The vCenter Server installation media include a data migration tool that you can use to migrate configuration information such as port settings, SSL certificates, and license information from the source vCenter Server machine to the new machine. Instead of performing an in-place upgrade to vCenter Server, you might want to use a different machine for your upgrade. If you are upgrading from a version of VirtualCenter or vCenter Server installed on a 32-bit platform, you must use this method to upgrade to a 64-bit platform.

You can also use the data migration tool to migrate a SQL Server Express database installed by the vCenter Server installer on the same machine as vCenter Server. If you use a different database installed on the vCenter Server machine, you must back up and move the database manually to the new machine. If the database is installed on a different machine from vCenter Server, you can leave the database in place and create a new DSN on the destination machine to connect to it.

If VMware vCenter Update Manager or vCenter Orchestrator is installed on the same machine as vCenter Server, you can use the data migration tool to migrate configuration data for these products. You can also use the tool to migrate the vCenter Update Manager database if it is a SQL Server Express database installed on the same machine as vCenter Update Manager and vCenter Server. You cannot use the data migration tool to migrate the vCenter Orchestrator database. See the documentation for vCenter Update Manager and vCenter Orchestrator for more information on upgrading these products.

The following process shows how the upgrade is done:

1

If you are not using a SQL Server Express database installed on the same machine as vCenter Server, create a backup of the database.

2

Run the backup.bat script of the data migration tool on the source machine to create a backup of the vCenter Server configuration.

3

Copy the configuration data to the destination machine. See Back Up VirtualCenter or vCenter Server Configuration with the Data Migration Tool.

4

If you are not using a SQL Server Express database installed on the same machine as vCenter Server, move the database by performing one of the following procedures:

Restore the database on the destination machine.

Detach the database on the source machine, copy the database files to the destination machine, and attach the database on the destination machine.

5

Run the install.bat script on the destination machine. This script launches the vCenter Server installer and installs vCenter Server with the configuration settings backed up by the backup.bat script.

This process is described in detail in Upgrade to vCenter Server on a Different Machine and Upgrade the Existing Database.