Upgrading your management platform from the entry-level edition

Both VMware VirtualCenter and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) come in an entry-level edition for sites that are not yet at enterprise deployment levels.  VMware calls their offering Foundation and Microsoft’s is Workgroup Edition.  Similarly, both vendors also offer free, time-limited evaluations of their enterprise products.

After you are ready to move up from the entry-level platform, or go from your evaluation stage to full production, shouldn’t it be a relatively easy and non-disruptive process?  I would expect this to be the case.  Maybe that’s because I’m used to VirtualCenter, which has an intuitive dialog box to control the product’s edition and evaluation state:

SCVMM takes a different approach.  I was a little surprised when I just read the steps required to move up to the full version.  Essentially, you need to uninstall the product but retain the database, reinstall the full version, and then give your mouse finger a little workout as you go through and right-click a bunch of things to resuscitate them from their state of denial.

While it may not be a task that is performed every day, simpler is usually better in my book.

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