How to Migrate from vCenter 4.0 on 32-bit Windows to vCenter 5.1a on 64-bit Windows – Part 3/3

This article is split into the following 3 parts:
1/3 The Journey to SQL 2008 R2
2/3 Installing vCenter SSO and Inventory Service
3/3 Installing vCenter 5.1 and Database Upgrade

7) Create an ODBC System DSN for vCenter

7.1) Open Administrative Tools > Data Source (ODBC) or run odbcad32.exe
7.2) Select the ‘System DSN’ tab and click Add…
7.3) Create New Data Source – select SQL Server Native Client 10.0 – then click Finish
7.4) Create a New Data Source to SQL Server
Enter name and description for the data source, and the SQL Server to connect to
And click Next >

Image: Create a New Data Source to SQL Server

7.5) How should SQL Server verify the authenticity of the login ID?
Here we input our SQL Server authentication credentials
And click Next >

Image: Enter SQL Server authentication

7.6) If not already selected, changed the default database to VCDB and click Next >
7.7) Click Finish
7.8) On the ‘ODBC Microsoft SQL Server Setup’ click ‘Test Data Source…’ to verify the Data Source.
7.9) Click OK

8) Upgrading vCenter

8.1) From the vSphere 5.1 VMware Product Installers, click on VMware vCenter Server and then click on Install
8.2) Following the prompts to install vCenter Server
Database Options
Choose “Use an existing supported database” and DSN = VMware vCenter (MS SQL)
And click Next >

Image: vCenter 5.1 Database Options

8.3) Database Options
Input the user name and password
And click Next >

Image: vCenter SQL Database Options

Note: At this stage you may get an error “Make sure SQL Server Agent is running on the database server” – in which case check the service is set to automatic startup and started.!

8.4) Database Upgrade Warning
Select to ‘Upgrade existing vCenter Server database” and tick the “I have taken a backup of the vCenter Server database and SSL certificates…”
And click Next >

Image: vCenter Database Upgrade Warning

8.5) The vCenter Agent Upgrade
Choose manual or automatic upgrade for the vCenter Agent on the host servers (my preference is Manual.)
And click Next >

Image: vCenter Agent Upgrade

8.6) vCenter Server Service
Here the vservice account is used to run the vCenter Server service
Click Next >

8.7) Configure Ports
Accept the default ports
Tick ‘Increase the number of available ephemeral ports’
And click Next >

Image: vCenter Server 5.1 Configure Ports

8.8) vCenter Server JVM Memory
Choose Inventory Size that best describes the current setup
And click Next>

8.9) vCenter Single Sign On Information
“Enter the information to register vCenter Server with vCenter Single Sign On”
And click Next >

Note the warnings and click OK

Image: vCenter Server database, user or groups not recognized by SSO will no longer be able to authenticate

Image: no users or groups found that have admin privileges

8.10) vCenter Single Sign On Information
Here we can add the vcservice account
And click Next >

Image: vCenter Server administrator recognized by SSO

8.11) vCenter Inventory Service Information
Provide the Lookup Service URL and vCenter Inventory Service URL
And click Next >

Image: vCenter Inventory Service information

8.12) Destination Folder
Select where to install vCenter Server
And click Next >

8.13) Ready to Install the Program
Click Install

8.14) Installation Completed
Click Finish and restart the vCenter Server

Image: vCenter 5.1 Installation Completed

9) Reconnecting Hosts

9.1) After the vCenter Server restarts, install the VMware vSphere Client 5.1
9.2) Logging into the vSphere client, we find the hosts are all disconnected. Right-click each host in turn and click Connect to restore the hosts 4.0u1 hosts to a 5.1a vCenter!

Image: vCenter Server 5.1.0, 880146 (5.1a) with disconnected hosts

Image: Reconnecting the ESXi 4.0.0, 208167 (4.0u1) Hosts

9.3) We’ve completed an upgrade from 4.0u1 to 5.1a whilst at the same time changing machine O/S and backend database server!


Final Comment

I did encounter one interesting error when trying to re-connect the 4.0u1 hosts originally when they failed with the following error below:

Reconnect host esx01.test.priv Datastore 'NA10' conflicts with an existing datastore in the datacenter that has the same URL (ds:///vmfs/volumes/50-bb688a-33-d5d4ef-60c3-000c29fb1-5b4/), but is backed by different physical storage. TEST\vcservice VCENTER.test.priv 07/12/2012 03:19:12

It was easy to restore all 3 hosts to the vCenter by Remove-ing all the disconnected hosts then re-adding them back in. Still at no point in the upgrade did any of the VM’s encounter any downtime; now, if this had been an EVC enabled cluster then adding a host in would have required the VMs powered off. The error might be explained by my snapshotting the lab before the upgrade and rolling-back to run through it again without having snapshotted the iSCSI storage and been able to rollback the iSCSI storage appliance.


  1. Very well expalained migrating from vCenter 4.0 on 32-bit Windows to vCenter 5.1a on 64-bit Windows.At last you have completed parts successfully.Data Center Management


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