How To: Upgrading to vSphere 7

Understanding the Upgrade Process

Since vSphere 7 has been out for a while, I figured it would be good to do a quick blog post on how to upgrade vSphere. I was currently running 6.7, and wanted to check out the process of upgrading using my existing VCSA. This upgrade is not like typical upgrades where you download a package and upgrade the software using the existing installation; rather, the VCSA process is a bit different in that each “upgrade” is a new deployment of the VCSA, and a migration of the data from the existing VCSA to the newly deployed VCSA. Fortunately, VMWare has made this process extremely easy. I have found this process to be very reliable as well. In essence, a new VM is deployed and a new VCSA is provisioned on using another IP. Then everything is migrated and the original VCSA is powered down. That’s pretty much it. Now, lets take a moment and see how the process unfolds step by step.

Performing the Deployment/Upgrade/Migration Process

First, download the installed from VMware. Since I am using windows, once I have finished downloading the installer ISO, I headed to the directory \vcsa-ui-installer\win3 and ran this as administrator.

Please note: vSphere 7.0 disables TLS 1.0 and 1.1, so ensure you have no dependencies that require this.

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Since I am upgrading and not deploying new, I selected upgrade.
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Next, I will select deploy vCenter Server. Like I mentioned before this is a two step process in which the first step is deploying a new VCSA. Once completed, then all information from the original VCSA is migrated over.
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Accept the EULA.
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I have an existing VCSA, so I enter the necessary information here, along with the HTTPS port required.
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Next, I enter the authentication and Target ESXi information for deployment of the new 7.0 VCSA.
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Accept the Certificate Warning.
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Enter the target ESXi host credentials. In this instance, it will be root.
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Next, it is time to set a new root password for the soon to be deployed VCSA.
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Select Tiny. Since this is a lab setting, Tiny is all that I need. Review your environment first to ensure you have selected the correct sizing deployment based on your environment.
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Next, select the necessary datastore for deployment of the new VCSA.
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Enter necessary network information, such as IP, Subnet, Gateway and DNS.
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Configure network settings, which includes using an available IP address that is not the current IP of the existing VCSA. Once the new VCSA is fully deployed, it will reboot with the original VCSAs IP address. Finally select Finish to initial the first deployment step.
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Select continue once the first stage has completed successfully.
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Next, the data migration portion of the upgrade will begin. The process may take a significant amount of time depending on how much data you have to migrate.
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During the process, pre-checks will be run to ensure a smooth upgrade process is possible before it begins.
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Review and warnings that related to extensions, etc.
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As stated earlier, you will now migrate all of your data. Use this opportunity to select only what you want migrated. More data equals more time.
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Select if you wish to join the CEIP program, then select next.
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Select finish to start the second portion of the migration.
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Select OK to accept the warning that the original vCenter server will be shut down once the new vCenter server is up and running.
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During this process, source data will be copied over from the original vCenter server.
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Throughout the process, different data is transferred and imported into the new vCenter.
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