VMware vCenter Server IP address change

Recently, I have introduced a Cisco SG 300 switch in my home lab and with that the possibility to create VLANs. In the new network design, the vCenter Server was moved into a new management network. As a result, I needed to change the vCenter Server’s IP address.
It is home lab, so it is a full featured vCenter Server with options like: vSphere Update Manager, Auto Deploy, Syslog Collector and Dump Collector.

After changing the IP address, the first step was to rejoin the server to the Windows Domain and watch the result. This is what I got:

  • ESXi hosts were disconnected. This was expected because the ESXi servers Management Interfaces has also been changed and were placed in the new Management network;
  • No more vSphere Update Manager;
  • No more Auto Deploy;
  • No more Syslog- and Dump Collector.

For a moment, I considered rebuilding the vCenter Server from scratch. On the other hand, I was curious to find out if this issue could be resolved.

Reconnect ESXi hosts

In KB 1001493 “vCenter Server IP address change causes ESX hosts to disconnect” VMware support describes two methods to reconnect a ESX or ESXi host. The main reason for an ESXi host to disconnect is because they store the IP address of the vCenter Server in a configuration file.

For the first method you have to log in as root to the ESXi host. Under normal conditions, there is no shell access, most likely you have to login to the DCUI first to gain shell access.

For ESXi, navigate to the folder /etc/vmware/vpxa and with vi open the file: vpxa.cfg.
Search for the line that starts with: <serverIP> and the change this parameter to the new IP address of the vCenter Server.

Restart the management agents on the ESXI hosts with this command:
# services.sh

Return to the vCenter Server and restart the “VMware VirtualCenter Server” Service.

The second method describes how to Disconnect and Reconnect an ESXi host with the vSphere Client.

vSphere Update Manager

Now my ESXI hosts are reconnected it is time to repair the vSphere Update Manager (VUM). In KB 101322 “Changing the vCenter Update Manager IP address and preserving the Update manger setup”. This KB article starts with this quote “The article is intended for users whose Update Manager and vCenter Server instances are running on different machines, and describes how to change the Update Manager IP address. This document does not deal with changing the vCenter Server IP address.”

Well, let us see if this KB can help and follow the steps in the KB:

  1. Log in to the machine on which Update Manager is installed. In our case the same vCenter server;
  2. In Windows Explorer navigate to the Update Manager installation folder.
    For vCenter Server 5 on 64-bit Windows, this means go to:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastructure\Update Manager
  3. Edit file extension.xmlin any text editor (notepad will do) to find and replace each instance of the old vCenter Server IP address with the new IP address.
    BTW is the old IP address.
  4. Save and close the file.
  5. Open a command prompt window.
  6. Navigate to the Update Manager installation folder.The default path in 64-bit Windows is C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastructure\Update Manager
  7. Run the following command for the changes to take effect:
    vciInstallUtils.exe –vc <vc_ip> –port <vc_http_port> -U <user_name> -P <password> -S extension.xml -C . -L . -O extupdate<vc_ip> = vCenter Server new IP address. In case VUM runs on vCenter, “localhost” is sufficient;
    <vc_http_port> = 80 Do not use 443;
    <user_name> and <password> = An account to log in to vCenterServer;Note: In this command, the -O switch is the letter O, not the number 0.
    Note: Do not forget to enter the periods after –C and –L

    If everything goes well the output looks like this:

    If the Update Manager database is on the same server, use ODBC Data Source Administrator to verify that the DSN is updated.

  8. Remember the VUM database uses a 32-bit DSN. Navigate to the folder:
    C:\Windows\ SysWOW64\
    and start: obcad32.exe.
  9. Go to the “System DSN” tab and select the VUM databases. Press the Configure button and walk through the steps.
  10. If the test is successful, it ends with
  11. Now start the “VMware vSphere Update Manager Service” service.
    We also need to enable the “VMware vSphere Update Manger Extension”. As a result we receive this message: “There was an error connecting to VMware vSphere Update Manager – [vc5:443]. Fault.HostNotReacable.summary”.Luckily, the vCenter Service Status gives us a clue where to find a solution.
  12. Navigate to the folder: C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastructure\Update Manager
  13. Open with notepad the file vci-integrity.xml and search for the parameter <vpxdLocation>, and replace old vCenter Server IP address with the new IP address.
  14. Now restart the “VMware vSphere Update Manager Service” service and enable the “VMware vSphere Update Manger Extension”. Now the Update Manger has returned under Solutions and Applications.

Auto Deploy

The vSphere 5 Documentation states that if the IP address  of the vCenter Server changes, you must reregister Auto Deploy. Here is the link.

  1. Edit the setup file located at:
    c:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware vCenter Auto Deploy\vmconfig-autodeploy.xml
    and specify the new IP address.
  2. Run the autodepoy-register.exe command-line tool, specifying all required options.
    autodeploy-register.exe -R -a <vc_ip> -p <vc_http_port> -u <user_name> -w <password> -s <setup-file-path>The parameters are almost equal as in the previous step using the vciInstallUtils.exe command. The <setup-file-path>= c:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware vCenter Auto Deploy\vmconfig-autodeploy.xml.
  3. Although, I received a warning, everything seems to be OK.
  4. Final step, enable the Auto Deploy Plug-in.

I have also found a nice KB on “Troubleshooting vSphere Auto Deploy”.

At this time my vCenter Service Status shows everything OK.
Before this IP change, I did not pay much attention to the Syslog- and Dump collector. Some more work needs to be done to get these running, I will report on that in a new post.

I hope this was helpful. As always, I welcome your comments.

11 Responses to VMware vCenter Server IP address change

  1. Rhian Cohen says:

    Great article. we are just in the process of doing this!

    • paulgrevink says:

      Hi Rhian,

      Thanks for your feedback. Good luck with the process and feel free to share your experience so others can benefit..



  2. Thanks for this post. I’ve just been through the same process of changing IP adresses in the home lab (with VUM and auto deploy) and was pulling my hair as vCenter was acting out.

  3. Sridhar says:

    Thanks for sharing the information. We have faced similar issue where as we have re-installed vCenter Server with same IP and Host Name to avoid host disconnection issues. On Windows 2008 we had installed Update Manager. We could use VMwareUpdateManagerutility.exe from the installtion folder and entered the vCenter Details along with the username and password to re-enable the connectivity to New vCenter Instance running with existing vcenter Name and IP address. We could see existing patches and Repositries successfully.

  4. […] the hostname or IP address of your vCenter Server can cause serious trouble, see also my post “VMware vCenter Server IP address change” on this […]

  5. Stephen says:

    Nice compilation, and more accurate than the kb docs which have the wrong paths and syntax. 😦 I am still struggling with restoring the VDR 2.01 appliance after my vCenter changed it’s IP. I may just have to redeploy, which wouldn’t be so bad as I could put it on another network as well – but for curiosity I’d love to fix it or figure out where it is failing.

  6. Rhonin says:

    This is EXACTLY WHAT WE NEEDED. We’ve been trouble/haunted by this issue for a long time. Your article was very precise. Thank you so very much for putting this together.

    Take care.

    • paulgrevink says:

      Thank you very much for your feedback. Which version of vCenter is running in your DataCenter?
      I suspect even more problems running vCenter 5.1. In a production environment I would advice reinstalling vCenter, in case you suspect this situation.

      Kind regards,


  7. josh rountree says:

    Why the need to rejoin the domain? Can you not just change the IP and have it update DNS, or let DNS update itself?

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