Today, I am very happy to announce that we have released the official Windows vCenter Server to vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) Migration Tool which is part of the new VCSA vSphere 6.0 Update 2m release! I know many of you have been asking for an update since we released the VCS to VCSA Convert Appliance Fling a little over a year ago. The Fling was pretty limited in functionality and this was by design so that we could quickly get something out to our customers and get some early feedback. Although I could not say anything, the VMware Engineering team have been very hard at work incorporating all of the feedback in how they designed and built the official VCSA Migration Tool that you see today.

With that, I would like to extend a huge thanks to all of our customers who took part in the Fling and provided feedback both in the comments section as well as reaching out to me through the various channels. It was great to engage with literally hundreds of customers of all sizes and segments, all looking to move away from a Windows-based vCenter Server to the VCSA. Lastly, I want to thank our VMware Engineering team, both to the folks who lead the initial effort on the Fling prototype to those who then productized it! I was very fortunate to have been part of this amazing milestone at VMware.
vcs-migration-appliance-small

The VCSA Migration Tool workflow is quite different from how the Fling had worked which hopefully customers will appreciate. The team worked really hard on trying to simplify the overall user experience as well as trying to minimize the overall amount of downtime for the migration. In addition, we have also added full support for additional configurations and deployment topologies which you can find more details in the resource link below which includes an FAQ which I *highly* recommend folks have a look at before starting or asking further questions.

Collection of all #migrate2vcsa Links / Resources: vmwa.re/migrate2vcsalinks

Here is a quick video that I had recorded earlier which demonstrates a migration from a Windows vSphere 5.5 environment to VCSA 6.0 Update 2m, hopefully this will give you a nice overview of the migration process.

[UI Demo] - Migration of Windows vCenter Server 5.5 to vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 Update 2m from lamw on Vimeo.

One last thing I want to quickly mention is that this release is specifically targeted at customers looking to migrate from a Windows vCenter Server 5.5 to the VCSA 6.0 Update 2, hence the letter "m" denotation. If you are NOT looking to migrate your Windows vCenter Server to the VCSA, this release is NOT applicable to you as you will NOT be able to perform a new install and/or upgrade using this release. Instead, you should be looking at the vSphere 6.0 Update 2 release which is the exact same code base that vSphere 6.0 Update 2m is based off of. This will be even more apparent when you launch the VCSA Installer, as the "Migrate" button is the only option as shown in the screenshot below.

vcsa-migration-tool-vsphere-60update2m
For those planning to attend VMworld this year, we do plan to have several sessions covering the new VCSA Migration Tool as well as some other surprises 🙂 I hope to see you there and if you have any comments or feedback, feel free to leave it here or use the #migrate2vcsa hashtag if you are on Twitter, especially if you are interested in some of the surprises at VMworld.

23 thoughts on “vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) Migration Tool officially GAs w/vSphere 6.0 Update 2m

  1. Great news – very excited when I read this.

    FYI, all your vSphere 6.0 Update 2m Links are dead ends unfortunately…

    I was looking to find whether this new version would support migration from Windows vCenter Server 6 U2 (with embedded PSC) and remote SQL 2008 R2 db, to VCSA 6U2 (embedded or external PSC) ??

    Will look for you at VMworld Europe

    Regards
    Darren

    • Hi Darren,

      Thanks. We’re aware of the documentation links, they’re still being processed as we speak and should go live later today (apologies about that). The download itself is available now, but it’ll take a bit longer for the rest of the docs to go out.

      In this current release, we’re only supporting 5.5 to 6.0u2 migration. Basically, what we call “Horizontal” Migration (Win VC 6.0 to VCSA 6.0) is not possible as the Migration itself combines both a “Migrate” as well as an “Upgrade”. There’ll be some more news at VMworld Europe, however I will not be there but look for Emad Younis who’ll have some sessions on this topic.

      Look forward to any feedback you have by either leaving comment here or reaching out to either of us on Twitter/etc.

  2. Thank you William Lam and team for the Fling and now the official supported tool. Many many months of work – thanks for making this supported and easy for our customers!

  3. Thanks Cheryl! This has been an exciting journey and one that involves many many folks behind the scenes! Huge team effort and I’m glad we’ve gotten the first release of the productized version of the VCSA Migration Tool. Appreciate you sharing this with your customers

  4. Hey William! Such a long road, so glad you guys made it here!

    Majorly excited for this as we’re staging a major upgrade in our environment within the next couple months. I’m curious, does the migration support a Windows vCenter Install with a local install of SSO server? Or ONLY an external SSO? Our installation was done with the SSO server being bundled onto the same box as the rest of the vCenter components.

    • Hi Jason,

      No, your VMs will continue to run on the ESXi hosts without any impact. This only impacts VC and any operations you may need, obviously, you’ll want to schedule downtime of your VC system before performing the migration 🙂

  5. Thanks William! We were in the process of utilizing the Fling 3 days before it was pulled off of LABs. We assumed there was a reason and halted our plans! But today we rejoice now that we can get away from our complicated HEAVILY licensed Windows based deployment!

    Please pass on a thanks tot he team from ours!

  6. This is great news….. only issue is I’ve already migrated all my lab environment using the fling, so now I’m going to have to deploy an old vCenter Server 5.5 in order to play with the migration tool…. =P

  7. I might be missing something but if this only for vCenter 5.5 Windows -> vCenter 6.0 VCSA migration or does it include vCenter 6.0 -> vCenter 6.0 VCSA as well?

  8. working through phase1 following the video as a reference…….my external PSC upgrade starts fine but they stops while copying the ova and terminates. The log file states: Progress Page: [VSCA ERROR} – Progress call back error.

    I have tried several times now ….same result. It has to be something simple i am missing.

    • So the error happens while the new PSC is being deployed? Is there any connectivity issues between the desktop and the target? Have you tried another system? If you’re still running into trouble, please file an SR and our GSS folks will be able to help track down the issue.

      • Yes. The external PSC depoyment. I think i have it sorted. My lab is aging (junk). A quick reboot of everything and the wizard ran through just fine. I will be working on Phase 2 for vcenter later. Thank you for such great work.

Thanks for the comment!