Many of us still evaluating the vSphere and vCenter in our test environments. Sometimes, it takes more than 60 days to evaluate where trial edition expires.
We can't extend the trial edition in ESX host, either we have to reinstall it or license it. vCenter also have to follow the same way as ESX does. But, here we can keep old database contents as it is when you reinstall the vCenter software.
This document using vCenter 4.0 and SQLEXPRESS 2005 (built in) database. At the time of installation of vCenter 4.0, it installs SQLEXPRESS 2005 by default unless any other Database specified. Mostly, we are using built-in database is SQLEXPRESS 2005 for testing environment.
When you install vCenter 4.0, it installs SQLEXPRESS 2005 and creates a database called "SQLEXP_VIM". You can view this thru SQL Server Configuration Manager console.
Start à All Programs à Microsoft SQL Server 2005 à Configuration Tools à SQL Server Configuration Manager
Create a System DSN for this database using ODBC (Administrative Tools à Data Sources (ODBC) either before/after expiry of your vCenter trial period.
Open the ODBC Database Administrator Source, Select "System DSN" and Click "Add" Button and Select "SQL Native Client"
Provide the Datasource name (recommened to use as "SQLEXP_VIM")
Select, the server and database name (mostly local host, since it is installed on the same server where we installed vCenter earlier)
Leave the Authentication as default. It is important to change the default database to
Press Next and leave them to default settings and Test Connectivity.
Use the Add/Remove Programs to uninstall the vCenter 4.0 after trail period is over.
Reinstalling the vCenter
When you reinstall the vCenter on same server, select the "Use an existing supported database" on database section. Then, enter "sqlexp_vim" as the DSN and press "Next" and leave blank for UN/PW
Select "Do not overwrite, leave my existing database in place" and press "Next", leave it default
After complete database selection, continue with your installation as usual.
Once the vCenter installation completed, open it thru vSphere Client, you can see your old settings such as Datacenter, Cluster and other configuration. Again, your evalution periods starts with 60-days again.