After you use the data migration tool to back up the configuration of a vCenter Server system with the bundled SQL Server Express database, you complete the migration to a new machine by using the data migration tool to install vCenter Server and restore the vCenter Server configuration on the destination machine.

Use this procedure if you are migrating a vCenter Server that uses the bundled SQL Server Express database. The data migration tool restores the database to the new machine and launches the vCenter Server installer.

If you are migrating a vCenter Server that uses a database other than the bundled SQL Server Express database, see Restore the vCenter Server Configuration and Nonbundled Database and Install vCenter Server on the New Machine.

VMware recommends that you use the same host name for the destination machine that you used for the source machine.

Use the data migration tool to back up the VirtualCenter or vCenter Server configuration on machine you are migrating from. See Back Up VirtualCenter or vCenter Server Configuration with the Data Migration Tool

Ensure that the destination vCenter Server machine has access to all other systems that it must connect to, such as the domain server, Windows Active Directory server with vCenter user accounts, database server, and license server.

Ensure that Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI) 4.5 is installed on the destination machine.

Ensure that Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 is installed on the destination machine.

Ensure that the VIM_SQLEXP or SQLEXP_VIM databases do not exist on the destination machine. These databases might be left after you uninstall vCenter Server 4.0, 4.1, or 5.0. Installing vCenter Server on a machine that has either of those databases is not supported. Before running the data migration scripts, uninstall VIM_SQLEXP or SQLEXP_VIM databases, and any file system directories pertaining to previous vCenter Server installations. For best results, use a machine on which vCenter Server has never been installed.

After installing all prerequisite software, reboot the server.


Copy the datamigration folder from the source machine to the destination machine.


Insert the vCenter Server installation media into the DVD-ROM drive on the destination machine, or copy the installation ISO image to the destination machine.


From the Windows command prompt, change to the datamigration folder copied from the source machine and type install.bat.


If the name of the destination machine is different from the name of the source machine, type y to continue.


Type the path to the vCenter Server installation media.

For example, if the installation media is in D:\Temp\VMware-VIMSetup-en-5.0-build number, enter D:\Temp\VMware-VIMSetup-en-5.0-build number.

The install script verifies that migration data is present, and opens the vCenter Server installer.


Follow the prompts in the installation wizard to choose the installer language, agree to the end user patent and license agreements, enter your user name, organization name, and license key.


If you do not enter a license key, your license will expire. After the installation, you can connect to the vCenter Server with the vSphere Client and reenter the license key.


Select Install a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express instance (for small-scale deployments).


Type the password for the vCenter Service user account, if the user account is specified.

By default, Use SYSTEM Account is selected.


Type the fully qualified domain name (FQDN).


Either accept the default destination folders for vCenter Server and Inventory Service or click Change to select another location.

The installation path cannot have commas (,) or periods (.).


To install the vCenter Server on a drive other than C:, verify that the C:\WINDOWS\Installer directory has enough space to install the Microsoft Windows Installer .msi file. If you do not have enough space, your vCenter Server installation might fail.


Type the port numbers for vCenter Server or accept the default port numbers in the Configure Ports window.

The port numbers displayed are those that were backed up from the source VirtualCenter or vCenter Server installation.


Type the port numbers for Inventory Service or accept the port numbers shown in the Configure Ports for Inventory Service window.


Select the size of your vCenter Server inventory to allocate memory for several Java services that are used by vCenter Server.

This setting determines the maximum JVM heap settings for VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices (Tomcat), Inventory Service, and Profile-Driven Storage Service. You can adjust this setting after installation if the number of hosts in your environment changes. See the recommendations in the vCenter Server Hardware Requirements topic in System Requirements.


(Optional) In the Ready to Install the Program window, select Select to bump up the ephemeral port value.

This option increases the number of available ephemeral ports. If your vCenter Server manages hosts on which you will power on more than 2000 virtual machines simultaneously, this option prevents the pool of available ephemeral ports from being exhausted.


Click Install, and when the vCenter Server installation finishes, click Finish.

The data migration tool restores the backed up configuration data. The installer wizard opens and installs the vCenter Inventory Service and VMware vSphere Profile-Driven Storage.


After the vCenter Inventory Service and vSphere Profile-Driven Storage are installed, click Finish in the Installation Completed window.


If you used the data migration tool to back up VMware vCenter Update Manager configuration data, complete the steps in the Update Manager installation wizard to install vCenter Update Manager and restore the configuration. See Installing and Administering VMware vSphere Update Manager.

vCenter Server is installed, and the settings that you backed up are restored. The SQL Server Express database is also restored on the new machine. After the installation is complete, vCenter Server is started.

If the new vCenter Server machine has a different name than the source machine, update plug-ins and other solutions that access the vCenter Server system with the name of the new machine. See Update the vCenter Server Name for Plug-Ins.

If a license server was installed on the source machine, install the license server on the destination machine and migrate the licenses. See Migrate a License Server Installed on the Same Machine as vCenter Server.

See After You Upgrade vCenter Server.