Upgrading to VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 from Windows vCenter 5.1

My coworkers and I recently undertook the task of upgrading our vSphere 5.1 environment to version 5.5. While upgrades of these nature aren’t really newsworthy we did something of increasing interest in the VMware world: switched from the Windows-based vCenter Server on a physical host to the vCenter Server Appliance, or vCSA, which is a VM. This is the story of that process. If you aren’t familiar with the vCSA it is a vCenter implementation delivered as a SuSE-based appliance from VMware. It has been around for several major versions, but until vSphere 5.5 it didn’t have both feature parity with Windows and the ability to support very many hosts & VMs without connecting to an external database. Under vSphere …

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Updates to My vCSA 5.1 to 5.5 Notes

I just updated my notes on upgrading the VMware vCenter Server Appliance from 5.1 to 5.5. I added a couple of things that have become issues: Remove all non-standard users from SSO before the upgrade.┬áIf you added users to the 5.1 Single Sign-On system directly those users will be copied to the 5.5 vCSA as members of SYSTEM-DOMAIN. Unfortunately they will then become trapped, undeleteable & unchangeable, as VMware didn’t think to make the SYSTEM-DOMAIN an editable domain. You can see them, and you can still log in, but you cannot remove them or change their passwords. Your only recourse is to remove the permissions for that user from vCenter, which still means they can log in, but won’t have …

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Notes on Upgrading the VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.1 to 5.5

I’ve done a few upgrades of the VMware vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) 5.1 now, to the GA release of 5.5 (build 1312297). Here are my observations: You need a second IP temporarily for the upgrade. The way it works is that you deploy a new vCSA, then the two of them talk to each other to do the upgrade. When they’re done copying stuff around the process will shut the old one off and reboot the new one so it’s fully functional. While the need for a second IP is fairly obvious, I managed to overlook it. Don’t specify a hostname for the new vCSA in the OVF/OVA deployment wizard if you don’t want to change the name of the …

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