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Overview of upgrading from vCenter Server 5.0 to vCenter Server 5.1 (2032283)

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Purpose

This article provides an overview on the methods of upgrading to vCenter Server 5.1.

Note: This article assumes that you have read the vSphere Upgrade Guide. This guide contains definitive information. If there is a discrepancy between the guide and this article, assume that the guide is correct.

For information on
methods of upgrading from vCenter Server 4.x to 5.0, see Overview of upgrading or migrating from vCenter Server 4.x to vCenter Server 5.0 (1031307).

Resolution

When you upgrade vCenter Server, you must understand and follow best practices for a successful upgrade.

About the vCenter Server 5.1 Upgrade

VMware supports in-place upgrades on 64bit systems from vCenter Server 4.x and vCenter Server 5.0.x to vCenter Server 5.1.

Note: Unlike earlier versions, vCenter Server 5.1 does not support directly migrating an existing vCenter Server to a new machine during an upgrade to version 5.1. You can migrate an existing vCenter Server to a new machine during an upgrade to version 5.0, and then perform an in-place upgrade from version 5.0 to version 5.1. For more information, see Upgrading to vCenter Server on a Different Machine.

vCenter Server 5.1 can manage ESX/ESXi 4.x and ESXi 5.0.x hosts in the same cluster with ESXi 5.1 hosts. vCenter Server 5.1 cannot manage ESX 2.x or 3.x hosts.


Note: You cannot upgrade a vCenter Server 4.x instance that is running on Windows XP Professional x64 Edition to vCenter Server 5.1

vSphere 5.1 introduces vCenter Single Sign On service as part of the vCenter Server management infrastructure. Authentication by vCenter Single Sign On makes the VMware cloud infrastructure platform more secure by allowing the vSphere software components to communicate with each other through a secure token exchange mechanism, instead of requiring each component to authenticate a user separately with a directory service like Active Directory. This change affects vCenter Server installation, upgrade, and operation. For more information, see How vCenter Single Sign On Affects vCenter Server Installation and Upgrades.

When you upgrade to vCenter Server 5.1, ensure to first install VMware Single Sign On and Inventory Service and then upgrade vCenter Server.

For more information on the vCenter Server 5.1 upgrade best practices and methods of upgrading, see:

vCenter Single Sign On

For small vSphere deployments, vCenter Server 5.1 provides a vCenter Server Simple Install option that installs vCenter Single Sign On, Inventory Service, and vCenter Server on the same host or virtual machine.

Alternatively, to customize the location and setup of each component, you can install the components separately by selecting the individual installation options, in the order: vCenter Single Sign On, Inventory Service, and vCenter Server. Each component can be installed in a different host or virtual machine. For more information, see Comparing how vCenter Single Sign On affects VMware vCenter Server 5.1 (2032135).

Prerequisites for the vCenter Single Sign On Database:

  • Create a vCenter Single Sign On database, unless you plan to install the bundled database.
  • If you are using an existing database with your vCenter Single Sign On installation or upgrade, make sure that the table spaces are named RSA_DATA and RSA_INDEX. Any other table space names will cause the vCenter Single Sign On Installation to fail.
  • If you are using an existing database for Single Sign On, to ensure that table space is created for the database, run the script rsaIMSLite<DBName>SetupTablespaces.sql. The script is included in the vCenter Server installer download package, at vCenter Server Installation directory\Single Sign On\DBScripts\SSOServer\Schema\your_existing_database. You can run the script prior to the vCenter Server upgrade, or during the upgrade, when you are prompted by the Single Sign On installer. You can leave the installer to run the script, and resume the installer after you run the script.
  • When you use an existing database rather than the database bundled with vCenter Single Sign On, the installation process requires database users with certain permissions. The type of users and their required permissions depend on whether you want the installer to create users for you or if you choose to create the users manually. For further details, see the Required vCenter Single Sign On Database Users section in the vSphere Upgrade guide.

Preparing for the vCenter Server upgrade process

To prepare for the vCenter Server upgrade process:

Note: It is important to understand the upgrade process, the effect of that process on your existing deployment, and the preparation required for the upgrade.

