You can use the CLI installer to perform an unattended upgrade of a vCenter Server appliance on an ESXi host or vCenter Server instance.

The CLI upgrade process includes downloading the vCenter Server appliance installer on a network virtual machine or physical server from which you want to perform the upgrade, preparing a JSON configuration file with the upgrade information, and running the upgrade command.

Important: The user name that you use to log in to the machine from which you want to run the CLI upgrade, the path to the vCenter Server appliance ISO file, the path to your JSON configuration file, and the string values in your JSON configuration file, including the passwords, must contain only ASCII characters. Extended ASCII and non-ASCII characters are unsupported.

The vCenter Server appliance ISO file contains templates of JSON files that contain the minimum configuration parameters that are required for upgrading a vCenter Server appliance. For information about preparing JSON templates for CLI upgrade of the vCenter Server appliance, see Prepare Your JSON Configuration File for CLI Upgrade.

Note: When you upgrade vCenter Server 6.5 or 6.7 with an external Platform Services Controller to vCenter Server 7.0, the upgrade process converges the external Platform Services Controller into the new vCenter Server appliance. The new vCenter Server contains all Platform Services Controller services, preserving the functionality and workflows, including authentication, certificate management, and licensing. It is no longer necessary nor possible to upgrade and use an external Platform Services Controller.

After successfully upgrading your environment to vCenter Server 7.0, the pre-existing Platform Services Controller will be powered off, and you can remove it from your vSphere inventory. See Decommission the Platform Services Controller.