VMware vCenter Upgrade from 4.1 to 5.0 : Part-1

There are many ways… to upgrade the vcenter from 4.1 to 5.0, customers have different scenario in their environment, I would like to discuss these common scenarios

OBJECTIVE: Upgrade the vCenter 4.1 to vCenter 5.0


A- vCenter 4.1 and Database in the same server, the database is MSSQL 2005 Express edition (bundled MSSQL database, within the vCenter 4.1 DVD)

B- vCenter 4.1 and Database in the same server, the database is MSSQL 2005 Standard or Enterprise.


A – vCenter 5.0 and Database will be in the same server, the Database will be the same (MSSQL 2005 Express edition ), but the SCHEMA will be upgraded.

B – vCenter 5.0 and Database will be in the same server, the Database will be the same MSSQL 2005 Standard or Enterprise database, but the SCHEMA will be upgraded.


1- Install SQL management studio and Make a full backup of the vCenter Server database.



Click ADD and give the location to save the backup of the database or use defaults.

2- Check Existing SYSTEM DSN for the vCenter 4.1 in the OBDC Data Source Administrator, and test the connection settings.



3- Back up the SSL certificates that are on the VirtualCenter or vCenter Server system before you upgrade to vCenter Server 5.0. The default location of the SSL certificates is %allusersprofile%\Application
Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\SSL

4- Stop the VMware VirtualCenter Server service.


5- From the vSphere 5 DVD or its contents, run the AUTORUN.EXE installer for the vSphere 5 and select to install “vCenter Server” Also ensure all the prerequisites are installed.


6- The installer wizard will indicate that there is already previous version of vCenter present in the server.Click next and accept the EULA and give the license or later also we can give license.


7- The existing DSN will be automatically detected and click next,


8- Select these options, you need to upgrade the database SCHEMA to accommodate the new vCenter 5.0,

“A dialog box might appear warning you that the DSN points to an older version of a repository that must be upgraded. If you click Yes, the installer upgrades the database schema, making the database irreversibly incompatible with previous VirtualCenter versions. See the vSphere Upgrade documentation”


9- We can automatically or manually the vCenter agent in the ESXi hosts, its not a big deal !!!


10- Give the credentials and use the FQDN of the old vCenter server, else it will throw an error saying FQDN is not resolved and vCenter feature will not work. This we can neglect, but it is good to give FQDN.


11- Use the default location of the binaries or give the locations if need to customize.


12- It is better to use default ports for the vCenter, else we can change if needed. Rest of the next few steps are self explanatory and choose accordingly

13- If you are using Distributed switch, and large number of portgroups and virtual machines we can select the below option IF YOU ARE USING EPHEMERAL PORTS, BUT IT IS RECOMMEDED TO USE THE STATIC BINDING IN THE vDS so no need to use this option.


14- Click INSTALL button !!!! That’s it…


My next post will be..how to upgrade the vCenter and Database if they are in separate servers.


About GK_RAJ

An enthusiastic IT person, with an intense passion towards Datacenter technologies. I am a VMware vExpert Title holder and working as a Technical Consultant, in Qatar. I am exposed to VMware vSphere, Storage, Bladecenters, Datacenter operations, Symantec Backup, Deduplication technologies and carry rich and diversified experience in these domains. I specialize in Designing & Consulting on VMware VSphere, the integration of Storage and Network Stacks to VSphere. With my experience, I help Organizations/Enterprises to achieve their CAPEX & OPEX savings, develop DR and BCP strategies, Consolidation services with Virtualization using VSphere, and prepare them to move to Cloud. In the meantime, I would like to share my knowledge and do a good contribution to the community. I am an Indian citizen, and have a Engineering degree in Electronics and Communication. I have certified in VCAP5-DCD, VCP-Cloud, VCP 4 & 5, MCITP, MCSE.

Posted on January 26, 2013, in ESXi, VCenter, Virtualization, VMware. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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