Upgrading a vCenter Appliance

Upgrading VMware vCenter appliance is fairly straightforward. I have compiled a procedure with screenshots, along with my notes on the subject.

The following pertains to upgrading from 5.1 to 5.5u1. There are some documentation links at the end of the article.

Upgrade Steps:

  1. Upgrade your vCenter Client. image

  2. Deploy Appliance

    • Use a TEMP IP – the appliance will assume the IP and identity of the old server when it upgrades; as well, it will shut down the old server.
  3. Power on and connect to the NEW appliance: https://NEW-Appliance-IP:5480

    • Log in with default values of u:root p:vmware.
  4. Accept License.

  5. Tick Upgrade from a previous version. image

  6. Copy KEY. image

  7. IMPORTANT: Snapshot the Old Appliance

  8. Connect to the OLD appliance: https://OLD-Appliance-IP:5480

  9. Click on the Upgrade tab & paste the key you copied from the NEW appliance, then click Import key and stop vCenter Server. image

    • You will see Loading… – just wait for it to complete and show you: image

    • … then Import successful. image

  10. Now, copy the key that the OLD appliance presents to you and paste it back to the new appliance in the lower box; Click Next> and wait a few moments. image

  11. Tick the box to Replace the SSL certificates, if presented. image

  12. Input new Root password. image

  13. Click next and then let the Host Upgrade Checker run, review the results, then proceed. image

  14. Confirm that you have made a snapshot of the old vCenter Appliance then click START image

  15. While the upgrade runs, you can watch it progress:

    • SSH into the NEW VCSA
    • run: tail -f /var/log/vmware/vami/upgrade.log
  16. You will receive a positive message when the upgrade has completed. image

  17. Check your version in VCSA or vSphere Client; you should see the new version and build number listed.


Upgrading vCenter Server Appliance 5.0.x/5.1 to 5.5 – KB Article gives the basics
VCSA Upgrade.docx – Document written by community member

How to Install vSphere Client on a Windows Domain Controller

As of vSphere 5.5, installing the VIC on a DC errors out.

I read that it was done purposefully, to keep people from installing software on DC’s… which, makes sense for most situations – not so much for others. For instance, a small shop where one might need to utilize a DC for many other functions.


Anyway, to get to the meat of this article; in order to get the VIC to install you need to launch it from the command line with option /V.

  1. Make sure to run command prompt as admin: img2

  2. Then run the following command: VMware-viclient-5.5.exe /VSKIP_OS_CHECKS="1"

There you have it… you can now run through the install like usual. 🙂

Source: http://www.josephturley.com/install-vsphere-5-5-client-domain-controller/

Upgrading vCenter and Update Manager vHardware

If you’ve ever tried to upgrade the vHardware (VMX version) of your vCenter or Update Manager VM through the vClient Update Manager tab, you would know that it doesn’t work.

An easy workaround is as follows:
1. Connect client directly to the ESXi host running the vCenter or Update Manager VM
2. Shutdown the VM
3. Take a snapshot just in case
4. Right click the VM and choose ‘Upgrade Virtual Hardware’![screenshot][i01] 5. Start VM back up again and you’re done. yay
6. Don’t forget to remove the snapshot once you verify everything went smoothly and nothing is broken