vCenter Server 5.5 Windows to Appliance 6.0 Migration

At long last the much anticipated vCenter Server Windows to Appliance Migration utility has arrived.

Download https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=VC60U2M&productId=577&rPId=1240

Dubbed vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 U2m (no prize for guessing what the M stands for)

This first release allows you to migrate a Windows based vCenter Server 5.5 environment to a vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 U2 environment.

Important: You cannot perform a horizontal migration. i.e. You cannot migrate a Windows vCenter Server 6.0 to a vCenter Server 6.0 Appliance. It must be a migrate and upgrade.

Also you cannot change topology during a migration. i.e. A vCenter Server 5.5 with Embedded SSO will result in a vCenter Server 6.0 with Embedded PSC

It’s important to know from the beginning that this is a migration AND upgrade.

This process will migrate the exact state of a Windows vCenter Server 5.5 (or SSO 5.5).

  • AD Domain Join status
  • FQDN and IP Address
  • Single Sign-On configuration and data
  • Inventory Service data
  • vCenter Server configuration and data
  • Roles and Permissions
  • Tags, VM Storage Profiles, Host Profiles
  • SSL Certificates

In this post, we’ll walk through a migration of a vCenter Server 5.5 with Embedded SSO.

Launch the Migration-Assistant on the source Windows vCenter 5.5

1. Mount the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 U2m ISO to the source Windows vCenter 5.5

2. Launch the VMware-Migration-Assistant.exe

D:\migration-assistant\VMware-Migration-Assistant.exe

3. Provide the administrator@vsphere.local credentials

4. The Migration-Assistant will run various checks and validations and print these to the screen

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5. In the above example it is explaining that we have SRM and VUM registered to this vCenter and they will need to be upgraded too to be compatible with vCenter 6.0

We are also told the source configuration type and what the destination configuration type will be.

Note: You cannot change deployment topology as part of the migration. Reconfigure your deployment topology before performing a migration.

Once you see the message “Waiting for migration to start” launch the Migration UI from another machine.

Perform the Migration

1. Mount the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 U2m ISO to another machine that is not the vCenter you are currently going to migrate.

2. Install the Client Integration Plugin located in “D:\vcsa\VMware-ClientIntegrationPlugin-6.0.0.exe”

3. Open the “D:\vcsa-setup.html” using a Browser. You should only see a Migrate Button. Click this to begin.

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4. Accept the EULA and hit next

5. Provide the ESXi Host or vCenter Server and respective credentials of the ESXi Host / vCenter Server which you want to deploy the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 to.

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6. Give the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 VM a name and define it’s root password. Enable SSH if desired

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7. Provide the source Windows vCenter Server 5.5 FQDN and administrator@vsphere.local credentials. The default port is 9123. You can also choose whether or not to migrate historical performance data and tasks and events data.

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8. The UI will report the same information message about existing registered solutions

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9. If the source Windows vCenter Server 5.5 is joined to an Active Directory domain then you must provide credentials to allow the resulting vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 to join the same domain. This is to ensure we maintain permissions and identity source information.

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10. Select the resource size for the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 based on your current and projected inventory size. Note: This can always be increased in the future.

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11. Choose the datastore to store the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0

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12. Provide a temporary IP Address for the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 to use during the export/import phase. The IP Address and network provided must have connectivity to the source Windows vCenter Server 5.5. The vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 will assume the original vCenter Server 5.5 network identity during the migration.

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13. Opt-out/in to the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program

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14. Review the summary of information and then hit Finish to begin

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Migration Process

1. A new vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 will be deployed to your specified ESXi Host

13_U2m2. Using the ESXi Host Client we can see the new Appliance deployed to the ESXi Host

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3. Once deployed, it will be powered on. It’s storage will be configured and RPMs installed.

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4. Next we will begin exporting the information from the source Windows vCenter 5.5

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5. Back on the source Windows vCenter 5.5 we can see some of this progress

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6. Once the export has completed and the data copied to the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0, the source Windows vCenter Server 5.5 will be shutdown

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7. The import of the data will continue and the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 will assume the network identity of the source Windows vCenter Server

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Migrating distributed typologies

The above was assuming your vCenter Server 5.5 services are all co-located on the same machine. The process doesn’t really change if you have service distributed on multiple machines.

All we care about in a distributed setup are the Single Sign-On and vCenter Server machines. We don’t really need to worry about the Inventory Service or vSphere Web Client machines.

The migration process for a distributed environment is simple.

  1. Migrate your Single Sign-On machines first
  2. Migrate your vCenter Server machines second

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The same holds true even when you begin to scale out.

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