Back in VMworld 2013, the Office of CTO held its annual Fling Contest where customers can submit their ideas for cool new Flings that they would like to see. If selected, not only would the individual get a free pass to VMworld but VMware Engineers would also build and release the Fling, how cool is that!? There were over 200+ submissions that year and I was very fortunate to have been on the panel to help select the winner. The winning Fling for that year was the Windows vCenter Server (VCS) to VCSA Converter Appliance by Stephen Athanas.
UPDATE 09/15/16 - The officially supported VCSA Migration Tool has has GA'ed with the release of vSphere 6.0 Update 2m. Please see this blog post here for more details.
The idea of a VCS to VCSA Converter really resonated with me as well as with many of our customers. In fact, everyone that I had spoken with who has used the VCSA just love the simplicity, ease of deployment and management it provides compared to its Windows counterpart. However, one of the biggest adoption barrier that I have seen from talking to customers is that is no simple way of migrating from a Windows based vCenter Server to the VCSA. You literally have to start fresh and this is pretty a show stopper for the majority of our customers and I do not disagree with them.
Customers want a migration path to be able to preserve all their vCenter Server configurations such as Folder structures, Permissions, Alarms, Tags, VM Storage Policies, etc. This is the idea behind the VCS to VCSA Converter Appliance which helps migrate a Windows vCenter Server running on an external Microsoft SQL Server Database to an embedded VCSA running a vPostgres Database. Today, I am very proud to announce the release of the VCS to VCSA Converter Appliance Fling.
The Converter Appliance migrates the vCenter database, Roles, Permissions, Privileges, Certificates, Alarms and Inventory Service which contains Tags and VM Storage Policies. At the end of the migration, you will end up with a fully functional VCSA with the original hostname/IP Address fully intact and ready to use. As you can imagine, this was no easy task and we had some of the smartest VMware Engineers working on this project. Todd Valentine from the OCTO managed the overall program with Ravi Soundararajan as the Chief Architect working closely with Mike Stunes, Jignesh Shah, Raju Angani. Being a huge advocate and supporter of the VCSA, I also had the unique opportunity to be involved in this project and working closely with some amazing engineers to help design, test and validate the migration appliance.
We hope you give the VCS to VCSA Converter Appliance a try in your lab (Please carefully read through the documentation along with the requirements and caveats before getting started). Let us know what you think by either leaving a comment here on my blog or on the Flings webpage. This is our first release and we already have some ideas of features and capabilities we would love to add to future releases but if there are things that you feel that are currently missing or enhancements you wold like to see, please let us know!
If you wish to provide private feedback about your environment or engage with us further, feel free to send an email to Todd Valentine at: tvalentine [at] vmware [dot] com