Loading Posts...

Distributed Windows Based vCenter Server 5.5 to An Embedded VCSA 6.5 Migration

I have been working with many vSphete 5.5 to VCSA 6.5 migration projects and this was a bit different scenario which I had to face, the requirement was to migrate distributed Windows based vCenter Server 5.5 to an embedded VCSA 6.5 .

Our clients deployed their Windows based vSphere 5.5 vCenters as a distributed installation which means separate servers for Single Sign-On, Web Client, Inventory Service and vCenter server. According to the VMware vSphere 6.5 upgrade paths mentioned here there will be separate VCSA appliance for PSC and vCenter server. I have posted a different article for this 6.5 migration when it has a separate Signle Sign-On server, you can read it in this post.

My customers wanted to leverage the VCSA HA feature which is a really cool feature comes with 6.5. In that case third party load balancer is recommended to maintain the high availability of the PSC. But use of a third party load balancer or NSX load balancer was not approved by the management due to some reasons. So only option was to migrate the distributed vCenter server to an embedded VCSA appliance.

The existing and the expected setup can be explained as below, It has two main steps (Consolidation of the distributed vCenter server in to a single server and actual Migration)

distributed Windows based vCenter Server 5.5 to an embedded VCSA 6.5 : Diagram

Before we start the actual migration we had to some changes to the existing environment. As the first step of this migration process we had to consolidate the current system to a single vCenter server, no changes to the database. It was sitting alone and we did not do any changes to the vCenter server database.

High level procedure can be explained as below.

distributed Windows based vCenter Server 5.5 to an embedded VCSA 6.5 : Consolidated

How to consolidate the distributed vCenter server in to a single vCenter server ?

Firstly, we had to uninstall the vCenter server from the Windows based vCenter server and install all the components in to the same server. We can ignore the other servers (Single Sign-On, Webclient) as we are going to install those components in the same vCenter server. Of course, we need to adjust the virtual machine resources in order to run those services in the same server. Please refer the configuration requirements to run all the services in a single server.

distributed Windows based vCenter Server 5.5 to an embedded VCSA 6.5 : System Requirements

See vCenter Server 5.5 Deployment Guide here.

Before you start you need to consider few more things in this process. Pretty obvious, we need to take a backup of the vCenter server database. Also, we need to backup the SSL certificates located in “C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Virtual Center\SSL” this is the location for Windows server 2008 and 2012, Windows server 2003 server location can be different than this location.

The importance of taking the SSL backup is once we completed the vCenter server 6.5 Migration all the hosts are automatically connected, but in some instances we had couple of issues and we had to re-generate the SSL certificates which means proceed without using these SSL certs in the next installation. I will share the experienced issues at the end of this article. If we regenerated these SSL certificates at the next simple installation (consolidation stage) we need to re-connect all the ESXi hosts to the vCenter server.

distributed Windows based vCenter Server 5.5 to an embedded VCSA 6.5 : SSL Location

Once these backups are in place make sure to take a snapshot of the vCenter server and proceed with the un-installation of the existing vCenter server. I would start with the vCenter server and uninstall all the installed services.

distributed Windows based vCenter Server 5.5 to an embedded VCSA 6.5 : Uninstall steps

This is step is quite important after completing the uninstallation we need to rename the below folders before we install the vCenter components again on the vCenter server. Then the installation will work as a fresh installation otherwise it will install the files in the old folders which can make some issues. (ex: Rename the folders as  C:\ProgramData\VMware\Infrastructure.old)

  • C:\ProgramData\VMware\Infrastructure
  • C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Virtual Center
  • C:\ProgramData\VMware\vSphereWebClient
  • C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\Inventory Service
  • C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\Tomcat
  • C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\VirtualCenter Server
  • C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\vSphereWebClient (If webclient is installed on a separate server this might not be needed)
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastructure

distributed Windows based vCenter Server 5.5 to an embedded VCSA 6.5 : Rename Folders

C:\ProgramData\VMware\Infrastructure : Rename Folders

Now we need to recreate the folder path to “C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Virtual Center” and copy the SSL folder which we backed up in the previous step.

In some scenarios, we experienced couple of issues and we had to skip this step. If we are skipping this step we need to reconnect all the hosts to the vCenter server.

