This Upgrade Guide details the step-by-step process for upgrading your vCenter Server from 5.1 to 5.5 Update 1c. Also included is the build of a new Windows Server 2012 R2 OS for the vCenter 5.5 services whilst maintaining a separate SQL Server 2008 R2 Database.
This is an eleven part series, describing how to upgrade from vCenter 5.1 to vCenter 5.5:
- vCenter 5.5 Upgrade with Windows Server 2012 R2 – Part 1 – Preparation
- vCenter 5.5 Upgrade with Windows Server 2012 R2 – Part 2 – OS Build
- vCenter 5.5 Upgrade with Windows Server 2012 R2 – Part 3 – vCenter Install
- vCenter 5.5 Upgrade with Windows Server 2012 R2 – Part 4 – Cleanup
- vCenter 5.5 Upgrade with Windows Server 2012 R2 – Part 5 – Integrating vUM and Syslog
- vCenter 5.5 Upgrade with Windows Server 2012 R2 – Part 6 – Integrating vC Ops
- vCenter 5.5 Upgrade with Windows Server 2012 R2 – Part 7 – Integrating vIN
- vCenter 5.5 Upgrade with Windows Server 2012 R2 – Part 8 – Upgrading and Integrating vCM
- vCenter 5.5 Upgrade with Windows Server 2012 R2 – Part 9 – Upgrading and Integrating vCO Appliance
- vCenter 5.5 Upgrade with Windows Server 2012 R2 – Part 10 – Upgrading and Integrating CBM
- vCenter 5.5 Upgrade with Windows Server 2012 R2 – Part 11 – Upgrading ESXi
I was unfortunate enough to make the decision to deploy the distributed vCenter model in vSphere 5.0, which I maintained through to vSphere 5.1 with SSO 5.1, which has been an operational nightmare to manage. This post also covers the consolidation of the distributed model to a centralised vCenter setup with an existing, separate Database server.
Overview of the process
- Preparation & Planning
- Prepare the vSphere Management Cluster
- Shutdown the existing vCenter services and re-purpose the existing hybrid vCenter/Database server to be a dedicated Database server.
- Windows Server 2012 R2 server Operating System installation
- Customise the Windows Server 2012 R2 OS
- Install the .Net Framework 3.5 Features
- Install and Configure the 64-bit DSN
- Import the SSL directory from the original vCenter server
- Install the vCenter Single Sign-On, vSphere Web Client, Inventory Service and vCenter Server
- Post Installation Cleanup – including re-integration of Cloud Management Infrastructure (some are covered in this series, but most is out of scope)
Preparation & Planning
- This process takes approximately 3 hours.
- Download the Binaries for Windows Server 2012 R2, SQL Server 2008 R2 & VMware vCenter 5.5 Update 1c (Build 1945270). Copy these binaries to a Datastore that is accessible by the Management hosts.
- Configure a DRS VM-Host rule that places all vCenter infrastructure on the same Management host, this way you will only need one vSphere Client connection during the upgrade.
- Take vSphere Snapshots of all vCenter server infrastructure VMs, including vUM, vC Ops, vIN, vCM, CBM, etc. This will allow you to roll-back quickly if things go wrong.
- Take a full database consistent backup of your vCenter Database server.
- Document the RBAC configuration for the entire vCenter hierarchy. This will be recreated manually. NOTE: if your vCenter server and SSO service are on the same VM, then the upgrade process will upgrade the service, maintaining the RBAC configuration (see Alternatives heading below).
- The SSO 5.1 user “admin@SYSTEM-DOMAIN” has changed to “firstname.lastname@example.org” in SSO 5.5.
- You know what you are doing and have the ability to make changes to vCenter, Active Directory, DNS, etc. (directly or indirectly).
- You have checked that all of your vCenter plugins and third party services support vSphere 5.5 Update 1c. You have the necessary procedures for any re-integration tasks.
- You have a fully functioning vSphere environment with virtual machines running. No Physical vCenter servers.
- This process does not migrate the vCenter 5.1 SSO server data to vCenter 5.5. All permissions will be recreated from scratch.
- Roll-back – original vSphere infrastructure is a “snapshot restore” away if the upgrade process fails.
- Migrate the SSO 5.1 service to the Windows 2012 R2 server and then upgrade the SSO 5.1 service to SSO 5.5.
- Upgrade the existing vCenter 5.1/DB server from 5.1 to 5.5 U1c. WARNING: Inventory service installation failed with “Expired SSL Certificate” errors, even though the certificates had been regenerated and were valid.
- VMware vSphere Installation & Setup Guide
- Wahl Network – Migrating a vCenter Server Installation? Don’t Forget Your SSL Certificates!
You can now move to Part 2 of the Configuration Guide.