Before you upgrade vCenter Server, back up the vCenter Server database. If you are migrating vCenter Server to a new machine, you have several options for moving the database.

If your database is remote from VirtualCenter or vCenter Server, and you want it to remain remote after the upgrade, leave the database where it is after you back it up.

If your database is local to VirtualCenter or vCenter Server, and you want it to remain local after the upgrade, you have the following options depending on the type of database.

Option

Description

Microsoft SQL Server Express database

If the database was installed by the vCenter Server installer, back up the database, and move the database along with other configuration data using the data migration tool. A separate database migration step is not necessary.

If the SQL Server Express database was not installed by the vCenter Server installer, back up the database and restore it onto the machine on which you are installing vCenter Server.

Microsoft SQL Server database

Do one of the following:

Back up the database, detach the database, and attach it to the machine to which you are installing vCenter Server.

Back up the database, and restore it onto the machine on which you are installing vCenter Server.

Other local databases

Back up the database, and restore it onto the machine on which you are installing vCenter Server.

For Microsoft SQL Server databases, when you decide between the backup/restore option or the detach/attach option, consider the downtime required. For guidance on these options, consult your organization's database administrator.

Back up the VirtualCenter or vCenter Server configuration using the data migration tool.