To upgrade vCenter Server Appliance 5.1 Update 3 and 5.5.x to vCenter Server Appliance 6.0, you can use the Client Integration Plug-In.

You can deploy version 6.0 of vCenter Server Appliance only on hosts that are running ESXi 5.0 or later. Therefore, if the vCenter Server Appliance you want to upgrade is running on a host with a version earlier than ESXi 5.0, you must first install ESXi 5.0 or later, so that the upgrade wizard can migrate the 6.0 version of vCenter Server Appliance to that host.

Important: Upgrade of vCenter Server Appliance that is registered with an external vCenter Single Sign-On server is not supported. You can upgrade to vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 only if you use embedded vCenter Single Sign-On.

To ensure a vCenter Server Appliance instance has certificates with the correct FQDN, you must deploy it using one of the following methods:

  • Start the vCenter Server Appliance using DHCP and the DHCP assigns a Fully Qualified Hostname.
  • Deploy the vCenter Server Appliance to an existing vCenter Server and the OVF Properties for Hostname are set during deployment.

If you do not deploy vCenter Server Appliance with the correct FQDNs, you must regenerate the certificates. See VMware Component Manager Error During Startup After vCenter Server Appliance Upgrade

Prerequisites

  • Verify that the clocks of all machines on the vSphere network are synchronized. See Synchronizing Clocks on the vSphere Network.
  • Verify that the ESXi host on which you deploy the vCenter Server Appliance is not in lockdown or maintenance mode.
  • Verify that the vCenter Server SSL certificate for your existing vCenter Server Appliance is configured correctly. See VMware Knowledge Base article 2057223.
  • If you use an external database, back up the vCenter Server Appliance database.
  • Create a snapshot of the vCenter Server Appliance.

Procedure

  1. In the software installer directory, double-click vcsa-setup.html.
  2. Allow the Client Integration Plug-In to start and on the Home page, click Upgrade.
  3. In the Supported Upgrade warning message, click OK to start the vCenter Server Appliance upgrade wizard.
  4. Read and accept the license agreement, and click Next.
  5. Connect to the target ESXi host on which you want to deploy the vCenter Server Appliance and click Next.
    1. Enter the FQDN or the IP address of the ESXi host to connect to.
    2. Enter the user name and the password of a user who has administrative privileges on the ESXi host, for example, the root user.
  6. (Optional) Accept the certificate warning, if any, by clicking Yes.
  7. Enter a name for the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0.
  8. On the Connect to source appliance page enter the details of the appliance that you want to upgrade.
    1. From the Existing Appliance Version drop-down menu, select the version of the vCenter Server Appliance that you want to upgrade to vCenter Server Appliance 6.0.
      Option Description
      vCSA 5.1 U3 Lets you upgrade a vCenter Server Appliance version 5.1 Update 3.
      vCSA 5.5 Lets you upgrade a vCenter Server Appliance version 5.5.x.
    2. Under vCenter Server Appliance, enter the required data of the vCenter Server Appliance that you want to upgrade.
      Option Action
      vCenter Server IP Address/FQDN Enter the IP address or FQDN of the vCenter Server Appliance that you want to upgrade.
      vCenter Administrator User Name Enter the vCenter Single Sign-On administrator user name.

      If you are upgrading vCenter Server Appliance 5.5.x, this is administrator@vsphere.local.

      vCenter Administrator Password Enter the password of the vCenter Single Sign-On administrator.
      vCenter HTTPS Port Optionally, change the default vCenter HTTPS port number.

      The default value is 443.

      Appliance (OS) Root password Enter the password for the root user.
      Temporary Upgrade Files Path Optionally, change the default path to the folder in which to store the configuration data.

      By default, all the data and information about the settings of the vCenter Server Appliance that you want to upgrade is exported to /tmp/vmware/cis-export-folder. The data is later migrated to the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0.

      Migrate Performance & other historical data Optionally, select whether you want to enable migration of optional performance and historical data stored in the database.

      The optional bits include information about alarms, events, statistics, and so on. If the information about these bits is big, the migration might slow down the upgrade.

    3. Under Source ESXi Host, enter the information about the host on which the vCenter Server Appliance that you want to upgrade resides.
      Option Description
      ESXi host IP address/FQDN IP address or FQDN of the ESXi host on which the vCenter Server Appliance that you want to upgrade resides.
      ESXi host user name User name of the user who has administrative rights on the primary host.
      ESXi host password Password of the administrator user.
  9. (Optional) Accept the warning message, if any, by clicking Yes.
  10. Set up the vCenter Single Sign-On settings for the newly deployed appliance and click Next.
    Important: This step is mandatory only when you upgrade vCenter Server Appliance 5.1 Update 3. For upgrades from vCenter Server Appliance 5.5.x the vCenter Single Sign-On data is automatically migrated to the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0.
    Option Description
    vCenter SSO Password Enter the password for vCenter Single Sign-On.

    The password must be between 8 and 20 characters, and must contain at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one number, and one special character, such as, for example, a dollar sign ($), exclamation mark (!), brackets (()) or at sign (@).

    Confirm password Confirm the vCenter Single Sign-On password.
    SSO Domain name Enter the vCenter Single Sign-On domain name.

    The domain name must comply with the RFC 1035 standards.

    SSO Site name Enter the vCenter Single Sign-On site name.
  11. On the Select appliance size page of the wizard, select the vCenter Server Appliance size for the vSphere inventory size and click Next.
    Option Description
    Tiny (up to 10 hosts, 100 VMs) Deploys an appliance with 2 CPUs and 8 GB of memory.
    Small (up to 100 hosts, 1,000 VMs) Deploys an appliance with 4 CPUs and 16 GB of memory.
    Medium (up to 400 hosts, 4,000 VMs) Deploys an appliance with 8 CPUs and 24 GB of memory.
    Large (up to 1,000 hosts, 10,000 VMs) Deploys an appliance with 16 CPUs and 32 GB of memory.
  12. From the list of available datastores, select the location where all the virtual machine configuration files and virtual disks will be stored and, optionally, enable thin provisioning by selecting Enable Thin Disk Mode.
  13. Select the temporary network for communication between the vCenter Server Appliance that you want to upgrade and the newly deployed vCenter Server Appliance, select the vCenter Server Appliance IP allocation method, and click Next.
    The networks displayed in the Choose a temporary network drop-down menu depend on the ESXi network settings. Non-ephemeral distributed virtual port groups are not supported and are not displayed in the drop-down menu.
    Option Description
    DHCP A DHCP server is used to allocate the IP address.
    Static You are prompted to enter the IP address and network settings.
    1. Enter the network address which is different from the IP address of the vCenter Server Appliance that you are upgrading.
    2. Enter the subnet mask.
    3. Enter the network gateway.
    4. Enter FQDNs or IP addresses of network DNS servers.

      The names must be separated by commas.

  14. (Optional) Select the Enable SSH check box to enable SSH connection to the vCenter Server Appliance.
  15. On the Ready to complete page, review the settings for the vCenter Server Appliance upgrade and click Finish to complete the process.

Results

The vCenter Server Appliance is upgraded. The old vCenter Server Appliance is powered off and the new appliance starts.