Some changes from vSphere 5.x to vSphere 6.0 impact the vCenter Server upgrade process. For a complete list of new features in vSphere 6.0, see the Release Notes for version 6.0 releases.

VMware Platform Services Controller Introduced

The VMware Platform Services Controller contains common infrastructure services such as vCenter Single Sign-On, VMware certificate authority, licensing, and server reservation and registration services.

You can deploy a Platform Services Controller instance on the same virtual machine (VM) or physical server as vCenter Server, which is vCenter Server with an embedded Platform Services Controller instance. You can also deploy a Platform Services Controller instance on a separate machine or physical server, which is vCenter Server with an external Platform Services Controller instance. See vCenter Server Deployment Models.

Enhanced Linked Mode

Starting with vSphere 6.0, the implementation of Linked Mode has changed. You no longer need to join vCenter Server instances to Linked Mode groups. You can access the replication functionality provided by Linked Mode in vSphere 5.5 by registering multiple vCenter Server instances to the same Platform Services Controller or joining Platform Services Controller instances in the same vCenter Single Sign-On domain.

To enable high availability between the vCenter Server instances in a single vCenter Single Sign-On domain, the vCenter Server instances must use the same site name.

Unlike the original Linked Mode, Enhanced Linked Mode is available and supported on vCenter Server on Windows and vCenter Server Appliance.

vCenter Server Component Services Deployment

Starting with vSphere 6.0, vCenter Server component services are deployed in either the vCenter Server or Platform Services Controller group of services. vSphere common services can no longer be upgraded individually with vCenter Server 6.0.

The vCenter Server upgrade software migrates, upgrades, and configures existing vCenter Server 5.1 or vCenter Server 5.5 services as needed, migrating individually deployed vCenter Server 5.0 or vCenter Server 5.1 services to the appropriate service group during the upgrade process.

For more details about service deployment, see About the vCenter Server 6.0 for Windows Upgrade Process.

Simple Upgrade Process Replaced

Upgrading to vCenter Server 6.0 with an embedded Platform Services Controller instance replaces the vCenter Server 5.1 or vCenter Server 5.5 simple upgrade process. The upgrade process migrates your vCenter Server 5.1 or vCenter Server 5.5 services to a vCenter Server 6.0 deployment with an embedded Platform Services Controller instance.

Custom Upgrade Process Replaced

Upgrading to vCenter Server 6.0 with an external Platform Services Controller instance replaces the vCenter Server 5.1 or 5.5 Custom or separate upgrade process. When you upgrade your custom or distributed vCenter Server 5.1 or 5.5 instance, the upgrade process includes any vCenter Server 5.1 or 5.5 services that are deployed separately from vCenter Server. You do not need to upgrade them separately.

During the process of upgrading to vCenter Server 6.0 with an external Platform Services Controller deployment, any vCenter Server 5.1 or 5.5 services that are deployed on a separate VM or physical server from the vCenter Server are migrated to the same VM or physical server as the vCenter Server instance. vCenter Server components can no longer be deployed individually. For more details on service migration during upgrade, see Migration of Distributed vCenter Server for Windows Services During Upgrade to vCenter Server 6.0

No Change of Deployment Model for Platform Services Controller During Upgrade

During the upgrade to vCenter Server 6.0 , you cannot change your deployment model. For example, if you deploy vCenter Server with an embedded Platform Services Controller instance, you cannot switch to vCenter Server with an external Platform Services Controller instance. You can only remove the Platform Services Controller instance.

After the upgrade, you can update your vCenter Server deployment by repointing the connections between vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller. You can also convert an embedded Platform Services Controller deployment to an external Platform Services Controller deployment.

Database Changes

The vCenter Server 5.x embedded Microsoft SQL Server Express database is replaced with an embedded PostgreSQL database during the upgrade to vCenter Server 6.0. The maximum inventory size that applied for Microsoft SQL Server Express still applies for PostgreSQL.

VMware vSphere Syslog Collector

For vCenter Server 6.0 for Windows, vSphere Syslog Collector is included in the vCenter Server group of services and continues to function exactly as for vCenter Server 5.5. However, it is no longer used for vCenter Server Appliance 6.0.

VMware Syslog Service

For vCenter Server Appliance 6.0, vSphere Syslog Service is a support tool for logging that is included in the vCenter Server group of services. See vCenter Server Components and Services