Complete Guide to Move vCenter to New Host | With or Without vMotion

Moving vCenter to a new host is a critical task that requires careful planning and execution. We'll provide you with step-by-step instructions and an alternative method for migrating vCenter.


By Crystal / Updated on July 12, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

Why You Need to Move vCenter to New Host

Moving vCenter to a new host is a decision organizations often make to address various challenges and leverage the benefits of a more robust infrastructure. There are several reasons why organizations consider this migration:

  • Hardware Limitations and Resource Constraints: As organizations grow and their virtual infrastructure expands, the existing host might struggle to handle the increased workload. Moving vCenter to a new host with higher computational power and improved hardware resources can significantly enhance performance.
  • Scalability: A new host provides the opportunity to scale the infrastructure as per evolving needs. By moving vCenter to a host with more resources, organizations can easily accommodate additional virtual machines, expand storage capacity, and handle increased network traffic.
  • Hardware Upgrades: Over time, the existing host's hardware may become outdated, leading to potential vulnerabilities and compatibility issues. Moving vCenter to a new host allows organizations to leverage the latest advancements in hardware technology, improving performance, security, and compatibility with the latest software releases.
  • High Availability and Redundancy: Moving vCenter to a new host can enable the implementation of high availability (HA) and redundancy mechanisms. By utilizing features such as VMware vSphere High Availability (HA) or VMware vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), organizations can ensure that critical workloads remain available even in the event of host failures.

move vCenter to new host

In this article, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to move vCenter to new host whether you have VMotion or not.

How to Move vCenter 7 to Another Host with vCenter

Moving vCenter 7 to another host using vCenter itself is a reliable and efficient method. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure a smooth migration process:

Step 1: Pre-migration Preparation

Before starting the migration process, there are a few prerequisites and considerations to keep in mind:

  • Ensure that the new host meets the hardware and software requirements for vCenter 7.
  • Verify the compatibility of the existing vCenter configuration and virtual machines with the new host.
  • Take backups of critical vCenter components, virtual machines, and databases.

Step 2: Deploy a New vCenter Server

1. Install a new vCenter server on the target host using the installation wizard.

deploy new vCenter

2. Follow the prompts and provide the necessary information, such as server name, IP address, and administrative credentials.

3. Configure network settings, such as IP addresses, DNS, and gateway, for the new vCenter server.

Step 3: Migrate vCenter Components

1. Connect to both the source and target vCenter servers using the vSphere Web Client.

2. In the vSphere Web Client, navigate to the "vCenter Server" inventory object in the source vCenter.

3. Select "Migrate vCenter Server" from the "Actions" menu.

Migrate vCenter Server

4. Follow the migration wizard to select the destination vCenter server and choose the components to migrate. Typically, you would select all vCenter components, including hosts, datacenters, clusters, and virtual machines.

5. Review the migration summary to ensure that everything is configured correctly.

6. Initiate the migration process and monitor the progress until it completes successfully. This process may take some time, depending on the size and complexity of your vCenter environment.

Step 4: Verify and Test the Migration

1. Once the migration is complete, verify that all vCenter components have been successfully migrated to the new host. Check that hosts, datacenters, clusters, and virtual machines appear in the new vCenter server.

2. Test the functionality of the migrated components to ensure that everything is working as expected. Verify that you can power on and manage virtual machines, access datastores, and perform other administrative tasks.

Step 5: Decommission the Source vCenter Server

1. After verifying the successful migration and ensuring that everything is functioning correctly, it's time to decommission the source vCenter server.

2. Ensure that all critical components and data have been migrated to the new host and double-check for any potential dependencies.

3. Follow proper procedures to remove the source vCenter server from the environment. This may involve disconnecting hosts, removing vCenter services, and uninstalling the source vCenter server software.

How to Migrate VCSA to New Host Without vMotion

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you migrate VCSA to a new host without using VMotion.

Step 1. Export the VCSA OVF Template

1. Access the vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client.

2. Navigate to the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) you wish to migrate.

3. Right-click on the VCSA and select "Export OVF Template."

4. Follow the prompts to specify the export location and provide a name for the OVF template.

Export the VCSA OVF Template

5. Wait for the export process to complete. This may take some time, depending on the size of your VCSA.

Step 2: Deploy the VCSA OVF Template on the New Host

1. Access the vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client on the new host.

Select the new host as the deployment target.

