In this type of upgrade, you upgrade the legacy software on one machine to the updated version on another machine. Suppose, for example, that you have VirtualCenter 2.x on a 32-bit machine (source machine) and you want vCenter Server to be on a 64-bit machine (destination machine).

VMware recommends that you back up your VirtualCenter database before you perform this procedure.

The prerequisites for upgrading to vCenter Server include requirements for the vCenter Server system and requirements for the database. See Prerequisites for the vCenter Server Upgrade.

The database for the source machine can be local or remote, but it must be supported with vCenter Server 4.0. If it is not supported, back it up and upgrade it to a supported database or import the tables into a supported database. See Database Scenarios.

If you are upgrading on a 64-bit system, see Create a 32-Bit DSN on a 64-Bit Operating System.


On the source machine, copy the SSL certificate folder at %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter.


Paste it on the destination machine.

On Microsoft Windows 2003 Server: %ALLUSERSPROFILE%/Application Data/VMWare/VMware VirtualCenter. Create the folder if it does not exist.

On Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Windows 2008 Server: %ALLUSERSPROFILE%/VMWare/VMware VirtualCenter. Create the folder if it does not exist.


On the destination machine, configure a system DSN that points to the database.

The DSN must be 32-bit.


On the source machine, stop the VirtualCenter service by selecting Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services > VMware VirtualCenter Server.


On the destination machine, start the vCenter Server 4.0 installer.


When prompted by the installer, select the DSN that you configured on the destination machine.

The Database Upgrade wizard upgrades the database tables to make them compatible with vCenter Server 4.0. If you are upgrading from VirtualCenter 2.0.x, you must complete the Database Upgrade wizard. If you are upgrading from VirtualCenter 2.5, the Database Upgrade wizard runs in the background.

The legacy VirtualCenter data is preserved and the database schema is upgraded to make it compatible with vCenter Server 4.0. After the schema is upgraded, the database is not compatible with previous versions of VirtualCenter.