In this article I will demonstrate how to upgrade vCenter Server Appliance running 6.7 to the target version of 7.0. I will upgrade an embedded deployment running in my home lab using the GUI method.
The upgrade procedure consists in two steps:
- Stage 1 – Deploy the OVA File of the new vCenter Server Appliance
- 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 7.0). In a later article I will cover Stage 2 (data migration from the old 6.7 vCSA to the new 7.0 vCSA).
Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.7 to 7.0 – Stage 1
Before starting the upgrade, make sure you meet the minimum requirements for upgrade to vCenter 7.0.
First at all, you need to procure an installation iso file with vCenter Server Appliance 7.0. I used the initial version of 7.0: VMware-VCSA-all-7.0.0-15952498.iso (release date 2 April 2020, MD5SUM: 94bb30ae83cd5f12e2eecce114d43007).
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 source 6.7 vCSA appliance that we want to upgrade. Enter the vcenter FQDN (vcenter.cloudhat.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 also 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.
After a short validation, we get to provide the details for vCenter or ESXi host where we intend to deploy the new 7.0 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 virtual machine name and the root credentials for the target 7.0 vCenter appliance. Click “Next”.
Select the deployment size. In my case I update a home lab, 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”.
The last wizard step asks us for the network details of the new 7.0 vCenter appliance. I chose DHCP for temporary network configuration, but you can use manually assignment as well. 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 like unixODBC, lwis, certificate-client, certificate-server, vmon, UpdateManager. 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.
For the step by step instructions to Stage 2 you can visit my How to Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 6.7 to 7.0 – Stage 2 article.