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Move to new VMware appliance with same networks and datastores


David Joye

Question

We are going to build a new VMware vCenter appliance (v6.7) and move everything out of the old appliance (v5.5). The new vCenter appliance will see the same datastores and networks as the old appliance and we typically remove VMs from 'old' inventory and then add to inventory on the new appliance; I intend to use this process with our Citrix DDCs, StoreFront servers, and hosts, however, we do use MCS.

 

I assume I'm only at risk of disrupting MCS, I know I'll need to configure its account permissions in the new vCenter environment, but can I simply edit the hosting connection details (host address) in Studio after moving the VMs to get everything back on track? I assume my machine catalogs are associated with that particular connection, so adding a new connection (instead of editing existing connection) sounds like it would require me to rebuild my machine collections from scratch.

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On 3/8/2021 at 3:37 AM, James Kindon said:

are these persistent or non-persistent VM's?

Non-persistent.

 

On 3/8/2021 at 10:22 AM, Darryl Sakach said:

My concern would be the underlying IDs of the various VMWare objects (datastores, VMs, etc.). Depending on how you move the VMs you may get a new ID for the VM. I would expect the possibility for other objects as well. Test, test, test.

I do have the new vCenter appliance setup and the URL for the datastore is the same in the new and old environments. When moving a VM, it looks like the uuid.location value changes in the VM's VMX file, but I haven't identified any matching 'UIDs' in the VMX file and Citrix machine config information, so maybe it simply uses the DNS name of the machine.

 

Found this article that seems to explain what I assume is the kosher process for changing the hypervisor connection: https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX140486

 

The process in the article seems very straight-forward, a part of me wants to edit the existing connection to point to the new environment and see how that plays out since the article doesn't mention any concerns of ID changes, the other part of me says to follow the article. I wonder if the article is assuming a lot, such as the datastore and machine names staying the same, in my case they will.

 

Worst-case scenario, I have the template machines and can rebuild the catalogs. I'll certainly report back.

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I had to delete and re-create the machine catalogs using a newly-created host connection for the new VMware appliance. Easy enough using the existing template VMs I had.

 

Notes from the process:

- Cannot change HypervisorConnectionUid for catalogs managed with MCS - This didn't work: https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX140486

- Cannot edit the host connection for existing host/MCS config. It complained about my VMware certificate and didn't let me get past that as it would when configuring a new host connection.

- Deleting the machine catalog after shutting down the old vCenter causes Studio to complain, but the error eventually cleared and I was able to fully delete the old catalog (possibly after I deleted all VMs from the catalog?).

- If your machines are using DHCP and you rebuild the machines while keeping the original names (re-using the AD objects), chances are they'll get a new MAC and try to pull a new IP. Cleanup the old DHCP leases before building the new machines to avoid duplicate entries or consuming more IPs than necessary.

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