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Upgrading distributed mode vCenter server 6.5 or 6.7 appliances to vCenter server 7.0

We can upgrade from vCenter Server appliance 6.5 or 6.7 to vCenter Server 7.0. All the required installation files are included in the vCenter Server installer, which can be downloaded from the VMware website.vCenter Upgrade workflow:
Image: VMware

vCenter Server Upgrade Compatibility:

  • vSphere supports upgrades from vCenter Server 6.5 and later to vCenter Server 7.0.
  • To upgrade from vCenter Server 5.0, 5.1, 5.5, or 6.0 you must first upgrade the vCenter Server instance to version 6.5 or later releases, and then upgrade to vCenter Server 7.0.
vCenter Server Supported Upgrade Methods:
  • Graphical User Interface (GUI) Installer:

It will be two stage deployment process like we had in 6.7. The first step deploys vCenter Server appliance as an OVA file. The second step uses the vCenter Server Management GUI to configure the new appliance using the source deployment data.

  • Command Line Interface (CLI) Installer: 
The CLI installer provides advanced users with a CLI method for upgrading the vCenter Server appliance or migrating vCenter Server for Windows to an appliance. You can upgrade or migrate to a vCenter Server appliance using customized CLI templates.The Converge Tool:
As announced earlier by VMware, there is no longer external Platform Services Controller (PSC) in vCenter 7.0. The only option is to deploy vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded PSC. Also, there is no longer an installer available for vCenter Server on Windows platform.
The Converge tool was introduced in vSphere 6.7 Update 1 to move from an external PSC deployment to an embedded PSC via either the vCenter Server CLI or vSphere Client:In vCenter Server 7, PSC convergence now happens automatically during a vCenter Server upgrade process. The default process installs a vCenter Server appliance with embedded PSC services.

Once the Platform Services Controller is converged, it remains in inventory to be decommissioned by the vSphere Administrator. The upgrade and convergence process in vCenter Server 7 does not decommission the PSC automatically. Decommissioning of the PSC is handled by an vSphere Administrator using the CMSSO-UTIL command.

Step – by step Procedure:
    • Make sure you have backed up your current vCenter deployment prior to upgrade process as safety measure.
    • Mount the ISO file you downloaded and navigate to vcsa-ui-installer folder for graphical deployment. You can use vcsa-cli-installer for advanced options using CLI.
  • Navigate to win32 folder considering you are launching this setup from windows machine. Otherwise navigate to respective folder based on your system OS.
  • Launch the installer.exe by double clicking it.
  • Select upgrade option to proceed with upgradation process for appliance. In case you have previous vCenter which is windows based, you will need to use migrate option. Install option is for fresh install.
  •  Click next to continue with wizard on introduction page.
  •  Accept the licence agreement and click next.
  •  Provide the details of your current vCenter server FQDN (6.5 or 6.7) and click connect to source.
  •  Once connected, provide further details of SSO credentials and also the ESXi host details, where your current vCenter server is running and click next.
  •  Accept the certificate message, click Yes to continue.
  • Click Yes to continue converge operation.
  • A message window states that the source vCenter Server instance will be converged and upgraded to vCenter Server with embedded Platform Services Controller. 

  • Enter the details of target ESXi or vCenter, where you want create instance of vCenter server 7.0
  • Accept the certificate message.
  • Provide name for vCenter server 7.0 virtual machine along with credentials for root account, then click next to continue.
  • Select the deployment size from dropdown as per your environment along with storage details from storage dropdown menu and click next to continue.
  • Select the datastore for your vCenter 7 VM. You can enable Thin provisioning if required. Once done click next to continue.
  • Enter networking details for vCenter 7 appliance. Once done click next to continue.
  • Review all the properties and click Finish to proceed with stage 1 deployment.
  •  Wait for process to complete.
  • Just to crosscheck, login to ESXi or vSphere client and verify that new vCenter instance is created in inventory. Switch to installer window.
  • Once completed, Click continue to proceed with stage 2 deployment.
  •  Click next on introduction page to continue.
  • It will perform quick pre-check, review the messages. Click close to continue if no issues.
  • Since this is first instance deployment of vCenter 7, select first option of first vCenter and click next to continue. The other option will be used once you deploy second and later instances of vCenter Server.
  • Select the appropriate option for copying data from old vCenter Server as per your requirement. Based on selection, estimated timeline is mentioned for operation to complete. Click next to continue.
  • Based on your organisational policy, take appropriate call for joining CEIP and click next.
  •  Review all parameters and click finish to begin stage 2 deployment.
  • Once completed, it will prompt  you  to click OK to continue shutdown operation of old vCenter Server.
  •  Wait for deployment to finish.
  •  Once completed, Click close to continue further.
  • Launch the vSphere client of newly deployed vCenter server 7.0 and login with administrative credentials.
  • Once logged in, navigate to vCenter summary page and check the versioning details.
  • Navigate to system configuration, from Menu options and verify that new vcenter instance is listed. Also you can see the PSC instance from old instance of vCenter. So upgrade process does not automatically decommission old PSC. We will do that manually.
  •  Shutdown the old PSC instance from VM option menu.
  •  Connect to your new vCenter server 7.0 using putty SSH session.
  •  Switch to bash shell using shell command.
  • Run below command to manually decommission the old PSC instance.
cmsso-util unregister –node-pnid – -username –passwd
  • Again login to vSphere client of new vcenter 7 and navigate to system configuration. Verify that PSC is not listed anymore.

Thats it folks. Hope this help. Cheers!!!

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