Upgrading vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) from 5.1 to 5.5

I’m currently participating in the PernixData FVP 1.5 Beta and so the time has come to upgrade my demo VCSA 5.1 to 5.5. After Veeam released the R2 update for Backup & Replication which brought support for vSphere 5.5 I’m now able to backup my VMs after upgrading to 5.5
In this post I will show how easy it is to do an upgrade from VCSA 5.1 to 5.5. The upgrade is actually a deploying of a new VCSA and moving the complete configuration to it.
First there are some requirements you should keep in mind:

  • If you are using custom SSL certificates, ensure that they meet the requirements as per this KB Article (2057223)
  • Ensure that you have taken a backup/snapshot of your existing VCSA and the external database

With VCSA 5.5 the annoying limitation of 5 hosts and 50VMs with the integrated database is gone. The integrated vPostgres database can now support 100 hosts and 3000 VMs.

Steps to Upgrade vom VCSA 5.1 to 5.5

Deploy a new VCSA 5.5 appliance
Connect to both, old and new one, with https://IP-ADDRESS-OF-VCSA:5480 (default user is root, default password is vmware)
On the new VCSA Accept the EULA
Under Configure Options select Upgrade from previous version
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Under Upgrade Configuration copy the key
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Under Upgrade of the old VCSA import the copied key from the new VCSA
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After Import, the old Appliance generates a new key which must be imported into the new one
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If you deployed the new VCSA with a new hostname, you can either use this name or delete it from the OVF environment to use the old vCenter name.
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When using a new name you have to select “Replace the SSL certificates” to get new self-signed vCenter certificates.
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Because vSphere 5.5 has a new redesigned SSO you have to enter a password for the new SSO admin (administrator@vsphere.local)
After clicking NEXT the new VCSA will shutdown the old VCSA.
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You can use the Pre-Upgrade Checker, to see if all of your hosts are ready for a vCenter 5.5
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After clicking Start, the upgrade will begin
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After the Upgrade completed successfully, the new VCSA appliance get restarted.
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To follow the upgrade process you can use the following command when connected over SSH to the new VCSA:

tail -f /var/log/vmware/vami/upgrade.log

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