How to upgrade Windows vCenter 5.5 to the 6.5 Appliance

In this blog post I will be upgrading (migrating) a Windows vCenter 5.5 deployment to a vCenter Server 6.5 Appliance. VMware vSphere 6.5 finally went general availability on November 15th 2016 (Read GA announcement here). There are many new features and changes in 6.5. The first noticeable change is the thick C# vSphere client is not available with the introduction of the HTML5 vSphere client. Another feature addition is the VCSA now has VMware Update Manager fully integrated. No need for an additional Windows Server to run VUM!

To read more about vSphere 6.5 check out the followings resources:

Before you Start:

  • The migration supports going from 5.5 and 6.0 on Windows to the VCSA 6.5 appliance
  • You will need workstation not counting your Windows vCenter server (in case its physical)
  • Ensure you have the SSO password of your Windows vCenter deployment
  • If you are going to deploy the VCSA on a ESXi server make sure it has a Standard Switch port group that can talk on the same IP as your existing vCenter
  • Take a snapshot of your Windows vCenter VM before the upgrade
  • Rename your Windows vCenter VM with a -old at the end. When you deploy the VCSA you can use the original name
  • If your Windows vCenter is named after the installed version (Example: VCENTER55.virtuallyboring.com) take a look at the last paragraph in VMware KB 2040354 (Blog post about this coming soon!)
  • Ensure your backup solution and vCenter plugins are compatibility with vCenter 6.5

The migration is a two stage process. The first stage consist of the deployment of the VCSA. The second stage is the migration of the Windows vCenter data to the newly deployed VCSA.

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Let’s get started!

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vSphere Thick Client End of Life – A Look at the HTML 5 Client Fling

On May 18th VMware announced the end of the road for the C# vSphere Thick Client. The next version of vSphere the thick client will not be available. VMware has been building up to this moment and previously announced they wanted to move to a web based client to have maximum compatibility and mobility. The current versions of the vSphere thick client will remain supported (5.5, 6.0) until their end of life cycle. So what does the future look like for the vSphere Client? VMware will keep the existing Flash web client and introduce the HTML5 based vSphere Client. The Flash web client will remain so third party developers can migrate their plugins over to the long term HTML5 client.

The HTML 5 Web Client Fling is available to download and install. It gives a fantastic view of how VMware envisions the new HTML 5 client. There are quite a few limitations in the current form but VMware will have the kinks worked out before it becomes the primary client. Below is how to deploy the v1.6 HTML 5 Client Fling and link to a VCSA:

Full installation instructions can be found here

Deploying the OVA:

Once the OVA is downloaded from the Fling website, login to your vSphere Web Client, right click on the Data Center, then click Deploy OVF Template:

1 HTML Fling - Deploy OVA

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Updating vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 to Update 2

In this post i’ll go through how to upgrade the vCenter Server Appliance [VCSA] 6 to Update 2. To read about all the new features Update 2 adds check out my post VMware vSphere 6.0 Update 2 is available!

There are two sets of instructions, one if you already upgraded your VCSA to Update 1 and the other is if you are still running the initial 6.0.0 release. When scrolling down I made each upgrade type a super large header so you shouldn’t miss it!

In my environment I have the Platform Services Controller [PSC] embedded with the VCSA. If you deployed an external PSC separately from vCenter then this post will still work for you! The upgrade procedure is the exact same on both the vCenter and PSC just upgrade the PSC first before vCenter. To upgrade the PSC scroll down and use the second update method.

How to Upgrade if you are on VCSA 6 Update 1 or 1b:

If you already have your VCSA updated to 6.0 Update 1 then the upgrade is super simple! Log into the appliance Management User Interface [MUI] by opening a web browser and entering the following:

HTTPS://<fqdn or ip>:5480

Login with your root username and password.

Update VCSA 1 - Log into the AMU

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VMware VCSA 6: FSCK Failed on Boot

This past weekend I decided to do some rewiring of my home lab and  accidentally pulled the power to the host that my VCSA was running on. While booting my VCSA 6 was booting back up I received the following error:

fsck failed. Please repair manually and reboot. The root file system is currently mounted ready-only. To remount it read-write do:
bash# mount -n -o remount,rw

VCSA Boot Error 1 - VCSA Boot Error

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