2. Right-click on the host and choose "Deploy OVF Template."

Deploy the VCSA OVF Template on the New Hos

3. Specify the path to the exported VCSA OVF template file.

4. Follow the deployment wizard, providing necessary information such as the name, network configuration, and storage settings.

5. Review the configuration details and complete the deployment process.

Step 3: Configure Network and Settings for the New VCSA

1. Power on the newly deployed VCSA.

2. Access the VCSA management interface using a web browser and log in with administrative credentials.

3. Configure the network settings for the new VCSA, ensuring it is on the same network as the existing VCSA.

4. Apply any necessary customizations, such as IP addresses, DNS, and gateway settings, to match the existing VCSA configuration.

Step 4: Import Configuration to the New VCSA

1. Access the existing VCSA using SSH or the console.

2. Use the vCenter Server Appliance Management Interface (VAMI) to export the VCSA configuration.

export the VCSA configuration on VAMI

3. Transfer the exported configuration file to the new VCSA using secure file transfer protocols (e.g., SCP).

4. Access the new VCSA using SSH or the console.

5. Use the vCenter Server Appliance Management Interface (VAMI) to import the configuration file.

6. Verify that the imported configuration matches the settings of the existing VCSA.

Step 5: Update Network Settings and Perform Testing

1. Update the DNS settings of the new VCSA to ensure it resolves correctly.

2. Validate the connectivity of the new VCSA by accessing the vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client.

3. Test the functionality of the new VCSA by performing administrative tasks, managing virtual machines, and accessing vCenter services.

By following these steps, you can successfully migrate VCSA to a new host without using VMotion.

Necessary Backups of vCenter VMs Before Migration

Taking backups of vCenter VMs before migration is crucial for ensuring data integrity and minimizing the risk of data loss or complications during the process. Following best practices such as using reliable backup solutions -AOMEI Cyber Backup which schedules regular backups to enhance the effectiveness of vCenter VM backups.

With AOMEI Cyber Backup, you could enjoy the following features:

Agentless Backup: create complete and independent image-level backup for VMware ESXi and Hyper-V VMs.
 Support Free ESXi: support both paid and free versions of VMware ESXi.
✦ Batch VM Backup: batch backup large numbers of VMs managed by vCenter Server, or multiple VMs on a standalone ESXi host.
Multiple Storage Destinations: backup to local or network share destinations.
Automated Execution: create backup schedules to automate virtual machine protection.
Role Assignment: allows one administrator to create sub-accounts with limited privileges.

AOMEI Cyber Backup supports VMware ESXi/Hyper-V backup as well as SQL Server database backup. Next, I will show you how to back up VMware ESXi VMs with AOMEI Cyber Backup in 3 simple steps. You can click the following button to download the 30-day free trial.

Download Free TrialVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
Secure Download

1. Add devices: download AOMEI Cyber Backup and click Source Device >> VMware >> + Add VMware Device to Add vCenter or Standalone ESXi host. And then click  > Bind Device.

add vCenter device

2. Create backup task: click Backup Task >> Create New Task.

  • Enter task name and batch select large numbers of VMs managed by vCenter Server for centralized backup.
  • Schedule: schedule backup as full / incremental / differential backup and specify time to run the backup.

schedule vm backups

  • After configuring the backup task, review the information and click Start Backup.

3. Restore: click “…”>> Restore to select restoration content and destination.

restore vm

You can choose to Restore to original location. It allows you to recover entire VM easily and quickly. It saves time to recreate or configure ESXi virtual machines.

Or you can also restore to new location to create a new VM in the same or another datastore/host directly from the backup, saving the trouble of re-configuring the new VM.

restore to new host


Moving vCenter to a new host is a process undertaken by organizations to improve performance, scalability, and infrastructure. By migrating vCenter, organizations can overcome hardware limitations, resource constraints, and leverage better infrastructure.

There are different methods to migrate vCenter to new host, such as using vCenter itself or migrating VCSA without VMotion. It is crucial to take backups of vCenter VMs before migration to ensure data integrity. A well-planned migration process minimizes disruptions and ensures a seamless transition. Proper planning, testing, and post-migration optimizations are essential for a successful move.

Prioritizing backups safeguards your data and facilitates a secure transition to the new host.

Crystal · Editor
Crystal is an editor from AOMEI Technology. She mainly writes articles about virtual machine. She is a positive young lady likes to share articles with peolpe. Off work she loves travelling and cooking which is wonderful for life.