Clearpath’s Blog on IT Infrastructure, Hybrid Clouds and IT Security

Performing a P2V on a Physical vCenter Server

Posted by Jason Shiplett on Thu, Jun 06, 2013 @ 11:42 AM
Migrating a vCenter Server instance from physical to virtual can be done in a couple of different ways:
  • Manually migrating vCenter Server and all of its dependencies (http://kb.vmware.com/kb/5850444)
  • A physical to virtual (P2V) migration of the vCenter Server machine itself
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As the former process is much better documented than the latter, here is the process for performing a physical to virtual migration of a vCenter Server machine.Note:
  • If SQL or SQL Express are co-located with vCenter Server, its services will need to be shut down before the process begins
  • Take a full backup of your vCenter Server database before beginning any steps below
  • The steps below assume:
    o SQL is not co-located with vCenter Server
    o The network vCenter Server sits on pre-migration is available on your ESXi hosts
1. All vCenter Server-related services should be shut down prior to beginning the migration. This includes, but is not limited to:
a. VirtualCenter Server
b. vCenter Inventory Service
c. vCenter Single Sign On
d. Update Manager
e. VMware VCMSDS
f. Horizon View Composer
g. etc.
vmware vcmsds services local resized 600

2. Now, you can try P2Ving vCenter Server to a host managed by vCenter Server, but you’ll receive the error below indicating that you should point the migration to the (down) vCenter Server.
p2ving vcenter server resized 600

3. To get past this, we’ll have to put a single host in maintenance modevcenter server maintenance mode resized 600

4. Remove the ESXi host from vCenter Server.
a. Note: If you’re using a vSphere Distributed Switch, you’ll have to, at a minimum, remove an uplink, create a vSphere Standard Switch, and add that uplink to the VSS. The control plane for your VDS is down during the P2V process, meaning you can’t add machines to the DVS while vCenter Server is down.
remove esxi host resized 600remove host resized 600


5. Connect to the ESXi host using the vSphere Clientvmware vsphere client resized 600

6. Take the ESXi host out of maintenance modeesxi host out of maintenance resized 600

7. Now, you should be able to continue the P2V in vCenter Converterp2v in vcenter converter resized 600destination virtual machine resized 600vmware vcenter server standalone resized 600


8. Once the migration process is finished, you should see your vCenter Server machine in the inventory of your standalone ESXi hostvsphere host resized 600server manager vcenter resized 600


9. Your physical vCenter Server is now ready to be disconnected from the network in preparation for decommissioning. Once this is done, connect your virtual vCenter Server to the network and check status of your services.

Topics: VMware, vCenter

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