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Upgrade vCenter 6.7 to 7.0 step by step

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Pre-requisites

This guide runs through the upgrade of the VCSA version of vCenter using the standard GUI installer method. It also assumes you have a healthy vCenter to begin with

Note that the upgrade process deploys a completely new vCenter appliance, then connects to the old vCenter and migrates the data to the new vCenter. After which it migrates the network settings, and powers the old vCenter VM off.


Pre-Upgrade Recommendations

  1. Patch your 6.7 vCenter to the latest build (currently Update 3s version 6.7.0.54000). This ensures the latest patches and bugfixes are installed prior to upgrade

  2. Ensure you have good backups - Either using the VAMI based backup mechanism, and/or, power your vCenter off, take a snapshot, and power it back on again. If you are running in Linked Mode, you will need to power off ALL vCenters and snapshot them, then power them all back on, prior to upgrade. This ensures you have a consistent point in time restore point for all vCenters

  3. Ensure your vCenter is healthy and has sufficient disk space. Check for any alerts and log into the VAMI (https://vc-ip:5480) to check the health status before upgrading.

Download vCenter ISO

The first thing you will need is the vCenter 7 ISO. You can download this from your VMware Portal on a 60 day evaluation license (even if you're existing licences are for 6.7), but in my case i used my VMUG Advantage subscription which gives me access to VMware products with license keys as i am doing this in my homelab. The ISO provided by my VMUG subscription is shown below:

Filename: VMware-VCSA-all-7.0.3-20990077.iso

The build number 20990077 corresponds to vCenter 7.0 Update 3J. You can cross reference vCenter builds and versions here → Build numbers and versions of VMware vCenter Server

Install vCenter

Mount the ISO

Navigate to D:\vcsa-ui-installer\win32 and dpuble click installer.exe.


Select Upgrade


The upgrade Wizard begins, review the information and click Next


Accept the End user license agreement, click Next


Enter the fully qualified hostname or IP of the vCenter to be upgraded, in my case this is my existing test vCenter called vc.homelab. Once entered, click Connect to Source


Enter the SSO Administrator details, along with the root password, and the ESXi root username and password for the Host the existing vCenter resides on. Click Next


If you see a certificate warning, click Yes


Enter details for the ESXi host on which you wish to deploy the new vCenter appliance, click Next


Accept the certificate warning


Enter a Temporary hostname and a password for the root account for the new vCenter that is about to be deployed, then click Next


Select a deployment size appropriate for your needs. This is a lab setup, so I have left these at their default (smallest) settings. Click Next


Select a datastore. Here i have selected one of the LUNs mounted from my Synology NAS. As this is a lab environment, i have also enabled Thin Disk Mode. Click Next


Configure network settings. The values shown are for my own network, so change as appropriate. Click Next


Review your settings, then click Finish to begin Stage 1 of the deployment


The upgrade begins


After about 30 seconds, deployment begins


If you check your target ESXi host, you will see a task showing the vCenter appliance being installed


Setting up Storage


Various packages being installed


This is the last package, once you see this, the installer performs the last few configuration steps, and should be moments from completing.


Stage 1 Completed. click Continue


The Stage 2 setup wizard launches. Click Next


The installer initiates the Pre-Upgrade checks


The Pre-Uprade results are displayed. Most of these are pretty standard warnings, to advise you of differences in vCenter 7 and certain features that are now deprecated. Review these and click Close


Select what data you want to Migrate. The default is Configuration and Inventory, but i've chosen the migrate everything option, as that's the option you are most likely to choose in a production scenario. Click Next


Configure CEIP. This is the Customer Experience and Improvement Program. You don't have to enable this, but I would recommend enabling this if you can. Click Next


Ready to complete. Tick the box to confirm you have taken a backup of your source vCenter then click Finish to begin migrating the data


You'll see a warning that the source vCenter will be shutdown once the network settings have been migrated across, click OK to confirm this


Confirm your password for the Source vCenter appliance, and click Login


Stage 2 to migrate the data from the old 6.7 vCenter to the new version 7.0 vCenter begins


Step 2 - Setup of the new vCenter and starting of Services begins....


Step 3 - Importing data to the new vCenter begins...


Data import completed. Review the info messages about TLS and Autodeploy then click Close


Upgrade Stage 2 Completed, Click Close



Troubleshooting

Installer Logs are located at - C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Temp\vcsaUiInstaller

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