How to Convert VMware SQL Server Express to SQL Server

One of the things that I realized in having SQL Server Express installed with the vCenter server is that if the vCenter Server crashes (if it is a stand-alone physical server). You are stuck! You are trying like hell to get this server up. However, if you have a SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition Database server. Why NOT use it. Also, if you can convince your company, non-profit, or hospital to pony up on the SQL Server 2008 License. I would say go for it! Yes, you "can" install SQL Server 2008 Express on a server and have vCenter connect to this also. However, this tutorial is for an environment where you want a centralized SQL Server 2008 Database Server. This server will be the DB SVR for vCenter, VUM and whatever else you want to use it for.

Scenario is based on 2 Physical stand-alone Dell PowerEdge R310 Servers (DC/vCenter) and 5 Dell PowerEdge R710 Servers. Windows 2008 Server Datacenter Edition, VMware ESXi 4.1, vCenter Standard 4.1, and Iomega StorCenter ix12-300r (8TB).

40 VM's consisting of 2K3, 2K8, 2K8R2, RHEL 5.5, SUSE11-4VMware, UBUNTU10.4 Templates, DHCP on VM, DC2, DC3, File Server Cluster (2 Clustered on iSCSI SAN drive), Print Server Cluster (2), AV, WSUS, SQLSRV2K8 DB SRV, PROXY RHEL Cluster (2), VUM, VDR, VSHIELD (5), vDistributed Switches for 1GB Ethernet Intel NICs, HA/DRS Clusters.

Here we go...Screenshots soon to come.

1. Make sure you ISO's are on an NFS Share so that you can access them. Just Map a Drive to the NFS Mount. Use Virtual Clone Drive to kick off the ISOs. Virtual Clone Drive should be an ABSOLUTE MUST for your VMware Arsenal.

1. Stop all of the VMware vCenter Services (i.e. vCenter, VUM, etc).
         ----> START >> Run >> services.msc (If it says vCenter stop it. Leave the VMware Tools alone).

2. Copy all of the VIM_VCDB.mdf Database Files to your SQL 2008 Server.
         ---->START >> Run >> \\SQLSRV2K8DB\c$\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\ and then hit
         the enter key. You want to go to the "Data" Folder and drop the databases into this folder.

3. Login to your SQL Server. Launch SQL Server. Connect to the server and right-click on Databases and "attach" the database. (I created a database and imported the migrated DB to the new created DB. You may decide to use the attached DB, but I wouldn't.)

4. Right-click on the database and Backup the Database with a Full Backup.

5. Open up ODBC (under Administrator Tools). Go to System DSN and Test Connectivity to the SQL Server 10.0 Native Client. Make sure your DB is the default (I named mine VCENTER since you can't jack this up and even Joe new guy will know not to touch this database.).  Make sure you can connect to the server because if you can't guess what. vCenter won't either.

6. Uninstall vCenter Server from the Server and just re-install it. Point the vCenter DB to the new SQL Server 2008 Server and make sure you DO NOT OVERWRITE THE DATABASE!!!

7. Launch vCenter and if it comes up. Your golden!

References:
http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vc_microsoft_sql_server.pdf
http://www.ntpro.nl/blog/archives/1423-How-to-migrate-the-vCenter-database-to-Microsoft-SQL-Server-2008.html
http://get-admin.com/blog/?p=646
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1028601
http://www.sysadmintutorials.com/tutorials/vmware-vsphere-4/esx4/installing-vmware-view-4-composer/

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