Before you begin the upgrade to vCenter Server, make sure you have the vCenter Server system and the database are properly prepared.

The following items are prerequisites for completing the upgrade to vCenter Server:

VMware vCenter Server 4.1 installation media.

The installation path of the previous version of vCenter Server must be compatible with the installation requirements for Microsoft Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM/AD LDS). For example the installation path cannot have commas (,) or periods (.). If your previous version of vCenter Server does not meet this requirement, you must perform a clean installation of vCenter Server 4.1.

Make sure the system on which you are installing vCenter Server is not an Active Directory domain controller, primary or backup.

Either remove any ESX Server 2.x hosts from the VirtualCenter or vCenter Server inventory or upgrade these hosts.

Make sure that the computer name has no more than 15 characters.

vCenter Server 4.1 uses TCP/IP Ports 80 and 443 for the VMware vSphere Web client. You cannot run vCenter Server on the same machine as a Web server using TCP/IP port 80 (HTTP) or port 443 (HTTPS) because doing so causes port conflicts.

Run the vCenter Agent Preupgrade Check tool.

If the vCenter Server 4.0 environment you are upgrading includes Guided Consolidation 4.0, you must uninstall Guided Consolidation before upgrading to vCenter Server 4.1.

If you use vCenter Guided Consolidation Service in the VirtualCenter 2.x environment, complete the consolidation plan before you upgrade to vCenter Server 4.1. The upgrade to vCenter Server 4.1 does not preserve or migrate any data gathered by the vCenter Guided Consolidation Service. After the upgrade, all of the data is cleared, and you cannot restore it.

Back up the SSL certificates that are on the VirtualCenter or vCenter Server system before you upgrade to vCenter Server 4.1. The default location of the SSL certificates is installation location\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\SSL.

If you upgrade to vCenter Server on Windows Server 2003 SP1, the disk for the installation directory must have the NTFS format, not the FAT32 format.

If you use DHCP instead of a static IP address for vCenter Server, make sure that the vCenter Server computer name is updated in the domain name service (DNS). One way to test this is by pinging the computer name. For example, if the computer name is, run the following command in the Windows command prompt:


If you can ping the computer name, the name is updated in DNS.

Before you upgrade to vCenter Server, consider the following points:

If your database server is not supported by vCenter Server, perform a database upgrade to a supported version or import your database into a supported version. See Database Scenarios.

You must perform a complete backup of the VirtualCenter Server or vCenter Server database before you begin the upgrade. The VirtualCenter 2.5 database schema is not compatible with vCenter Server 4.1. The vCenter Server 4.1 installer upgrades your existing VirtualCenter Server database schema with extra fields, thus making the database unusable by VirtualCenter 2.5.

You must have login credentials, the database name, and the database server name that will be used by the vCenter Server database. The database server name is typically the ODBC System data store name (DSN) connection name for the vCenter Server database.

To use a newly supported IBM DB2 database, you must use vCenter Server 4.0 Update 1 or higher. Previous releases of VirtualCenter do not support DB2 databases.

To use a newly supported Oracle database, such as Oracle 11g, you do not need to perform a clean installation of vCenter Server if your existing database is also Oracle. For example, you can first upgrade your existing Oracle 9i database to Oracle 10g or Oracle 11g and then upgrade vCenter Server 4.0 to vCenter Server 4.1.

To use an Oracle database, the JDBC driver file must be included in the CLASSPATH variable.

To use a newly supported SQL database, such as Microsoft SQL 2008, you do not need to perform a clean installation of vCenter Server if your existing database is also Microsoft SQL Server. For example, you can upgrade a Microsoft SQL Server 2000 database to Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and then upgrade VirtualCenter 2.5 or higher to vCenter Server 4.1.

To use a Microsoft SQL database, JDK 1.6 must be installed on the vCenter Server machine. In addition, sqljdbc4.jar must be added to the CLASSPATH variable on the machine where vCenter Server is to be upgraded.

If you are upgrading from VirtualCenter 2.5 with the bundled SQL Server 2005 Express (by installing vCenter Server 4.1 on a different machine and keeping the database), you do not need to perform a clean installation of vCenter Server.

If you have a Microsoft SQL database, your system DSN must be using the SQL Native Client driver.

Make sure that the database user has the following permissions:


Either assign the DBA role or grant the following permissions to the user:

grant connect to <user>
grant resource to <user>
grant create view to <user>
grant create any sequence to <user>
grant create any table to <user>
grant create materialized view to <user>
grant execute on dbms_job to <user>
grant execute on dbms_lock to <user>
grant unlimited tablespace to <user> # To ensure sufficient space

After the upgrade is complete, you can optionally remove the following permissions from the user profile: create any sequence and create any table.

By default, the RESOURCE role has the CREATE PROCEDURE, CREATE TABLE, and CREATE SEQUENCE privileges assigned. If the RESOURCE role does not have these privileges, grant them to the vCenter Server database user.

Microsoft SQL Server

Make sure that the database login has the db_owner fixed database role on the vCenter Server database and on the MSDB database. The db_owner role on the MSDB database is required for installation and upgrade only. You can revoke this role after the installation or upgrade process is complete.

Also review Database Scenarios.