Upgrading VCSA to 6.5

by admin

I recently upgraded the infrastructure hosting my lab environment to vSphere 6.5, as it had been running on vSphere 5.5 for quite a while. I was keen to check out the new features 6.5 offers – which are covered in detail here, and wanted to see how smooth the upgrade process is. This post covers the steps I went through to upgrade my VCSA 5.5.

I decided to run the VCSA installer from a Windows machine, however there are other options available as there are install tools for other operating systems. When you run the installer you will be presented with a number of options to choose from:

vcsa-installer

On this occasion I want to upgrade, so chose the appropriate option. Note that there are other options to Install a new VCSA or PSC appliance, Migrate from a Windows vCenter Server instance to a vCenter Server Appliance, or Restore from a previously created vCenter server appliance backup. After selecting ‘Upgrade’, the next screen informs you that it is done in two stages:

vcsa-65-deployment

The first stage is to deploy a new VCSA 6.5 appliance, whilst the 2nd Stage copies data from the source/existing VCSA appliance to the new 6.5 VCSA. Click next to continue and then accept the EULA. On the following screen you’ll need to supply details on how to connect to the source VCSA, and the details of the host or vCenter server that manages the source appliance:

deploying-vcsa-65

On the next screen, there is a prompt to select the deployment type:

vcsa-65-upgrade-deployment-type

My VCSA 5.5 deployment had an embedded platform services controller, so I selected the same deployment type here. With the deployment type set, click Next – then specify the appliance deployment settings, then the VM name and root account password:

vcsa-appliance-deployment-targer

vcsa-65-vm-deployment

Next, you are prompted to specify an appliance size:

vcsa-65-deployment-size

The following few pages cover selecting a target datastore, and disk format, for the new appliance, followed by the network configuration. Note that you will need to supply a temporary IP address for the new VCSA, which is used during the deployment process. Once the deployment is complete, the new VCSA will take on the IP address of the source VCSA.

The final ‘stage 1’ deployment screen gives you a summary of the configuration options selected. Click ‘Finish’ to begin the appliance deployment. A new screen will update you with the progress of the deployment. Once its completed successfully, you’ll be presented with this screen, informing you that stage one of the deployment is complete:

vcsa-65-stage-1-deployment

At this point we now have two VCSAs. Stage 2 covers the process of importing configuration into the new VCSA and shutting down the source appliance so that it can be decommissioned. Click continue to begin the second stage:

deploy-vcsa-stage-2

Straight after clicking Next, some pre-upgrade checks will run. If any issues are found they will need to be resolved before the upgrade can continue. If the pre-checks are successful then you’ll be prompted to set an SSO site name for the appliance, followed by choosing what data you want to bring over from the source:

vcsa-65-select-upgrade-data

I just chose to import the configuration in my lab environment. However the options are there to also import events and tasks if necessary, or to also include performance metrics. Once you’ve made your choice, you can click ‘Finish’ on the ‘Ready to Complete’ page, which will begin the process of importing the data to your new VCSA. You’ll see a warning notifying you that your source vCenter will be shutdown, so that the new one can take on it’s network configuration:

vcsa-shut-warning

After clicking ok, you’ll see some progress bars as the magic happens, before hopefully being greeted with this screen:

vcsa-65-upgrade-complete

And that’s it – you should now have a shiny new VCSA 6.5. If you don’t believe me, head over to the ‘Appliance Getting Started Page’ and check out the new HTML 5 client:

vcsa-65-html5-client

With that done, you can now go ahead and check out vSphere 6.5.

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