How to Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7

How to Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 – Stage 1

In this article I will show you how to upgrade vCenter Server Appliance running 6.5 to the target version of 6.7. I will upgrade an embedded deployment (as per vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller Deployment Types: all services bundled with the Platform Services Controller are deployed together with the vCenter Server services on the same virtual machine or physical server).

The upgrade procedure consists in two steps:

  1. Stage 1 – Deploy the OVA File of the new vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller
  2. Stage 2 – transfer the data and setup the newly deployed vCenter Server Appliance

In this article I will cover Stage 1 (deployment of a new vCSA 6.7). In a later article I will cover Stage 2 (data migration from the old 6.5 vCSA to the new 6.7 vCSA).

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 – Stage 1

To begin with, you need to procure an installation iso file with vCenter Server Appliance 6.7. I used the original version of 6.7:  VMware-VCSA-all-6.7.0-8217866.iso (meanwhile VMware released vCenter Server 6.7.0a, build number 8546234; you can use this version as well, upgrade procedure is the same). I got the iso file through my VMUG Advantage subscription (you can get here all the Advantage details).

I mounted this into the CD drive of one of my Windows VM and then I launched the installer wizard (CDDrive:\vcsa-ui-installer\win32\installer.exe). Click on “Upgrade” button.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 - Wizard

First step of the Stage 1 wizard appears. Read the Introduction text and then click “Next”.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 - Introduction

Read the End user license agreement, click on “I accept the terms of the license agreement” checkbox and then click on “Next”.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 - End User License Agreement

We will now connect to the 6.5 vCSA appliance that we want to upgrade. Enter the vcenter FQDN (vcenter.lab.local in my case) and the appliance HTTPS port. Click “Connect to source”.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 - Connect to Source Appliance

After a short “Connecting to source server…” screen, we are asked to provide source appliance details and credentials. Provide the SSO username and password. We then need to provide details for the ESXi host or vCenter Server that manages the source appliance. After you complete all the required data, click “Next”.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 - Source Appliance Credentials

A short “Getting Thumbprint…” screen will appear. If you have untrusted certificates installed on vcenter or the ESXi server hosting the source appliance, you will receive a warning similar with the below one. Click “Yes” to accept the certificates.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 - Certificate Warning

There is a short “Validating…” screen. After the validation completes, we get to provide the details for vcenter or ESXi host where we intend to deploy the new 6.7 vCenter appliance. Provide the required data and click “Next”.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 - Appliance Deployment Target

We will again see a certificate warning for the untrusted ESXi SSL certificate. Click “Yes” to continue.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 - Certificate Warning

We now need to specify the name and the root credentials for the target 6.7 vCenter appliance. Click “Next”.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 - Setup Target Appliance VM

Select the deployment size. In my case I update a homelab, so I chose a tiny installation. Click “Next”.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 - Select Deployment Size

Next step is to select the datastore. Choose the datastore you want to use. You can also enable “Thin Disk Mode” here (handy for a test lab, but not recommended for production). Click “Next”.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 - Select Datastore

We’re almost there! The last wizard step asks us for the network details of the new 6.7 appliance. Provide all the data and then click “Next”.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 - Configure Network Settings

Review all the data. If you are fine with them, click “Finish”.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 - Ready to Complete Stage 1

The deployment stage starts now.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 - Deploy VCSA

The deployment wizard will go through multiple phases (just wait and let it finish): initializing, deploying the appliance, powering on the appliance, waiting for RPM installation to start, setting up storage, installing components (commonjars, unixODBC, lwis, certificate-server, identity-sts, pod, sca, Postgres-odbc, vpxd-agents-eesx, sps, autodeploy, UpdateManager, vsm). After all these steps are completed, stage 1 of upgrade vCenter Server Appliance is done! You will need to click on “Continue” to start Stage 2.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7 - Deploy VCSA Completed

Stay tuned for the next article covering Stage 2 (data migration from the old 6.5 vCSA to the new 6.7 vCSA).

Constantin Ghioc

I usually play with vRealize Automation, vRealize Orchestrator and different AWS tools. In my other life, I’m a husband and a father, an amateur photographer and a Go enthusiast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *