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Upgrade vCenter Server 5.5 to vCenter 6.5 - vCenter for Windows

After releasing the vSphere 6.5 I was planning to migrate the old VMware vSphere 5.5 environment to vSphere 6.5 environment. There are lots of reading and searching involved and you can find all the information form VMware Documentation site. There are few things to check before the upgrade existing environment and recommend to read the Moving from a Deprecated to a Supported vCenter Server Deployment Topology Before Upgrade or Migration. Also verify your existing hardware support to the upgrade in the VMware Compatibility Guide

Verify the Hardware requirements according the environment that you are going to manage. Refer the VMware Documentation

I can show you my current setup and the new setup in the below diagram

Upgrading the Single Sign-on server 

First, I'm going to migrate my external Single Sign on server to a external Platform Service controller. 

As the best practice take a backup of your Single Sign On server before we start the upgrade process, you have to accept this as an option during the upgrade.

Mount the downloaded vCenter 6.5 iso to the Single Sign on server and run the installation. Select the "vCenter Server for Windows" and Click "Install" to begin the Platform Service Controller Installation. If you are noticing the components, there are only few components available as an external components, only Update Manager and Download Service is available as an external components in this version.  


Click "Next" to continue the process 


Accept the EULA and click "Next" to continue 


Enter your Single Sign-on password for the Authentication 


It will perform the pre-upgrade checks before start the upgrade process 


The pre-upgrade checker performs checks for the following aspects of the environment:
  • Windows version
  • Minimum processor requirements
  • Minimum memory requirements
  • Minimum disk space requirements
  • Permissions on the selected install and data directory
  • Internal and external port availability
  • External database version
  • External database connectivity
  • Administrator privileges on the Windows machine
  • Any credentials that you enter
Change the required ports upon your requirements, I'm leaving the default ports and click "Next" to move forward


Select the the Installation,Store data and export data directories in the next step, click "Next" to continue


If you need you can join the "Customer Experience Improvement Program" here, I'm leaving the option unchecked.


Verify that You have backed up the Single Sign-on Server before the upgrade. That's the option that I mentioned earlier. Click on "Upgrade" to start the upgrade process


This will complete the upgrade of your Single Sign-on to a Platform Service Controller. Click "Finish" once it completes the upgrade process




Upgrading the vCenter Server

Mount the vCenter 6.5 iso to the vCenter server and run the installer , select "vCenter Server for Windows" and click on "Install"



Click "Next" to continue


Accept the EULA


Type your Single Sign-on password, click "Next" to continue. It will run a pre-upgrade check again



Type the Single Sign-on password and verify the HTTPS port for the SSO service


Accept the SSO Certificate Validation


Syslog, Core Dump and Auto deploy ports can be seen in the next step. I leave them as defaults


You can see the directories for the Installation, Store the data and the Export the existing data


Accept the vCenter and DB backup requirement to start the upgrade, Click "Upgrade" to start the upgrading process.

Make sure take a backup of the vCenter and the DB for the safe side rather than checking the check box.


It will start the vCenter upgrade and you can access the vCenter in the web console. vCenter 6.5 does not support for the C# fat client.




Verify the upgraded vCenter server


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