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:
- Stage 1 – Deploy the OVA File of the new vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller
- 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.
First step of the Stage 1 wizard appears. Read the Introduction text and then click “Next”.
Read the End user license agreement, click on “I accept the terms of the license agreement” checkbox and then click on “Next”.
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”.
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”.
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.
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”.
We will again see a certificate warning for the untrusted ESXi SSL certificate. Click “Yes” to continue.
We now need to specify the name and the root credentials for the target 6.7 vCenter appliance. Click “Next”.
Select the deployment size. In my case I update a homelab, so I chose a tiny installation. Click “Next”.
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”.
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”.
Review all the data. If you are fine with them, click “Finish”.
The deployment stage starts now.
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.
Stay tuned for the next article covering Stage 2 (data migration from the old 6.5 vCSA to the new 6.7 vCSA).