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I have a VMWare vCenter Server 4.1 (managing two hosts) running on a server that I would like to use for other purposes. I don't want to move the vCenter Server to a VM, and already have another server configured with Windows Server 2008 64bit that's ready to have the vCenter Server installed, to which I will assign the current name and IP address of our vCenter Server.


  1. Should I just do a fresh install of vCenter Server on my 'new' server and then add my existing two hosts to it?
  2. If so, what do I lose from not going through all the (complicated) migration steps that VMWare has on their website?
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You'll loose things like DRS Rules, startup priorities, etc.

It'll work just fine if you don't care about setting this stuff up. As you've only got 2 hosts the reconfig should be minimal.

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Thanks. Actually, we aren't even licensed for DRS, just HA so it's going to be even more minimal than that. I'll just make sure everything we have is documented really well then swap it out and reconfigure. – zrblizzard Mar 15 '12 at 2:18

If sql is on the same server you'll lose performance history and all the vcenter configs (DRS etc) Frankly the steps in the KB are not that hard, it's essentially taking a database backup and restoring it then reconnecting the vsphere application to it.

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SQL is on the same server, but we are using SQL Express and I'm quite sadly unfamiliar with SQL...I was having a tough time figuring out how to work with the express edition and figured just reconfiguring the small amount of stuff we have on our vCenter Server would be worth it. After googling it again, I found that I probably could use 'management studio express' to take backups...I'll have to look into that too for future use. – zrblizzard Mar 15 '12 at 2:23
You should definetly be taking regular backups of your vSphere databases. Here's a blog post I wrote on the subject.‌​abase-backups/ – mrdenny Mar 15 '12 at 2:31
Thanks! That is helpful. I will definitely be putting that on my (long) list of things to do. (As a side-note, this serverfault community is pretty awesome :) – zrblizzard Mar 15 '12 at 2:36

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