See the issues section at the end of this post

Now it’s time to proceed with the simple installation again (Consolidation Stage). Mount the vCenter server 5.5 .iso file and proceed with the the installation. I normally, install all these components manually one after the another rather than just clicking on the “Simple Install”. That’s my practice to keep the track of what I’m doing.

distributed Windows based vCenter Server 5.5 to an embedded VCSA 6.5 : Reinstall

Once we install all the components in a single server check the access to the vCenter server and see all your hosts are connected and working.

If everything is working as we expected then it’s time to proceed with the two stage vSphere 6.5 migration as a single server.

Here is my previous article for the vCenter Windows Server 5.5 to VCSA 6.5, with a separate PSC. In this scenario we don’t have two appliances we have only a single Windows based vCenter Server.

Similar article can be found here with regard to the Windows vCenter Server 6.0 to VCSA 6.7 (No changes with the steps).

Distributed Windows Based vCenter Server 5.5 to An Embedded VCSA 6.5 Encountered Issues

A 5.x version of the vCenter Server database has been detected. You may only upgrade 5.x database by upgrading the vCenter Server connected to that database. 

distributed Windows based vCenter Server 5.5 to an embedded VCSA 6.5 : Use the same verision

Resolution: When we consolidating (re-installing the components) we have to use the same version of the vCenter server with the previous installation. We can’t use a different version of the vCenter server (ex: use vCenter 6.0 at the re-installation process, we have to use the same 5.x version for this)

This issue occurred while we were upgrading the consolidated (converted to a simple installation) to a Windows based vCenter server 6.0. Upgrade was failed.

Error: vCenter CA certificate not verified. Stopping. Resolution: Please use the vCenter Upgrade Logs to get more details of this error.

distributed Windows based vCenter Server 5.5 to an embedded VCSA 6.5 : CA Not verified

In the vCenter upgrade error logs located in “C:\Users\Aruna\AppData\Local\Temp\vcsUpgrade” we were able to see something like this

“requirements”: {
“requirementMismatchSpecs”: [
{
“text”: {
“id”: “upgrade.vpxd.ca.certificate.notverified”,
“localized”: “vCenter CA cerfificate not verified!”,
“translatable”: “vCenter CA cerfificate not verified!”
},
“resolution”: {
“id”: “upgrade.vpxd.ca.certificate.notverified.resolution.msg”,
“localized”: “Please use the vCenter Upgrade Logs to get more details of this error.”,
“translatable”: “Please use the vCenter Upgrade Logs to get more details of this error.”
},
“description”: {
“id”: “upgrade.vpxd.ca.certificate.notverified.msg”,
“localized”: “vCenter CA cerfificate not verified. Stopping.”,
“translatable”: “vCenter CA cerfificate not verified. Stopping.”
},
“severity”: “ERROR”,
“problemId”: “upgrade.vpxd.ca.certificate.notverified”
}

Also, we could see the below error message in a consolidated (converted to a simple installation) vCenter Server 5.5 to VCSA 6.5 migration. VMware Migration Assistant was throwing the below error message.

Error: Failed to discover a system that is compatible with both your VMware vCenter Server certificate and your VMware Singlr Sign-On certificate that can be used to migrate to a VMware vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Service Controller.

Resolution: Regenerate your VMware vCenter Server SSL certificate and your VMware Single Sign-On SSL certificate to have a common system name that can be used to migrate your system to VMware vCenter Server Appliance with Platform Service Controller. DHCP IP Address cannot be used as a system name to migrate to a VMware vCenter Server Appliance.

distributed Windows based vCenter Server 5.5 to an embedded VCSA 6.5 : 5.5 to 6.5 Upgrade

Resolution: As I mentioned earlier in this post we copied the SSL Certificates from the previous installation and that caused both the issues. We re-installed the vCenter as a Simple installation without the old SSL Certificates and that fixed the issue.

If you re-generate the SSL Certificates you have to reconnect all the hosts in the vCenter Server, new SSL Certs break the connection encryption between the vCenter and the ESXi hosts.

We used below piece of script to connect all the disconnected hosts back to the vCenter server I hops this might help you.

This is a bit of a lengthier post but I wanted to share the exact experience and the steps that we followed in this migration process.

If you found this post as useful please rate the post and share it!

Aruna Lakmal

Associate Technical Specialist at Pearson, Sri Lanka. Technology junky, enthusiast, a VMware vExpert and a blogger with more than 7 years of Experience in Information Technology more focusing on VMware Virtualization, Microsoft and Datacenter Technologies.

Get Updates Directly To Your Inbox!

   

Leave a Reply

Loading Posts...