I am working on a whitepaper about vCenter Server migrations and stumbled upon this great tool which is hidden away on the vCenter install media called “datamigration”. The data migration tool allows you to backup a vCenter Server configuration which is hosted by the MS SQL Express databases that is packaged with vCenter. Now this might seem like a limited scenario but I bet many people start out using the Express database that comes with vCenter using a 32-bit OS and found themselves more or less locked in. If you are still using 4.0 with a 32-bit platform, this is your way out. It is fairly straight forward if I may say so. The beauty of it all is that you can keep your current vCenter config, be it disabled… but you always have a roll back option might it be needed.
- Build a new 64-bit vCenter Server
- Download the vCenter zip or ISO
- Go to the “datamigration” folder and copy/extract the datamigration.zip.
- Copy the extracted content to your “source” vCenter Server
- Stop the vCenter Service, Update Management Service and the vCenter Web Service
- Run “backup.bat” under the datamigration folder from a Command Prompt
- One decision that you need to make is if you want to backup all Host patches as well, I prefer to just download them again
- When the process has completed copy the full “datamigration” folder to your new vCenter server
- Run “install.bat” under the datamigration folder from a Command Prompt
- It will display the name of the vCenter Server you are about to “restore”, validate it and type Y
- Provide the path to the vCenter install files
- Provide the path to the VUM install files (probably same as previous step)
- Now just follow the normal installation process
- You will see an installer popping up, note that in the Command Prompt window the databases will be restored etc.
- Takes roughly 15 minutes depending on the amount of data
- Start the vSphere Client… done,
Is that simple or what? I was kind of amazed by this to be honest, very simple and effective tool to migrate to a new 64-bit vCenter Server while keeping your Events, Tasks, Resource Pools etc… it is all there. Use it to your advantage,