Server 5.0 on the same machine

To upgrade vCenter Server 4.x to vCenter Server 5.0 on the same machine:
  1. Stop the VMware VirtualCenter Server service. For more information, see Stopping, starting, or restarting vCenter services (1003895).
  2. Run the vCenter Host Agent Pre-Upgrade Checker, and resolve any issues that the Pre-Upgrade Checker finds. For more information, see Run the vCenter Host Agent Pre-Upgrade Checker in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  3. Make sure that no processes are running that conflict with the ports that vCenter Server uses. For more information, see Required Ports for vCenter Server in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  4. Run the vCenter Server upgrade.
  5. Configure new vSphere 5.0 licenses. For more information, see Managing Licenses in the vCenter Server and Host Management Guide.
  6. Upgrade the vSphere Client to version 5.0 to prevent compatibility problems that can interfere with the operation of the vSphere Client. For more information, see Upgrade the vSphere Client in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  7. Review the topics in After You Upgrade vCenter Server in the vSphere Upgrade Guide for post-upgrade requirements and options.

Upgrading to vCenter Server on a Different Machine and Upgrade the Existing Database 

When you upgrade to vCenter Server, you can migrate vCenter Server to a new machine. You may want to do this to move from a 32-bit machine to a 64-bit machine.

You can also use a data migration tool to migrate a SQL Server Express database that is installed by the vCenter Server installer on the same machine as vCenter Server. If you use a different database that is installed on the vCenter Server machine, you must back up and move the database manually to the new machine. If the database is installed on a different machine from vCenter Server, you can leave the database in place and create a DSN on the destination machine to connect to it.
 
The vCenter Server configuration settings that you can migrate with the tool include:
  • LDAP data
  • Port settings for the HTTP, HTTPS, heartbeat, Web services, LDAP, and LDAP SSL ports
  • Certificates stored in the SSL folder
  • License
  • Database data for a bundled SQL Server Express database only
If VMware vCenter Update Manager or vCenter Orchestrator is installed on the same machine as vCenter Server, you can use the data migration tool to migrate configuration data for these products. You can also use the tool to migrate the vCenter Update Manager database if it is a SQL Server Express database installed on the same machine as vCenter Update Manager and vCenter Server. You cannot use the data migration tool to migrate the vCenter Orchestrator database. See the documentation for vCenter Update Manager and vCenter Orhestrator for information about upgrading these products. For more information about using the Data Migration Tool, Back Up VirtualCenter or vCenter Server Configuration with the Data Migration Tool in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
 
Caution: If your vSphere system includes VMware solutions or plug-ins, ensure that they are compatible with the vCenter Server version that you are upgrading to. For more information, see the VMware Product Interoperability Matrixes. 

Additional Information

 
Important Terms: 
  • Migration - Transitioning to a vSphere 5.0 environment by migrating to a supported 64-bit host.
  • Upgrade - Transitioning to a vSphere 5.0 environment by upgrading an existing installation on a supported 64-bit host.
  • Database Type - The type of database being used in the environment.
  • OS Platform - The type of operation system on which vCenter Server is currently installed.
 
For information related to vSphere 5.1, see:

See Also

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