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Best practices for upgrading to vCenter Server 6.5 (2147686)

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Purpose

This article provides pre-upgrade information for vCenter Server 6.5 and related components.

Resolution

Caution:
  • Though different upgrade paths are possible and may complete successfully, VMware does not recommend some of the resulting topologies. 
  • If your services are distributed across multiple machines, the upgrades must be done sequentially, not concurrently. 

Deployment Models

To determine the deployment model that you want to upgrade to, see Supported and deprecated topologies for VMware vSphere 6.5 (2147672).  It is recommended to migrate off of a deprecated support topology before upgrading to vSphere 6.5.  For more information, see the Moving from a Deprecated to a Supported vCenter Server Deployment Topology Before Upgrade or Migration section of the vSphere Upgrade Guide.  

Caution: Repointing vCenter Server between Sites in a vSphere Domain is no longer supported in vSphere 6.5.

Staged upgrade across multiple maintenance Windows

If you have a complex vSphere 5.x or 6.0 environment, you may prefer to upgrade your vSphere environment over the course of several maintenance windows. It is possible to upgrade the vSphere environment in stages. 
These are the general order of the upgrades:
  1. Upgrade each vCenter Single Sign-On or Platform Services Controller one at a time.

    Note: For 5.5, only if vCenter Single Sign-On is installed on a separate machine than vCenter Server.
  2. Upgrade each vCenter Server one at a time.
  3. Upgrade each ESXi host one at a time.

For more information about each transition step including diagrams, see the Upgrade or Migration Order and Mixed-Version Transitional Behavior for Multiple vCenter Server Instance Deployments section in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.

vCenter Server for Windows requirements

Caution: vCenter Server 6.5 uses the Log on as batch job permission for several local users that are automatically created during installation and are added to the local security policy. If this permission is removed services will fails to start. Ensure that GPO's do not override this permission. For more information, see:
To install vCenter Server on a Windows virtual machine or physical server, your system must meet specific hardware and software requirements.

For more information, see:

vCenter Server Appliance requirements

Before upgrading to vSphere 6.0, ensure to review the important information in these sections:

Migrating from vCenter Server for Windows to the vCenter Server Appliance

It is possible to migrate a vCenter Server installation on Windows to a vCenter Server Appliance installation while upgrading to version 6.5.  

For more information, see:
  • System Requirements for Migrating vCenter Server Deployments to vCenter Server Appliance Deployments section in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  • Prerequisites for Migrating vCenter Server, vCenter Single Sign-On, and Platform Services Controller section in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  • Known Limitations section in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
Notes:
  • The vSphere Web Client 6.5 requires Adobe Flash Player 16 or later. For more information, see the vSphere Web Client Software Requirement section in the vSphere Installation and Setup Guide.

Additional Information

See Also

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