VMware vSphere

With the release of vSphere 7.0 comes a new version of vCenter! Time to Upgrade!!

Before we get started here are some need to knows-

  • Upgrade Paths
    • You will be able to upgrade vCenter from any version of 6.5 or 6.7 to 7.0.
    • If you are still using 6.0 then you will need to get to 6.5 before upgrading
    • Remember that End of General Support for vSphere 6.0, which includes vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 6.0 and vCenter Server 6.0, was on March 12, 2020 – https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/66977
  • External Platform Services Controller (PSC)
    • The External PSC is dead- Long Live the PSC
      • External PSC it will be automatically converged to a vCenter Server with an embedded PSC when migrating or upgrading
      • vCenter Server converged tool is no longer available from the ISO
      • This was announced a while ago, but in case you missed it here is the KB that covers it – https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/60229
  • Flex Client
    • Here is something else to say farewell to, you should now find all functionality in the HTML5 UI
  • Windows vCenter

Can’t say I am sad about bullets 2, 3 and 4.

  • PSC made life complicated when it didn’t have to be (in some cases)
  • The Flex client, well it was the Flex client and if you have used it you know why this is a good thing. Plus Flash, need we say more?
  • I really only had a Windows-Based vCenter but that server never did just one thing. I, and many others, used it a jump point and loaded other software on it to make life easier.

What’s in the Lab

Now with all that out of the way here is what I will be using for this demo-

  • 4 Node vSAN Cluster
    • ESXi 6.7 build 15160138
  • vCenter
    • Version
    • Build 15808844

This is a nested cluster in my main lab.

Finally, the Steps (for Stage 1)-

  • Load the Installer: Download, Mount, and Load the UI Installer from the ISO
    • We will be performing an Upgrade, but you are also able to install a new vCenter, Migrate from a Windows-Based install, or Restore a vCenter using File-Based Backup and Restore (FBBR)
Installer Options
  • Step 1: Introduction
    • Here is an intro to the install, Click Next
    • Note** External PSC it will be automatically converged to an embedded PSC
  • Step 2: EULA
    • Check that you accept the EULA
    • Click Next
  • Step 3: Connect to the current vCenter
    • Enter the FQDN of your current vCenter Server
    • Enter the HTTPS port of your vCenter Server (default is 443)
    • Click Connect to Source
  • Step 3a: If you connected to the source successfully, you will be able to enter more details about your current vCSA
    • Enter current SSO Username and Password
    • Enter current Root Password
  • Step 3b:
    • Click Next and Click YES to the Certificate Warning
  • Step 4: vCenter Server Deployment Target (This is where it’s GOING to go)
    • Enter Host or vCenter Server FQDN
      • You can pick a single ESX Host but if you have DRS set to Fully Automatic then its best to use the current vCenter. If the current vCSA vMotions during the install it will cause you unneeded headaches
    • Enter HTTPS port (443 is the default)
    • Enter the SSO Username/Password or ESX Root and Password to the host.
    • Click Next
  • Step 4a: Click YES to the Certificate Warning
  • Step 5: Select Folder
    • Pick a folder location for your new vCSA. If you do not organize your VMs by folder then select Discovered virtual machine folder.
  • Step 6: Select Compute Resource
    • Pick a location for your new VM. If you select a Cluster then DRS will pick a host for you, you can select a single host.
    • Note** my hosts are ESXi 6.7, yes my FQDNs are wrong
  • Step 7: Set up Target vCenter Server VM
    • VM Name – Set a name for the VM vCSA,
    • Note** if are deploying the new VM to the same cluster your current vCenter lives, then you will need to pick a different name
    • Set Root Password – Set a new root password for the new VM
    • Confirm Root Password – I hope I don’t need to explain this
  • Step 8: Select Deployment Size
    • For my example I am going to pick Tiny, I am ONLY doing this because it a Lab and a Nested environment.
  • Step 9: Select Datastore
    • Since I am running a vSAN cluster I pick my vSAN Datastore. If you wanted to use another Datastore you will need to configure that beforehand.
  • Step 10: Configure Network Settings
    • Pick a Network you would like the new vCenter to be assigned to. You can use Standard or Distributed port groups
    • Temporary Network Settings – You will need a spare IP for the upgrade/migration. Once the upgrade/migration is done the current network setting will be transferred to the new VM, after that you can reclaim the Temp IP.
      • Select IPv4 under IP Version
      • Select Static under IP Assignment
      • Enter a Temporary IP AddressSubnet mask, and Gateway
      • Enter DNS Servers
  • Click Next
  • Step 11: Ready to Complete Stage 1
    • Here is your chance to review the setting you have entered in the last 10 Steps. If anything is wrong NOW is the time to change it. You won’t get a chance to fix anything it the install fails.
  • Time to wait, you will get a progress bar to see where the upgrade is at. Once it gets to 100% you can next Continue. Now we can start Stage 2!!

On to Stage 2!

At this point you have two options- you can keep working with the UI Installer off the ISO or you can close out the UI installer and go directly to https://<Temp_IP>:5480 and log in with the new Root password.

  • Introduction
    • Here is an intro to Stage 2 – you can read it or Click Next
  • Pre-Upgrade Check Result
    • Once you hit Next, the installer will run some pre-check. You might get some warning, and that is normal, but you should check out each warning before click Close
  • Step 3: Select Upgrade Data
    • You get 3 options-
      • Configuration and Inventory – This is the smaller dataset you can move. No Tasks, Events, or Metrics
      • Configuration, Inventory, Task, and Events – This will everything but Metrics
      • Configuration, Inventory, Task, Events, and Metric – Moves it all.
      • Note** You don’t need to move it all if you don’t want to. Up to you but the more you move the larger the size.
    • Step 4: Configure CEIP
  • Step 5: Ready to Complete
    • You are now ready to finish this upgrade, review all the details if something isn’t right now is the time to fix it. (not that you can change much at this point)
  • Step 5a: Shutdown Warning
    • Point of no return, once you hit OK you will kick off the final stage which will transfer the current vCSA’s IP address, Subnet mask, Gateway, the dataset you picked, and shutdown the original vCSA.
  • Congratulation!! You have successfully upgrade your old vCenter, its time to dig in learn all the new thing in vCenter 7.0, but we will save that for another post 🙂

I hope you have enjoyed reading about “VMware: Upgrade to vCenter Server 7.0”
What do you think of the announcements?

Is this something you are interested in? Did I miss something?

Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think!

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About the Author: Raj Patel

Manager of Project Services