Migrating vCenter Server 6 / vCSA 6 to vCSA 6.5

One of the most exciting changes in vSphere 6.5 refers to the vCenter Server Appliance. With this version, vCSA becomes The King in the North, he’s in charge,  the boss, the head man, the top dog, big cheese. I really want to try it and now it is time to upgrade my lab. In earlier versions we’d have to install a new vCSA but now, we just need the right ISO file 🙂

Windows vCenter Server -> vCSA 6.5

  1. Enter the SSO Administrator credential and wait for the script to complete the deployment.It will take a little to identify your current information and will show a message “waiting for migration to start” when ready:migration-assistant2
  2. Go to another windows machine – must be different form the existing vCenter – prepare to mount the VMware VSCA 6.5 ISO and launch the following program: vcsa-ui-installer\win32\ installer migratevc2vcsa0Select the Migrate Optionmigratevc2vcsa
  3. Type the right information required for the vCenter Server. Click Next and Accept the Certificate window.migratevc2vcsa-2
  4. Now it’s time to determine where new VCSA appliance is going to be deployed. Type the Target ESX, and credentials. Accept the Certificate window as well.migration-assistant3
  5. Time for typing the name for our new brand vCSA virtual machine and password.migration-assistant4
  6. Now it’s time for choosing the final deployment sizemigration-assistant5
  7. And which datastore is going to be used.migration-assistant6
  8. Finally the temporary networking settings. Make sure you use a reachable subnet network.migration-assistant7
  9. Last window is a summary, check all information and click Finish when ok.migration-assistant8
  10. Now the process will take a bit longer. Your future vCSA 6.5 is being deplyoed. migration-assistant9

Update: During this post creation I noticed there was another brilliant post regarding this procedure here, so I decided to give a short explanation of what is next and continue my post by starting covering also the upgrade for an existing vCenter Appliance.

So after a successful deployment, our new vCSA 6.5 is running partially operational. A second installation stage is beginning to configure the new appliance, export the main existing configuration, power off the source vCenter and import the data to the new vCSA. Last step is accessing our new vCenter Appliance using the management url and replace the IP address with the right one.

 vCSA 6.0 -> vCSA 6.5

A key point here is that you could achieve this upgrade on from vCSA 5.5 Update2 version or later. In my case, 6.0 is in place. As I had my lab with an external PSC, another important thing to remark is that I needed to do this procedure twice. One for upgrading PSC and another for vCSA. This part is focusing just on the vCSA as I already upgraded my PSC before.

  1. We are starting from the same .ISO and the same installer, but this time we are going to perform an Upgrade, choosing the second option: UPGRADE.migratevc2vcsa0
  2. Now we are going to type the data for both our current vCSA and the ESXi where the appliance is running. Click NEXT when ready.
  3. 1Again we are prompted for the Target ESXi wher the new vCSA is going to be deployed. Type it and press NEXT. 2.PNG
  4. Now type the name for the new vCSA and confirm root password. NEXT when ready.4.PNG
  5. As in the migration procedure, we have to select the infrastructure size we are dealing with. Choose it and press NEXT.5.PNG
  6. Target datastore is our next option to choose. Select the right one and click NEXT.6.PNG
  7. Now its time for networking parameters. Click NEXT when ready.7.PNG
  8. Confirm the summary window and press FINISH.8.PNG
  9. The installation progress window is displayed. Now it is time to have a coffee.9.PNG
  10. When the stage is done, we are ready to begin the last stage.Press CONTINUE.10.PNG
  11. Next stage is ready.Click NEXT.11.PNG
  12. A new input for the existing vCSA and ESXi is needed. Press NEXT when ready. 12
  13. Now we need to decided what is going to be copied to the new appliance. Press NEXT when ready.13.PNG
  14. A new confirmation has to be done. Press FINISH when ready. We can’t proceed whitout checking the 14.PNGtext regarding the backup.
  15. We need to know the Source vCSA is going to be shutdown. Confirm pressing OK15.PNG
  16. Data will start to be transferred between to the new vCSA. Time for a short break.16.PNG
  17. When the transfer is done, we can close the window noting the urls shown below. Basically they are still the same.18.PNG
  18. When we access for instance, to the Appliance URL we can see a new option for HTML5 is available, not fully operational though. 😦19.PNG

In any case, a new vCSA 6.5 is running on our system and it goes like that:

20.PNGWe can appreciate it is faster, as the Fling Appliance already was, so a new fresh web client to get used to 🙂 . Don’t forget to delete the older versions once you confirmed the proper working of this new 6.5.


Chaíto !


4 thoughts on “Migrating vCenter Server 6 / vCSA 6 to vCSA 6.5”

  1. Hi, thanks for the good Guide. When i start a upgrade vom 6.0U3 VCSA to 6.5U1d VCSA. I choose Upgrade an not migrate right?
    With Uprade the new deployed VCSA change the Name and IP- Address to the previous name and IP address of the old VCSA?

    Thanks for respoanse 🙂

    Best regards,
    Stefan from Germany

    PS: Sorry for my bad english.

    1. Hi there Stefan,
      Thank you for reading my post.
      You’re right, the correct choice is Upgrade, not Migrate. I changed the typo. 🙂
      With the Upgrade procedure, a new vCSA is created on first place and later all configuration is copied from the Source (Old) vCSA. But at the end, you’ll get the same IP Address and Domain Name so your current FQDN will remain the same and vital in this process.
      I recommend you taking a snapshot from your current vCSA before anyway :).

      Best regards,

  2. Hi Stefan,
    Not quite sure whether vCSA 6.0 has that option through the VAMI.
    But if your vCSA version is giving you that option, it will be much better and transparent. No doubt.
    But still a snapshot is suggested 🙂


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