Migrate vCenter VM

If you are using Essentials, or otherwise don’t have vMotion but need to move your vCenter server around, here is a quick how-to.

Note that other servers don’t need the workaround, if you have vCenter up you can easily migrate VMs around.  If you don’t have shared storage vCenter will handle the file transfer also.

Shutdown the vCenter server after making a note of the host it is running on and the datastore it is residing on (both can be found on the summary tab of the vCenter VM).

Connect with the vSphere client directly to the ESX(i) server it was running on, right-click the vCenter server and choose “Remove from Inventory.”

Connect with the vSphere client directly to the ESX(i) server you would like it to run on. Right-click the datastore the vCenter server is stored on and choose “Browse datastore.”

Open the directory for the vCenter server, right-click the VMX file and choose “Add to Inventory”

Walk through the steps to add the VM to the new ESX server. Keep the name, choose a resource pool if applicable and then finish.



The first time you power up a moved VM you’ll be greeted with the uuid.altered message, choose “I moved it” to keep the exiting uuid.

Note that after vCenter starts up it will correct it’s location in the vCenter database.

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