Last year I blogged about the vCS to vCSA converter tool that VMware Labs released as a fling and how I had used it to pretty much convert all my lab vCenters (all bar one) to vCSAs….. since then I’ve been following the releases and a few months ago I noticed the Fling was deprecated (ie you can’t download it). I didn’t think much of it as VMworld 2016 was only round the corner, so thought it might be rolled into an impending vSphere/vCenter release….. unfortunately that never quite materialised in Las Vegas, and rumours are that vSphere 6.5 might be released in Barcelona.
So I was quietly surprised when I got an email notification from VMware Blogs to inform me that a new minor update of vSphere had been released specifically for migration puposes – vSphere 6.0 Update 2m (where the ‘m’ stands for migration).
vSphere 6.0 Update 2m is an automated end to end migration tool from a Windows vCenter Server 5.5 (any update) to a vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 Update 2 (so pretty much what the Fling used to achieve).
It’s common knowledge that trying to migrate from a Windows vCenter Server (with a SQL backend) to a vCenter Server Appliance was not an easy task – in fact in 90% of my customers I’ve just told them to start a fresh rather than go through the pain of scripting a migration. However, I’m so glad that VMware have rolled out the Converter fling into an actual production release – now we have an end-to-end migration tool which takes all the pain out of the equation!
Those of you who are interested in migrating from your Windows vCenter Server 5.5 (any update) to a vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 Update 2 should download and use this release. The vSphere 6.0 Update 2m download is an ISO consisting of the Migration Tool and vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 Update 2, roughly about 2.8GB in size.
Note: you cannot use this release to deploy a new installation of vCSA! To do that you just use the vCSA 6.0 Update 2 install.
- Previous versions of Windows vCenter Server will need to upgraded to vCenter Server 5.5 prior to migration.
- The best thing is that all database types currently supported with vCenter Server 5.5 will be migrated to the embedded vPostgres database in the vCSA!
- It’s worth noting that if VMware Update Manager is installed on the same server as the Windows vCenter Server 5.5, it will need to be moved to an external server prior to starting the migration process.
- VMware and 3rd party extension registrations are migrated, but may need to be re-registered.
- vCenter Server 5.5 both Simple and Custom deployment types are supported.
- Configuration, inventory, and alarm data will be migrated automatically, historical and performance data (stats, tasks, events) is optional.
- If the source was a Simple vCenter Server 5.5 install (so SSO + vCS) then it will be migrated to a vCSA with embedded PSC.
- If the source was a Custom vCenter Server 5.5 install (so separate SSO and vCS) then it will be migrated to a vCSA with external PSC.
Somethings that are worth mentioning prior to starting a migration are:
- It preserves the personality of the Windows vCenter Server which includes but not limited to IP Address, FQDN, UUID, Certificates, MoRef IDs.
- Changing of your deployment topology during the migration process is not allowed. For example, if your vSphere 5.5 Windows vCenter was deployed using the Simple deployment option, then your Windows vCenter Server 5.5 will become an embedded vCenter Server Appliance 6.0.
- During the migration process the source Windows vCenter Server will be shutdown, plan accordingly for downtime.
- The migration tool will also be performing an upgrade, standard compatibility and interoperability checks will still apply. Please use the interoperability matrix to make sure all VMware solutions are compatible with vSphere 6.0. Also talk to your 3rd solution vendors to make sure those solutions are also compatible with vSphere 6.0.
The only annoying thing is that because I’ve used the fling previously to convert all my Windows vCenter Servers, I now don’t have anything I can test this migration tool on!! >_<”
I’m currently in the process of digging out an old vCenter Server 5.5 ISO so that I can deploy it and upgrade it using the new release!
Anyways, those of you who haven’t yet upgraded to vCenter Server 6.0 and to an appliance, now there’s no reason why you can’t as you have a fully supported tool from VMware!
Best of all, they’re in the process of improving the migration tool so that it can be used to migrate from a Windows vCenter Server 6.0 install to a vCenter Server Appliance 6.0. One feature I hope they will also include is the ability to migrate from an existing vCSA to another vCSA.
vCenter Server 6.0 Update 2m links:
- Release Notes
- FAQ KB
- Video Demo (by William Lam of virtuallyGhetto)
- Active directory user permissions required for Windows vCenter to vCenter Server Appliance Migration
- Rolling Back a Migration of vCenter Server 5.5 on Windows to vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 U2m or Later
- Estimating vCenter Server 5.5 to vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 migration time (of particularly good read!!)