vcenter upgrade pre-check

As a professional service team member in DellEMC, i work on upgrade / designing of virtual environment on daily basis for different customers. I am sharing the steps  which i follow while upgrading virtual environment and issues which i faced. This is first post of this series which will guide you to do vcenter upgrade pre-check before upgrade

Part 1 –  Pre-Check or data collection before starting vSphere upgrade

  1. Ensure, we have all the credentials in place like

            a. SSO User password

    b.Service account password (If Virtual Center or VUM Service is running with service account

    c.Data base user password

    d. AD Domain admin credentials (to remove / re-join machine in domain)

      2.  Check the target virtual center hardware and software requirement.

vSphere 6  # for virtual center 6

vSphere 6.5

      3. Check the SQL Server requirement for target virtual center.

DB Compatibility

     4.     Check the compatibility of additional plugin / software integrated with source virtual center to target virtual center

          e.g. To run NSX with vSphere 6.5, it should be above 6.3 or above version.


5.  Take backup of SSL certificate. We may need to restore if custom certificates are used

     6. For windows based virtual center, please ensure

   a. Remove anti-virus from server (You can re-install it after upgrade) and if removal is not allowed or possible then please ensure it is          disabled till upgrade is complete.

   b. Remove any backup agent software from Server

   c. If Virtual Center is part of OU in AD with security policy applied, then remove it from OU and move it other OU in AD where security policy are not applied. You can move it back original OU once upgrade is complete.

  d. Reboot the server once above software /settings are removed.

           Note – I would highly  recommend to work on Point 4 because (point a-c) may block VMware service related DLL files and our upgrade                        may fail. This is also recommended by VMware.


7.   Login to virtual center via RDP

a. Check the host name and free space on server


 Important – Please ensure we have sufficient space for upgrade.  For major upgrade like 5.5 to 6.0 I suggest min 30 GB free should be                               available  and for minor  upgrade 10 GB is fine.

b.  Open service.msc and check the virtual center and its related service status

Note – If virtual center service is configured to run with service account then note down account name. We have to login to virtual                                   center via RDP with this account to start upgrade.

c. Go to Administrative Tool and open ODBC (64 bit)


d. Check the advance setting of virtual center to note down SSO server if its embedded or external  (If its external, upgrade the SSO Server first)


e. Take backup of Inventory service database # this might come handy if you are upgrading from 5.1 to 5.5 or 5.5 to 6.0

                  On the source virtual center machine, open the command prompt in the vCenter Server and change the directory to                                  vCenter_Server_installation_directory\Infrastructure\Inventory Service\scripts

                  Run the following command at the prompt to back up the Inventory Service database.

                  backup.bat -file backup_file_name

                  When the backup operation finishes, the message Backup completed successfully appears.


8.   Login to VUM / Update manager via RDP

   a. Check the free space on server and check host name to ensure we logged in correct server / correct host name is set.

       Note – 10 GB free space is fine for major / minor upgrade

b. Open Service.msc and check VUM service status

Note – If VUM Service is running with service account, note down the name and login with service account to start the upgrade.


c. Check ODBC Connection (32 bit)


9.   Login to Database server via RDP

     a. Check the disk space on server and host name to ensure we logged in to correct server

      Note – Please ensure we have sufficient free space on server for smooth upgrade process.

    b. Check the MS SQL service status in service.msc

    c. Take backup of virtual center and VUM data base backup before Upgrade

    d. Open SQL Management studio with either

            e. on vcenter datbase –> Task –> backup

           f. Select Disk under destination

            g. Select the drive where you want to back up the data base. Give the file name “vcenter.bak”  as shown below

e.g. Here I have selected “I” drive and created “RCM Upgrade” folder

         h.  Repeat the same procedure for VUM data base backup


Related Article –     Part 2- vCenter upgrade steps


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