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Migration Assistance (Migrating Windows vCenter to VCSA 6.5 )

Migrating vCenter from one version to another was always a complected task earlier. With the introduction of migration assistance tool which was introduced in 6.0 u2 version,life of the administrator become far easier without worried about multiple components configuration task during migration as most of the task performed in this tool are automated. The risk of mistake and miss-configuration has become lesser during deployment.
So, lets gets started. 
Here we are migrating windows based vCenter with embedded PSC to VCSA 6.5
Download the ISO or binary of VCSA 6.5 from the VMware portal.
Once you have ISO of VCSA mount it into vCenter.
Step 1
Run the migration assistant tool which is present under <Mounted Drive>:\migration-assistant\VMware-Migration-Assistant
Note: This "Migration-Assistance tool need to be executed on windows vCenter and once run, it will automatically detect the vCenter instance runing on the machine.
Step 2
Once the administrator@vsphere.local’s password is keyed in, it will start running the scripts to do pre-checks of the required configuration.
Once the prechecks are complete, the wizard then preps the windows vCenter to be migrated to the vCSA. This window has to run until the migration completes failing which the process will fail.
Step 3
Now since one of the steps in migration is to power of the source VC and move it’s network identity to the newly deployed vCSA
The next steps of the actual migration process itself have to be run from any other machine which has connectivity to the source VC and the destination infrastructure to deploy the new vCSA server.
Mount the v6.5 ISO to the identified machine that meets the above condition and run the migration wizard by going to : <Mounted Drive>:\vcsa-ui-installer\win32\installer
Once the below wizard pops up, click on Migrate
Step 4
This starts another wizard that starts the deployment of the vCSA appliance. This again is broken down into two stages. The first one involves deploying the appliance and the second one involves configuring it
Accept the EULA and continue.
The next step requires the details of the source windows vCenter and the credentials for the SSO administrator
When the wizard establishes a connection to the source VC, it presents the certificate thumbprint which has to be accepted to proceed further. Click on Yes and continue.
The next step is to provide the details of the destination vCenter or the ESXi Server where the new vCSA will be deployed.
Accept the certificate thumbprint and continue
Specify the VM Name and root user password for the vCSA
Select the deployment size for the vCSA. Since I had a small deployment with an embedded PSC, I’m choosing the tiny instance. Note that the resources consumed by the vCSA changes across the deployment sizes
Select the datastore where the vCSA will be deployed, choose thin disk if required
In order to have an IP communication with the source vCenter, the deployed vCSA will need a temporary IP during the migration phase. Once the migration is complete, the network identity of the source VC will be assigned to the vCSA
Review and Finish. This will start the deployment of vCSA
This will kick-off the deployment process
Once the stage 1 is complete, the appliance configuration will start
Step 6
You can see from below picture that there is a green tick for stage 1 which means the Stage 1 has completed successfully with no error.
When you click Next, the pre-migration process kicks in
This checks the compatibility with all the components and extensions that are registered with the source vCenter and the vCSA once the migration completes. I have an older version of vRO which might not work with the new one, hence the warning.
The vCSA can be joined to the domain using the AD credentials
In the next step, the wizard let’s us select the data that needs to be migrated from the source to destination. This can only be configuration or everything including events, tasks and the performance data
Once that is completed, you can optionally join the CEIP. I usually skip this
Confirm the details and start the migration
Note that the source VC shutdown during the migration as it’s network identity will be migrated to the vCSA. Also, this is the exact reason this wizard should not be run on VC as the migration status will not be known if the machine shuts down
The data transfer might take anywhere between 15 mins to an hour depending on the amount of data that has to be migrated
Once the copy is complete, the machine is configured with the required services and data is imported
The impressive thing about this method of migration is that it preserves everything from source to destination. You can see that even the certificates are imported and applied on the vCSA. And another good thing is the shiny new UI that the new vCenter is built on

Enjoy using vCenter 6.5 
In VCSA 6.5 try to take advantage of HTML based vSphere client. Its having quite cool features.

Happy Sharing.... :)


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