Upgrading from vCenter Server Appliance 6.7 to 7.0

In this post we will be going through upgrading from VCSA 6.7 to 7.0. Keeping your appliance at the latest version will give access to new features, feature improvements and security fixes.

When upgrading a VCSA there will be a new appliance VM created. The database and configuration from the existing appliance will be copied during the upgrade process.

Currently in my LAB vCenter Appliance is running 6.7 Update 3l.

Before upgrading to any newer version of VMware it important to check that all products that connect to vCenter (Backup, Reporting or Monitoring tools) all support the latest release.

To check for VMware products you can use the VMware interoperability matrix link below.

VMware Product Interoperability Matrices

This can also be used to view the upgrade path as if you are running 6.0 version of vCenter there is not a direct upgrade to 7.0 and will require a two step upgrade.

There is also a sequence on which products should be upgrade. See below link.

Update sequence for vSphere 7.0 and its compatible VMware products (78221)

For third party (non-VMware) products you will need to check the product support page to verify if the versions are supports with vCenter 7.0

Once everything is confirmed as supported we can go ahead with the upgrade.

First download the 7.0 ISO file from VMware.

Download VMware vSphere – My VMware

Before attempting an upgrade make sure that there is a backup of the appliance that can be used to restore incase of any issue during the upgrade. The source appliance shouldn’t be changed but I would recommend a backup just to be extra safe.

Once download mount the ISO to Windows and go to the \vcsa-ui-installer\win32\ and double click on installer.exe

Select Upgrade

Follow the upgrade wizard

Accept the end user license agreement

Next step needs the vCenter details and the ESXi host or vCenter logons details where the appliance is running. (The hostname of the vCenter was case sensitive and I was getting the below error when using all lower case.)

If a certificate warning appears accept to continue

Give the appliance a name (if you want to re use the existing name the change the current appliances name to something different or there will be an error show when clicking next to continue with the upgrade.)

Select the deployment size

select the datastore

Assign a temporary IP address that will be used while copying data

Review the settings and if all looks to be correct click finish to start the upgrade.

The appliance should now start to deploy

After the deployment of the appliance completes, the next step is to run the configuration stage. This will copy the configuration and data from the existing appliance. Once completed the old appliance will be shutdown.

Click continue to start stage 2 of the upgrade

Click next

There will be a pre-req check done before the upgrade can continue. If there are any errors the upgrade wont be able to procced.

Select the data that will be copied

select if you want to join the customer experience improvement program

Review the settings and tick I have backed up the source vCenter server

Click finish and there will be a warning that the source vCenter will be shutdown

The copy and importing of data can take more than an hour to complete.

Once the upgrade has completed the old appliance should be shutdown and the new appliance running vCenter 7.0 should have all data and configuration copied.

When we logon to the vCenter appliance it will now running 7.0.0

Last step is to verify that all management tools work as excepted after the upgrade.

8 thoughts on “Upgrading from vCenter Server Appliance 6.7 to 7.0

  1. Hi. Nice detailed write up. After the upgrade completes why does it direct you to your old source VCSA (Lab-vc.thesleepyadmin.local) and not the new one – LAB-VCSA? This is the only thing I don’t get.

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    1. Hi

      The LAB-VCSA is just the temp VM name in vCenter, the hostname and certificates from the old vCenter are migrated as part of stage two of the upgrade.

      This sets the hostname of the new appliance to lab-vc, assigns the original vCenter IP and shutdown the old vCenter to allow the new appliance assign the IP and host name. I then usually just rename the new vCenter with the old name.

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      1. Ah ok. It’s just the VM name, not the appliance hostname. Thanks. So I could just pre-emptively rename the existing VCSA VM before I start and reuse the original name.

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      2. Yep, you could just rename the existing VCSA VM before doing the upgrade also. Just make sure you have a backup before you start even thought the source VCSA should not be change it just a good idea incase there are any issues.

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  2. One last question. Does the deployment size (and storage) just default to the current VCSA setup? Or are you required to set these again?

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      1. Yeah the size is easy but I’m not sure on the storage option. Is that just for the root partition disk? Or is all disks the existing VCSA is using?

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