How to change the vCenter Server’s FQDN

In this blog post, I will discuss about one of the much awaited feature requests of vSphere admins. Ever since vcenter was introduced, every vSphere admins wanted to know if we can change the vCenter server PNID (Primary Network ID). However, it was not supported in the earlier versions of vcsa.

With the release of VCSA 6.7 U3, VMware has given life to this much awaited feature in vcsa which is the option to change the PNID of the vcenter server. In this blog post, we will see step by step details about how we can change the PNID of a vcenter.

Before you start :

Before you start with the process, please make a note of the below points.

  • Only supported with VCSA 6.7 U3
  • Only supported with embedded vcsa
  • Disable VCHA if it’s enabled
  • DNS record is updated with new PNID
  • Un-register all products currently registered with the vCenter

Changing the PNID of vcsa :

Note: Before you start with the process, it’s highly recommended to take a backup of the embedded vcsa appliance.

To start the process, login to the VCSA 6.7 U3 using https://IPv4-OR-FQDN-of-VCSA:5480

From the summary page(below) you can see the current hostname of the vcsa appliance. The build number is 14367737 which is vcsa 6.7 Update 3

Update the DNS entries with the new PNID. In my case, I am changing both the FQDN and IP address. Make sure both Forward & Reverse lookups are working fine.

Go to Networking section and there also you can see the hostname and IPv4 address. To update the PNID, click on the EDIT button on the top corner.

In the select network adapter window, make sure nic0 is selected and then click NEXT

In the edit settings window, change the hostname of the vcsa. You can also change the IPv4 address if required. Once done, click on NEXT.

In the SSO credentials window, enter the SSO Administrator credentials for the vCenter Server. Make sure you only use the SSO admin account here.

In the ready to complete window, check on the warning with respect to the downtime on the vcsa during the PNID change process. Make sure to click on the check box for acknowledging that the vcsa backup is taken and extensions are unregistered.

Review the points mentioned under Next Steps section and then click FINISH.

Network update of vcsa has now started. Make sure not to refresh the browser till it completes.

Modifying the registry settings

Modifying the network configuration

Once the vcsa is configured with the new PNID, you will get the below window. Click on REDIRECT NOW to login to the vcsa again.

Click on Advanced

Login to vcsa VAMI page again using the root username and password.

Once logged in to VAMI, you will see that the services are getting restarted to complete the PNID change process.

Once the network is updated successfully, you will see the confirmation of the same as below. Now click on CLOSE.

You will now see that the hostname of the vcsa appliance is changed successfully.

You can validate the PNID change from the Networking section as well.

After the PNID update :

Once the PNID update is completed, please make sure the below points are considered.

  • Re-join to the AD after the vcsa PNID change
  • All custom certs need to be regenerated
  • Register all the products back to VCSA
  • Reconfigure VCHA

This completes the VCSA PNID change process. Hope this blog post helps you to change the vcsa fqdn on 6.7 U3 easily.


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