Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6

Software life-cycle is incredibly important in every company and environment. As you probably know Microsoft finished support of Windows Server 2003 14 of July. After that you need extended support which costs a lot of money per server. If you want to avoid situations where your software is no longer support you have to invest time and money into upgrades.

With current vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 b we can upgrade following versions:

  • vCenter Server Appliance 5.1 U3
  • vCenter Server Appliance 5.5

vCenter Server Appliance Upgrade

  1. Our upgrade process will be started by mounting ISO. Click on Upgrade.
    Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6 - 1a
  2. On the next screen you will see possible paths of upgrade mentioned above.
    Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6 - 2
  3. Accept VMware EULA and click next.
    Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6 - 3
  4. Provide ESXi host FQDN or IP Address with username and password.
    Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6 - 4
  5. VMware ESXi SSL certificate is validated, accept it by clicking Yes.
    Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6 - 5
  6. Provide vCenter Server appliance name and if you wish enable SSH by selecting check box.
    Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6 - 6
  7. In next step we have to:
      1. Choose existing vCenter Server appliance version – vCSA 5.1 U3 or vCSA 5.5
      2. vCenter Server appliance IP addres or FQDN
      3. vCenter administrator password
      4. Appliance root password
      5. Select if you wish to migrate performance & other historical data
      6. Source ESXi host IP address or FQDN followed by administrative user and password

    Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6 - 7

  8. Wait a moment  before validation will be performed. Before hitting next make sure that either DRS is set to Manual or Disabled before upgrade.
    Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6 - 8
  9. In order to continue click Yes.
    Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6 - 9
  10. Choose Appliance size, in my lab I will continue with Tiny.
    Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6 - 10
  11. Select datastore and click Next.
    Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6 - 11
  12. Provide new vCenter Server Appliance IP address, network mask, gateway and DNS servers and click next.
    Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6 - 12a
  13. At the end we can review settings before upgrade/migration.
    Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6 - 13
  14. Wait for upgrade process to finish.
    Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6 - 14
  15. After few minutes appliance will be migrated.
    Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6 - 15
  16. And as you can see our vCenter Server Appliance was successfully migrated from version 5.* to version 6.0.
    Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from version 5 to version 6 - 16

Summary

As you see the process of upgrade isn’t that complicated. The only thing you have to remember before you will start upgrade is to prepare ephemeral port group and set DRS to manual/partially automated in order to keep vCenter Server on specific host.

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Wojciech Marusiak

Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft
I am an innovative and experienced IT professional with over 13 years in the IT industry.

My experience and skills have been proven by leading vendor certifications like AWS, Alibaba Cloud, VMware, and Microsoft. I contribute to the IT community and I received VMware vExpert 2014 - 2019, vExpert Pro and VMware vExpert NSX 2017 Award.

My blog wojcieh.net - was voted #76 in Top vBlog 2018 contest!

Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.
Wojciech Marusiak
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