Upgrade VMware vCenter 2.5 to 4.0 Video

During an upgrade of vCenter 2.5 to 4.0 at a customer site I decided it would be a good idea to record the steps required.  In this video you will see how to upgrade VMware vCenter 2.5 to vCenter 4.0 that uses a Microsoft SQL database.  The steps are trivial and I have done more than a handful of these on customers production servers.

The most important thing is to follow the best practices, give your ODBC user db_owner privledge on the MSDB and vCenter database prior to any install or upgrade – then remove the privledge after the installer is complete.  Also make sure that IIS or any other webserver is disabled.

Created on June 1, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vCenter, vSphere.

This blog has 14,381 views.

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7 Comments so far

  1. Nick Howell
    12:39 am on June 5th, 2009


    Thanks for the great video. Helped me realize I was being an idiot and not giving db_owner to the MSDB db. I was focused on doing it to the VCenter database, which it already had, and boggled me. I didn’t realize I was being an idiot until I saw you saying something about REMOVING the role from the vc user in MSDB. Can’t remember the last time I had a /forehead-slap moment like that.

    Looking forward to the ESX host upgrade video! You should do more of these!


  2. Paras Chopra
    5:16 pm on June 28th, 2009

    Thanks Rick for this Great video..!!!

  3. Troy
    6:23 pm on September 24th, 2009

    You really gloss over the whole db owner stuff. I’m still none the wiser.

  4. Rick Scherer
    10:48 pm on September 24th, 2009

    Nothing really more to the db_owner setting…. you need to assign db_owner to the msdb database during installations and upgrades of vCenter Server (obviously only MS SQL, does not apply to Oracle).

    This is because the vCenter Server installer writes some data into the MSDB database. After the installation is complete you can remove this permission.

  5. David Thomas
    10:01 am on October 23rd, 2009

    Great Video…Well done…

    I would like to see one focusing on the MSQL

  6. Ehsan Shakeeb
    11:32 pm on December 18th, 2009

    Thanks for the great video it is really helpfull

  7. Mark MacInnis
    10:07 am on March 15th, 2010

    Hey Rick,

    Any special considerations if I used a new server for vCenter? High-level plan:
    – Stop Virtual Center service on original VC server.
    – New server points to exact copy of DB instance for vmware.
    – Fresh install of vCenter 4.0 on new server which updates the DB instance data.

    Will the new vCenter server have trouble pushing the updated agent to the existing ESX hosts?
    Will there be any communication issues to the 3.5 ESX servers?
    I plan on keeping only license server service running on the original server until after all ESX servers are at 4.0 and their licenses are managed by vCenter.

    Comments, suggestions, ridicule?


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