Who doesn’t want to have the latest of everything? and when it comes to virtualization it is important to keep our virtualized infrastructure up-to-date in order to get the latest features and take out of the best of our environment, for this tutorial you will learn how to upgrade VCSA 6.0 to 6.5 in just a few clicks.

VCSA upgrade to 6.5 is split broken into two stages, the first stage is deploying a new vCenter Server Appliance and the second stage is copying the data from the VCSA 6.0 to our newly created VCSA 6.5.

Make sure to download VCSA 6.5 ISO from VMware’s site.

We highly recommend you to check the VMware Interoperability Matrix before performing any upgrade.

Important: Upgrading from vCenter Server 6.0 U3 to 6.5.0 is NOT supported instead you can upgrade to 6.5 U1.


Let’s get this started:

Stage 1 – Deploying the vCenter Appliance (VCSA) 6.5

  • Mount the ISO image (already downloaded) and start the vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 installed located in \vcsa-ui-installer\win32

  • Once opened select Upgrade from the VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) 6.5 Installer.

  • The next window will show you that the VCSA is broken into two stages (as we already told you, lol), deploy and then copy data. Click on Next to continue.

  • Accept the End User License Agreement – Don’t be lazy and read it!

  • At this part, you must type the FQDN or IP of your existing VCSA 6.0 as well as the host where the VCSA 6.0 resides on, of course with their correspondent credentials. Click Next to continue.

  • Once the information has been validated is time to enter the ESXi host where you want the new VCSA 6.5 appliance to be deployed

  • Enter a name for you new VCSA VM and set the root password as well. Click Next to continue.

  • Select the deployment size that goes according to your environment, for the porpuses of this demonstration we selected Tiny.

  • Select the datastore where the VCSA 6.5 will be stored.

  • Configure a temporary network identity, once the VCSA 6.5 has been successfully upgraded it will take the network identity of the old VCSA 6.0

  • Review the summary and click on Finish.

  • Once the newly VCSA 6.5 has been deployed we can move on onto Stage 2. Click on Continue.
    • In the case that you close the installer you can finish the VCSA configuration by going to https://<tpm_vcenter_ip>:5480

Stage 2 – Copying data from VCSA 6.0 to VCSA 6.5

  • Once we clicked on Continue from Stage 1 we will be taken to Stage 2, click on Next to continue.

  • Just confirm that source’s vCenter Server and ESXi host. this information is pre-populated from Stage 1 unless you closed the upgrade after finishing Stage 1, if so this information will need to be re-supply, click on Next.

  • We will see a pre-upgrade check running and showing its results. in our case, the pre-upgrade check tells us we should turn off Fully Automated DRS on the cluster where the vCenter Server lives.

  • Select what data you would like to migrate from your existing VCSA 6.0 deployment to the new VCSA 6.5, we will be copying only the Configuration data.

  • Check or un-check if you would like to join the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) and click Next.

  • We are almost done just review the summary and check “I have backed up the source vCenter Server and all the required data from the database” and click Finish.

  • You’ll receive a notice telling you that the existing VCSA 6.0 appliance will be shut down and its network identity will be enabled on the new VCSA 6.5 upgrade.
    The upgrade does NOT delete your old vCenter Server 6.0 appliance and instead just powers is off. In case something goes wrong you can power off the new vCenter Server 6.5 appliance and power up the 6.0 appliance.
    Click on 

  • Awesome, if everything went well and after a few minutes the VCSA updagre will be completed and you should see the following screen:

You can now log into the web client by going to https://<vcenter-ip-or-fqdn:443/vsphere-client/

If you would like to know more information about vSphere 6.5 check out the VMware vSphere 6.5 release notes here.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial don’t be shy and leave us a comment.


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