How to Upgrade VMware vCenter Appliance (VCSA) 5.5 to 6.5.0 u1e

The following upgrade process will explain you the step by step procedure to upgrade VCSA (vCenter Appliance) with embedded SSO 5.5 to VCSA 6.5 U1e with embedded PSC.

Pre-upgrade check:

  • Download the latest VCSA ISO from
  • Temporary static IP Address for new vCenter Server
  • Rename the existing vCenter server (VCSA 5.5) with desired name, if you desire to use existing VM name (This is VM name only in vCenter, not the vCenter Server DNS/Hostname).
    • After the successful completion of upgrade process, the existing network configuration and DNS/hostname, etc., will be automatically configured to new vCenter Server.
  • Make sure free resources are available on ESXi host and free space on a Datastore to deploy the new VCSA 6.5.
  • Keep vCenter Server Appliance root and vSphere Administrator login password
  • Keep all the components in your VCSA 5.5 environments has NTP configured and synced
  • There is a common issue during most of upgrades with vCenter Server SSL certificate, it is good to regenerate the SSL certificate before starting the upgrade process or do the same if the pre-upgrade check throws error.
  • Identify an ESXi host to place the new vCenter 6.5 during the Upgrade process and keep the host credentials ready.
  • Copy migration-assistant folder from VCSA 6.5 ISO to your VUM server and keep VMware-Migration-Assistant running until the upgrade process completes.
  • Disable DRS or keep in manual in the settings of the vCenter server VM cluster

This upgrade process has two stages with multiple steps in each stage:

  1. Deploy vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Services Controller
  2. Data transfer and appliance setup
    1. Data copy from source vCenter (VCSA 5.5) to target vCenter Server (VCSA 6.5)
    2. Set up target vCenter Server and start services
    3. Import copied data to target vCenter Server (VCS 6.5)

Let’s Start the Upgrade process:

Mount or Extract VCSA 6.5 ISO to a folder and open path \\VMware-VCSA-all-6.5.0-7515524\vcsa-ui-installer\win32\ and run installer.exe

Installer runs and opens with different option, choose Upgrade option and click next


Stage 1: Deploy vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Services Controller

Accept End user license agreement and click next

Connect to source appliance by providing Source vCenter Server FQDN or IP address and click connect to source,


Provide the source vCenter details (VCSA 5.5) with SSO username, password and VCSA root password and ESXi host or vCenter Server that manages the source appliance. Click Next,

If you have entered ESXi host which is part of a DRS cluster, may occur vMotions during the deployment process. To prevent this, either connect to the vCenter Server or set not the DRS to Fully Automated DRS or disable DRS until the Upgrade process.

Accept the Certificate Warning of the ESXi

Select deployment type, in my case it is Embedded Platform Services Controller and click next

Specify the target vCenter Server (new vCenter VCSA 6.5) settings and username, password. Click next

Select deployment size of the vCenter VCSA 6.5 VM based on your size of your infrastructure, click next and enter target VM name


Select the datastore for the storage location of new vCenter Server, remember the deployment size selected and choose the datastore based on size, and click next

Enter temporary network details for the new vCenter Server to deploy the instance to copy the data and update network settings from source to target. Click next


Verify the details to complete the Deploy vCenter Appliance Stage, click next


Wait for the process to deploy the vCenter Appliance and click continue, check the VM deployment progress in vCenter:


Wait for the Pre-upgrade checks to complete


Upgrade wizard will display the Pre-upgrade check errors and warnings, if there is no errors – you can proceed to next stage or you need to resolve the errors before moving to next stage, most of the warnings displayed can be ignored and they are based on the available vcenter plugins, most of them are not enabled, even though verify the plugins and take appropriate action from the vendors before moving to next:

Specify the site name for VMware SSO of the Appliance, you can leave to default-site as local also or your interest to name the site, this site name will be used if you want to connect to your PSC to the other vCenter servers

Select the configuration upgrade data to be copied from source vcenter to new target vcenter. It is best to select the complete data i.e., Configuration, events, tasks, and perfromance metrics and click next


Join the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program and Click next


Review the settings before submitting the wizard to start the next stage

Once you select the Finish, Shutdown warning pops out – The source vCenter will be shut-down once the network configuration enabled on destination server and it imports copied data to new target vCenter VCSA 6.5, click ok


Stage 2: Data transfer and appliance setup


Wait for the process to complete the copy data from source to target, setup target vCenter and import data to target vCenter Server.


Access the Appliance Getting Started Page url above to open vSphere Web Client.

Login to vCenter Appliance and check the new appliance console.


Hope this is useful. Please let me know your feedback in the comments section below and reach me if you have any issues during the upgrade. Good Luck with your upgrades….!!!!

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of my new posts by email.