VMware vSphere 6.5: Migration from Windows vCenter to vCenter Server Appliance
Following on from my previous posts (What’s New in vSphere 6.5 and VMware VCSA 6.5: Installation & Configuration), a major area for discussion (and excitement) is the VMware Migration Assistant which, should you wish, is able to easily migrate you away from the Windows-based vCenter Server to the Linux-based vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA).
There are pros and cons to the vCenter appliance of course, as well as a healthy number of supporters in each camp, but if you fancy shaving some licensing costs (Windows Server and SQL Server), would like to enjoy a faster vSphere experience (since 6.0), or would just like to be able to take a quick backup of vCenter without having to either snapshot both Windows and SQL Servers elements, or by utilising your backup product of choice to take a full image of your environment, you might just want to take VCSA for a spin.
This post will detail the migration process of a Windows-based vCenter 6.0.0 U2 to vCenter Server Appliance 6.5.
1. Via the Windows Server hosting vCenter Server, mount the VCSA installation media, and launch the VMware Migration Assistant (\migration-assistant\VMware-Migration-Assistant.exe). It is imperative that the Migration Assistant is left running throughout the entire migration process, and not stopped at any stage. If the Migration Assistant is stopped, the migration process will need to be restarted from scratch.
2. Leave the assistant running and, via a management workstation, server, etc., mount the VCSA installation media and launch the vCenter Server Appliance Installer (path). Click Migrate to start the process.
5. Enter the details and SSO credentials for the source Windows vCenter Server (i.e. – the one which is currently running the Migration Assistant…it is still running, right?) Once complete, click Next.
14. Configure the network settings accordingly. Here, my VCSA will be housed on a vSphere Distributed Switch port group (vDS_VL11_Servers). The temporary TCP/IP configuration will be removed during the finalisation of the migration process, as the original IP configuration will follow the migrated appliance.
17. Throughout the migration process, you will note the new appliance being deployed via vSphere as per below screenshots.