- Before attempting the upgrade, if you are using custom SSL certificates, ensure that they meet the requirements as per Configuring Certificate Authority (CA) signed certificates for vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 (2057223).
- Ensure that you have taken a backup/snapshot of your existing vCenter Server Appliance and the external database.
- Deploy the new version of the vCenter Server Appliance. For more information, see Downloading and deploying the vCenter Server Appliance 5.x (2007619).
Note: The new appliance has a default network configuration and the VMware VirtualCenter Server service is not configured and is disabled. There is a known issue were the vCenter Server Appliance will not change the hostname when deployed. For more information, see VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 sets a wrong hostname after deployment (2065275)
- Connect to both the old and new appliances in separate browser windows. For example, use a URL similar to https://ip_address_of_vCenter_VM:5480.
- In the new appliance, start the vCenter Server Setup wizard and accept the end user license agreement.
- In the Configure Options panel, select Upgrade from previous version and then click Next.
- Copy the key from the Import this key section into the source appliance field.
- If you are upgrading vCenter Server Appliance 5.0.x to 5.5:
- In the old vCenter Server Appliance 5.0, click the Appliance Upgrade tab.
- Select source for the appliance role and click Setrole.
- Click Establish Trust.
- Paste the local appliance key into the Remote appliance key field.
- Click Import remote key.
- Copy the local appliance key.
- In the new vCenter Server Appliance 5.5, paste the local appliance key into the Remote appliance key field and click Next.
- If you are upgrading vCenter Server Appliance 5.1 to 5.5:
- In the old vCenter Server Appliance 5.1, paste the key from Step 5 into the Upgrade key field.
- Click Import key and Stop vCenter Server.
- Copy the Upgrade key.
- In the new appliance, paste the Upgrade key to the Paste the source appliance key into the field below field and click Next.
- If there are issues detected with your SSL certificates, select the Replace the SSL certificates option. You are prompted for SSO password for user firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In the new vCenter Server Appliance, click Next.
Note: The new appliance shuts down the old appliance and assumes the network identity (IP address, hostname, and network configuration) of the old appliance after the transfer has completed. This process can take some time and the virtual machines may appear unresponsive during the transfer. If the old appliance was configured to use dynamic addressing, the new appliance also uses dynamic addressing. When the import completes, the new vCenter Server Appliance starts.
- Review the list of hosts managed by the source appliance and ensure that all hosts to be managed by the new appliance are selected.
- Review the pre-upgrade check of the source appliance hosts and correct any errors before proceeding.
- Confirm that you have taken a backup or snapshot of the source appliance and the external database and click Next.
- (Optional) To follow the upgrade process, open an SSH session to the new vCenter Server Appliance and run this command:
tail -f /var/log/vmware/vami/upgrade.log
Note: This also helps in identifying where the process has stopped, if there are any issues with the upgrade.
- When the upgrade completes, click Close. vCenter Server Appliance is now upgraded and the new appliance reboots.