Upgrade vCenter 5.5 to 6.5 – the path

Today, I had to prepare a migration for a customer that start from version 5.5 to 6.5 u1. I have done some migration but most of the time, it was pretty much easy because I kept all the roles in the target. It means that I started to migrate from an embedded vCenter to an embedded vcenter as target.

By embedded, it means that all the solution was inside one vm (PSC and vCenter) for those who are familiar with this architecture.


A colleague has made all the audit so clearly, I assume that I have all the requirements to provide such migration.

Version of vCenter, topology, Esxi hosts, dvswitch etc ….


Vmware provides a great solution to help define the path to migrate your existing solution to the target you define.


As a result, you obtain all the “process” you will have to apply to have your target solution like you want to.

Exemple : Upgrade path from vcenter 5.5 on windows to vcenter 6.5 with external PSC because I want to use some solutions like linked mode later for example.


The hypothesis :

(a) Use Enhanced Linked Mode

(b) External PSC

(c) No vCenter HA

(d) No PSC HA

(e) SSO Domain consolidation not required

(f) Migrate from vCenter Server on Windows 5.5 to vCenter Server Appliance 6.5


The result :

(1) If using embedded SSO, reconfigure to use external SSO (KB 2033620)

(2) Decomission the embedded SSO instances

(3) Use the 6.5 Migration Tool to migrate and upgrade all external SSO instances to PSCs. This must be done for all SSO instances within the domain

(4) Upgrade and migrate all vCenter Server instances to vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 using the migration tool











Vmware provides all the useful links and kbs and so on to helps you doing the migration.






















Current Configuration :

1 vCenter server with embedded sso : vsphere.local

3.1 – Install new sso

Install new PSC in version 5.5


Install Windows Server and launch vSphere 5.5 installer program. Select vCenter Single Sign On


















Click on “Next”












Validate and click “Next”












Select Standalone SSO deployment












Define Administrator@vsphere.local password












Define the site name or leave default












Validate default ports












Validate the default installation path












Click on install












Installation starts












Installation is finished and the first steps too ….












With this step, we made no change on the existing platform, we have just installed a new server with vCenter SSO role. Now we will take some kinds of “safe” process to avoid any mystakes.


3.2 – Don’t forget Backup

We are going to backup all the vCenter server. Because I am using virtualized solution, I can use snapshot solution and of course external and consistency backup tools to guarantee that I will be able to restore the entire configuration.


3.3 – Migration script

A script is available to automate the configuration. I didn’t make it but I am using it so thanks to him to provides such “facility”.

FĂ©idhlim O’Leary
Staff Technical Support Training Specialist at VMware

Automating vCenter Server 5.5 repoint to a new SSO 5.5

By default you have to unzip sso_svccfg wich is by default installed on C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\VirtualCenter Server\ssoregtool

DON’T WORRY, the script control and tell you what to do …



















Now it’s a coffee break … during the process














A little check to the migration

















Let’s finished the process …

















So the phase is nearly finished :





3.4 – Let’s do some small controls …

Connection with viclient















I had some errors with my connection … I started Vmware VirtualCenter Server services and test again …









viclient connection is fine …
















Webclient is too …



























Now that is fine, let’s move to the cleaning phase of vCenter 5.5 …

3.5 – Remove SSO on vCenter Server


Lauch the vCenter SSO program












Select “Delete”












And delete again …












The process of moving to an external SSO is done ..















Let’s move to the vsphere 6.5 migration ….

3.6 vSphere 6.5 Migration

3.6.1 Install the new PSC …

On the existing SSO server, launch migration assistant tools (which is located on the VCSA iso image.













From another computer, launch the migration tool




















Select the “Migrate” process then select “Next” on the first step















Fill in all the elements to migrate SSO to PSC















Specify the target host or vCenter to deploy the appliance inside
















Specify the root VM Name and the root account password
















Define the storage placement















Specify the temporary IP to use during the migration
















Validate stage 1 and click Finish
















Let’s have a quick break now …















Deployment of Phase 1 is finished
















Now let’s doing the second phase
















Control the vCenter server version
















Define Domain Account

















Finish the PSC migration

















Migration process
















PSC Migrated
















After this steps, VMware vCenter is available in version 5.5 but we are now using an External PSC in version 6.5. The next and “final” migration step is to have a vCenter 6.5 with VCSA.

3.6.2 vCenter Migration

Like we’ve done on previous phase, we have to launch the migration assistant first.














Then from another computer, launch the executable on the VCSA iso provided by Vmware.




















Specify the source vCenter to migrate
















Specify the VM name and the capacity of the vCenter































Define the temporary IP address to manage data migration
















Click on finish to start the creation and manage the transition
















Let’s the phase 1 of the vCenter’s migration begin
















The first phase is finished. Click on “Continue”
















Let’s begin the phase 2 of the process. Click on Next.
















There is a warning with extension validation.

















Continue with Active Directory integration.
















Let’s select the data you want to download.
















Then validate and launch the last process.
















Validate the migration.
















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