When using Windows-based VMware vCenter mostly embedded SQL Express is used, mostly because its free. But it has caveat the size of database limited to either 10GB or less depending on version.
In most cases it is sufficient, but if the task and events history is not set in VMware vCenter Databse retention setting there will be situation the database size will exceed the limit and effect the vCenter access.
Since VMware has introduce vCSA with inbuilt PostgreSQL the best way is to move to vCSA. If thats is not feasible you need to upgrade the MS SQL Express to Standard without reinstalling MS SQL Server.
Firstly find out the SQL Server Instance name
Start to services.msc find service named “SQL Server (VIM_SQLEXP)” so here the instance name will be “VIM_SQLEXP”.
Stop VMware vCenter services first.
Load MS SQL Server installer ISO.
Start command prompt with administrative previledges and change to cd drive letter.
D:\setup /ACTION=editionupgrade /INSTANCENAME=WIM_SQLEXP /PID=XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
PID is your product license key
click Next on SQL Server Setup windows and you have SQL Server Standard edition upgraded.
Start VMware vCenter services…