VMware vCenter 4 and MS SQL Express 2008 R2 bug

When looking for performance data in vCenter 4.1 from the past week, month or year, I got the message “Performance data is currently not available for this entry”. Only real time data is visible in vSphere client.


In the vCenter Service Status the warning “Performance statistics rollup from Past Day to Past Week is not occurring in the database” appeared.


The vCenter server is installed on MS Windows 2008 R2 and uses vCenter server version 4.1 Update 2 Build 491557 with Microsoft SQL Server 2008  Express R2 64-bit.

When looking in the VMware Product Interoperability matrixes, it says is a supported configuration.


Searching on the VMTN I found more people who are experiencing this problem. The following KB article says:

To resolve this issue, migrate the SQL database to a full edition (32bit or 64bit) or a 32bit SQL Express edition. For more information on how to move the vCenter Server SQL database, see………..


For small environments this is not an option! When installing vCenter 4.1 Update 2, the MS SQL Express 2005 database is default installed. MS SQL Express 2005 is 32-bit application and you can have a maximum database size of 4GB. With MS SQL Server 2008 Express R2 64-bit you can have maximum database size of 10GB. 

vCenter 5 installs by default MS SQL Server 2008 Express R2 64-bit and doesn’t have this bug.

The MS SQL Express database is only supported for test and small VMware environments (5 hosts and 50 VMs maximum).

So watch out when considering MS SQL Server 2008 Express R2 64-bit and vCenter 4!


Add SQL Server Management Studio to Microsoft SQL Server Express 2008 R2

When installing VMware vCenter 5 with the default database engine (Microsoft SQL Server Express 2008 R2) the SQL Management Studio is not installed by default. It can be confusing to add SQL Management studio at a later time. Here are the steps explained:

1. Download Microsoft SQL Express 2008 R2 (can be found here) or browse the vCenter installation ZIP or ISO. The installation package can be found in the “\redist\SQLEXPR” folder.

2. Select “New Installation or add features to an existing installation”.

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3. Select “New installation or add shared features”.

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– Only select “Management Tools – Basic”.

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When the installation is completed you see the “SQL Server Management Studio” listed under the start menu.

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Important to know is that you need exactly to follow these steps. If you choose the wrong option and  use the back button the “Management Tools – Basic” isn’t listed anymore. Strange….