Changing IP Address or hostname of the vCenter Server Appliance

A couple of days back during a discussion in a class, someone asked me if it is possible to change the IP Address of a vCenter Server appliance.

Short Answer:

Changing of IP Address is allowed. However changing of hostname (FQDN), also referred to as Primary Network Identifier (PNID) is not allowed.

Long Answer:

So the long answer, yes it is possible to change the IP Address of a vCenter server appliance after the deployment. (It is also possible to change the IP Address after a vCenter migration from a Windows instance to an server appliance.) One can change the IP Address by connecting to the Virtual Appliance Management Interface (VAMI) located at https://vcenter_server:5480.

Remember after changing the IP Address don’t forgot to update the forward and reverse DNS records.

There one corner condition when changing IP Address is does not work, this is specifically when one has configured a vCenter server appliance with an IP Address (without DNS records). In such cases it is not possible to change the vCenter server appliance IP Address.

However I don’t recommend changing IP Address of a vCenter instance after it has been deployed. Very simply there are many dependencies to take care of which can potentially break things in your environment. Hence always spend some time before deploying a vCenter instance and come up with a long term design strategy of  correct Hostname & IP IP Addressing policy.

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