The VMware Labs engineers built a fling to migrate a vCenter Server installed on a Windows Server to the vCenter Server Appliance.

For me the greatest limitation is that Windows Server 2012 a higher isn’t supported yet. Because of “winexe-bug” the migration appliance could not get the data from the source machine. William Lam told me that the engineers know about this issue and hopes that it would be fixed soon.

For all of you who could not wait… maybe I’ve a workaround.

To get the migration running you must “downgrade” your Windows Server to 2008 R2 by moving the vCenter Server installation to a new machine. Here are the steps you have to do:

  • Backup the following SSL files from (C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\SSL). These files will be added to the new machine to eliminate the need to reconnect the ESXi/ESX hosts
    • rui.key
    • rui.pfx
    • rui.crt
  • Backup the Database
  • Shutdown the “old” vCenter Server


  • Create a the “new” vCenter Server machine (same name/IP) and join it to your domain.
  • Recreate the old folder structure (C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\SSL) and copy the three files into it.
  • Recreate the System DSN for the VCDB Database.
  • Start the installation of vCenter Server. Use the same version as on the old Server!
  • When you come to the vCenter Server role and the DB configuration, use the created DSN and select Use existing database and not re-initialize the database to preserve your data.
  • The VMware KB article 5850444 says that you should backup and restore the ADAM Database (VMwareVCMSDS Service)
    DON’T do it. The restore kills the functionality of the service. It seems the migration between different OS is not possible. I’ve had to uninstall vCenterServer and install it again, to get the VCMSDS service run again.

After these steps you should have a running vCenter Server with all your ESXi/ESX Servers connected. Permissions/Rules/Alerts/”all the stuff” also should be there and your admins could connect to the vCenter as they could it before.

Know you are ready to migrate to vCenter Server Appliance using VCS to VCVA Converter – Fling (


Related documents:

Migrating vCenter Server to a different host machine (5850444)
VCS to VCVA Converter – Fling