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:
- VMware White Paper: What’s New in VMware vSphere 6.5
- VMware Blog: What’s New in vSphere 6.5: vCenter Server
- vSphere 6.5 Product Walkthrough
- VMware vSphere 6.5 Documentation – Migrating vCenter Server for Windows to vCenter Server Appliance
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.
Let’s get started!