Migrate to the vCenter Server Appliance

vSphere 6.7 is the final release that will include vCenter Server for Windows. VMware’s direction for vCenter Server is the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA). The good news is there’s a dedicated migration tool to help customers transition to the VCSA. Today I would like to announce several new VCSA migration product walkthroughs. These new walkthroughs build on the foundation (here and here) set by Emad Younis. The walkthroughs are step by step of the entire migrations process. Whether an embedded or external vCenter Server deployment, I’ve got you covered.

vCenter Server Migration

The migration of vCenter Server for Windows to the VCSA is a two step process. First we use the migration assistant which serves two purposes. It first validates the vCenter Server for Windows meets the migration criteria. Then it’s used to copy the data from the source vCenter Server for Windows to the destination VCSA. Second is the migration tool which first deploys and configures a new VCSA. Followed by copying over the following from the source vCenter Server for Windows:

• vCenter Server identity (FQDN, UUID, IP Address, Certificates, MoRef, etc.)
• Inventory and configuration by default
• Virtual Distributed switch
• Optional is historical and performance data

For historical and performance data, VCSA 6.7 has a new import option. Customers can decided to import the data during the migration or after. Once the migration process is complete other products won’t know a difference. They have no clue vCenter Server was running on Windows and now a photon-OS appliance. The best part, there are no changes made to the source vCenter Server for Windows. This allows for a simplified rollback option in case of any encountered issues. This allows for a simplified rollback of the vCenter Server if issues are encountered.

vCenter Server Migration

NOTE: The next version (not an update release) of vSphere will not include vCenter Server for Windows.

Migration or Upgrade?

It is also important to note that a vCenter Server migration is BOTH a Migration as well as an Upgrade. The Upgrade part of the process is going from one vCenter Server version to another. For example, if the source vCenter Server is 6.0, the VCSA deployed would be version 6.7. There is also a migration tool included with the VCSA 6.5 as well.

vCenter Server Migration


The following vCenter Server walkthroughs cover different versions and topologies:


The VCSA is the default deployment when it comes to vCenter Server. All new features and enhancements are only available for the VCSA. Have a look at the migration walkthroughs and provide feedback in the comments below. You can also reach out to me via Twitter @vCenterNerd.