  1. If your vSphere system includes VMware solutions or plug-ins, make sure they are compatible with the vCenter Server version that you are upgrading to. For more information, see the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix.
  2. Ensure that you have read the Preparing for the Upgrade to vCenter Server section of the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  3. Ensure that you have read the VMware vSphere 5.1 Release Notes for known installation issues.
  4. If your vSphere installation is in a VMware View environment, see the Upgrading vSphere Components Separately in a VMware View Environment section of the vSphere Upgrade Guide.

Preparing your system for the upgrade

To prepare your system for the upgrade:

  • Ensure that your system meets the requirements for vCenter Server 5.1. For more information, see the System Requirements section of the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  • Verify that your existing database is supported for vCenter Server 5.1. For more information, see the vCenter Server Upgrade Scenarios for Each Database Type section of the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  • Make sure that your vCenter Server database is prepared and permissions are correctly set. For more information, see the Preparing vCenter Server Databases section of the vSphere Installation and Setup guide.
  • Review the prerequisites for the upgrade. For more information, see the Prerequisites for the vCenter Server Upgrade section of the vSphere Upgrade Guide.


Backing up your vCenter Server databases and SSL certificates

To back up your vCenter Server databases and SSL certificates:

  • Make a full backup of the vCenter Server database and the vCenter Inventory Service database. For the vCenter Server database, see the vendor documentation for your vCenter Server database type. For the Inventory Service database, see the Back Up the Inventory Service Database on Windows and Back Up the Inventory Service Database on Linux section of the vSphere Installation and Setup documentation.
  • Back up the SSL certificates that are on the vCenter Server system before you upgrade to vCenter Server 5.1. The default location of the SSL certificates is %allusersprofile%\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter.

Upgrading vCenter Server 5.0 to vCenter Server 5.1 on the same machine

To upgrade vCenter Server 5.0 to vCenter Server 5.1 on the same machine:

  • Stop the VMware VirtualCenter Server service. For more information, see Stopping, starting, or restarting vCenter services (1003895).
  • Run the vCenter Host Agent Pre-Upgrade Checker and resolve any issues that the Pre-Upgrade Checker finds. For more information, see the Run the vCenter Host Agent Pre-Upgrade Checker section of the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  • Make sure that no processes are running that conflict with the ports that vCenter Server uses. For more information, see Required ports for vCenter Server 5.1 (2031843).
  • Run the vCenter Server upgrade.
  • Configure new vSphere 5.1 licenses. For more information, see the Managing Licenses section of the vCenter Server and Host Management Guide.
  • Upgrade the vSphere Client and vSphere Web Client to version 5.1 to prevent compatibility problems that can interfere with the operation of the vSphere Client and vSphere Web Client.
    For more information, see the Upgrade the vSphere Client and Install or Upgrade the vSphere Web Client section of the
    vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  • Review the topics in the After You Upgrade vCenter Server section of the vSphere Upgrade Guide for post-upgrade requirements and options.

Upgrading to vCenter Server on a Different Machine

Instead of performing an in-place upgrade to vCenter Server, you might want to use a different machine for your upgrade. Because vCenter Server 5.x requires a 64bit platform, you cannot upgrade from a version of vCenter Server installed on a 32bit platform.

The vCenter Server 5.0 installation media include a data migration tool. When you upgrade to version 5.0, you can use this tool to migrate configuration information such as port settings, SSL certificates, and license information from your existing vCenter Server host. This data migration tool is not supported for vCenter Server 5.1. You cannot directly migrate an existing vCenter Server to a different machine during an upgrade to version 5.1. You can migrate an existing vCenter Server to a different machine during an upgrade to version 5.0, and then perform an in-place upgrade from version 5.0 to version 5.1. For more information on using the data migration tool, see the version 5.0 vSphere Upgrade documentation and  Overview of upgrading or migrating from vCenter Server 4.x to vCenter Server 5.0 (1031307).

See Also

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