Upgrading vSphere 5.1 to vSphere 5.5- Part 2 Database and SSL Certificates Backup

Before proceeding with upgrading vCenter 5.1 to vCenter 5.5, taking backup of the VC database and SSL certificates are very important so that if anything goes wrong we can revert back to original configuration anytime.

Database backup can be taken by you yourself or by your DB admin depending upon the type of environment where you are working. Generally in big corporates there are separate team which do all the DB activities, however, as a vSphere Admin you should know how to do basic DB activities. Backing up DB is very simple and straight forward task. I will walk through all the steps in this post to make it easier and simple to understand. So let’s start!!!

Before proceeding with taking backup we need to identify the SQL server name and Database Instance Name of your vCenter server database.

How to find out DB instance name

RDP to the server where your vCenter DB is installed and go to Start > Administrative Tools > Data Sources (ODBC) connections and launch ODBC Data Source Administrator.


Click on System DSN and then select Configure as shown below.


Click Next


Select how SQL server will verify authenticity of Login ID and Click Next. I usually prefers windows authentication but it may be different as in case of your environment.


In the next screen select your DB name from Change the Default database drop down menu.


Click Next and click finish on the next screen.


Now since you have the name of your DB instance, it’s time to take backup.

To take backup of VC DB you need SQL Server Management Studio installed on the server where DB is installed. If you don’t have it installed (as in my case) then first we have to install it before proceeding further.

Download the appropriate version of SQL Server management Studio from Microsoft.com. Launch the installer by double clicking it.




In the SQL Server Installation Center window select “New installation or add features” option as shown below.


Next select “New Installation or add shared features”


Select Management Tools option in next screen.


Accept the license agreement and click next.


You can skip the error reporting if you want (as it is my home lab)


Sit and relax and let the installation complete.



Next screen shows the completion of installation of SQL Server Management Studio.

Hit close and you are done.


After installation is complete launch the Management Studio from All Programs.


Select the SQL server instance name from the server name drop down menu.


Click on Browse for more if your vCenter DB instance name is not visible.


Select Network Servers tab and locate your DB instance and click OK.


Finally the screen should look like as shown below. Click on connect.


Expand the Databases option and select your DB instance name and right click it and select Tasks > Backup


A default Path in C:/Program file…..will be listed as place where backup file will be stored. You can define your own custom directory where you want to take backup by clicking on Add button on below screen.


Navigate to the directory where you want to keep your DB backup, as shown below.


In my case I created a directory named VC-DB-BKP in C drive. In file name field specify the name of the backup file and click ok.


Next screen will look like as below. Hit OK to start taking backup.


After completion of backup a dialogue box will pop stating backup has been completed successfully, as shown below


Verify the existence of backup file by navigating to directory specified for storing DB backup.


Next is to take backup of the vCenter Server SSL certificates before Upgradation. Below is the location of the SSL certificates on the vCenter server.

Windows 2008: C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\SSL


Now we have completed the backup of vCenter server database and the SSL certificates. In the next posts of this series we will walk through:

Upgrading vCenter SSO

Upgrading vCenter Inventory Service

Upgrading vCenter Server

Upgrading vSphere Web Client

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