A lot of my customers are running the vCenter Appliance version 5.1. Now they start to ask to upgrade this appliance to the newest version.
Here I will show you step by step the upgrade process. This is based on the VMware KB article 2058441
- Verify the time set on the old (VMware vCenter 5.1) appliance and the new (VMware vCenter 5.5) appliances are in sync. Be aware that from version 5.5 the clock on the appliance is always set to the UTC time zone. In the older version you could select your own tome zone. (see VMware KB)
- Be sure SSO (if installed on separate machine) is on the same version of the vCenter you want to upgrade to.
- If the vCenter database is external, make backup on the Database server. For backing up the embedded database look at this KB
- Create a snapshot of the OLD vCenter appliance before you start the upgrade procedure.
- First step of the upgrade procedure is deploying a fresh VM of the latest vCenter Appliance.
- Next is to configure the VM so that network connectivity is possible. The only thing that needs to be configured is IP address, subnet and gateway. The Original vCenter hostname and IP settings will be configured (copied) in the NEW vCenter Appliance based on the setting of the old vCenter.
- Connect to the old and new vCenter appliance via a supported web browser. (personal experience is that IE works and Chrome not! For the upgrade process.
On the NEW vCenter, Accept the EULA
- Next step in the upgrade process is to specify that you want to upgrade from a previous version
- Still in the NEW appliance, copy the local appliance code to the clipboard
On the OLD vCenter appliance, go to the Upgrade tab and paste the clipboard content in the text box and press the import button.
If the import was successful you get a notice and then copy the upgrade key back to the clipboard
On the NEW server paste the upgrade key in the bottom text box and proceed by clicking the next button.
There is an option to replace the SSL certificates on the NEW with those ones from the OLD vCenter Appliance
Now the new SSO password must be entered for the SSO administrator account email@example.com. (this was admin@system-domain in pre 5.5 versions)
Select now all the servers that need to check for compatibility with the new vCenter
After pressing next we see that we are ready to start the migration.
Pressing next will get following screen where you have to confirm that the upgrade process can proceed.
When you hit the start, the migration process start.
When you start the migration you will notice that the OLD vCenter server will be shut downed and the NEW vCenter server will have the IP configuration (hostname, IP settings) of the OLD ESX host.
After a successful upgrade you can start upgrading the ESXi hosts to the latest ESXi version.
- Can you login in the new vCenter Appliance via the Web Client and everything works fine you can remove the old vCenter Appliance from the inventory and from disk.