Upgrading your VCSA in your VMware Cloud

The following instructions describe the process to upgrade the vCenter Server Appliance within your environment. The outlined steps are applicable to any version upgrades.

Please note there are instructions included on setting up VCSA backups and it is recommended before performing the vCenter upgrade. All CI/CD services should be paused during the upgrade window. Typical upgrade window has been 20-30 minutes for the vCenter. There are two types of upgrade processes, upgrading a major version like 6.5 to 6.7 or 6.7 to 7.0, and minor version upgrades like upgrading 6.7 to 6.7 Update 3. We will cover both types of processes below.

Upgrading a major version (vSphere 6.5 to 6.7, 6.7 to 7.0)

Upgrading to a major version of VMware like vSphere 7.0 requires the assistance of MacStadium support to complete. The upgrade process requires access to the VCSA appliance in a manner the customer does not have access. Because of this, we have written a guide for all the steps that need to be followed for a specific release and listed those out separately. Please refer to the guide below for a step by step process on upgrading your vSphere environment and information on what the impact will be to your environment.

MacStadium Docs: Upgrade process for vSphere 7.0

Upgrading a minor version (vSphere 6.7 to 6.7 Update 3, minor patches, etc.)

Performing a minor version upgrade is a simpler process and can be done entirely by the customer without needing MacStadium Support. While we're here for you, we expect that most customers won't require MacStadium support to upgrade their environments. However, as you read over the requirements outlined below, if you are unsure of how to proceed, please open a support ticket, so we can assist you. When following this process, determine which code version you want to upgrade to prior to following these steps.

NOTE: This process generally requires about an hour of down-time. Please plan appropriately.

Overview + Gotchas

VMware recommends backing up your VCSA before performing any upgrades.

To learn more, check out this guide on how to setup VCSA backups for your environment. Please read through it and perform at least one backup before starting the upgrade.

You must upgrade your vCenter environment before upgrading your ESX hosts.

Upgrading your hosts before your VCSA will cause the ESXi hosts to disconnect and not be able to communicate with your VCSA. If you run into this issue, please open a MacStadium support ticket.

All CI/CD services should be paused during the upgrade window.

You will be notified once all the hosts have been migrated and network information updated and you are ready to use the new VCSA and cut over any CI/CD functions to the new environment.

For the ESXi hosts, typical upgrade window has been 5-10 minutes per host.

Simultaneous host upgrades are recommended. In the past, a host-per-cluster upgrade process was implemented, performing the maintenance on multiple clusters, a single host per cluster at a time. CI/CD functions do not need to be paused during the ESX host upgrades. However, it is recommended to monitor the environment during upgrade tasks to ensure hosts come back up after reboots as expected and to monitor for performance issues. Any host-related issues can be addressed by opening a support ticket.

This guide provides two methods of upgrading: the online upgrade or the offline upgrade.

The online upgrade requires internet access for your VCSA appliance. If you have blocked internet access for your ESXi network or your vCenter appliance, you will not be able to use this method and need to use the offline method.

vCenter Upgrade Instructions for Minor Versions

Online Upgrade process

📘

NOTE:

This process is straight forward, and can be followed as long as your VCSA has access to the internet. If you are not sure whether or not your VCSA has access to the internet, you can follow these steps and we will call out points where you might see a failure if you do not have internet access. If that is the case, you will need to follow the Offline Upgrade process.

  1. Go to https://vCenter_IP:5480 where vCenter_IP is your VCSA IP.

  2. Enter username: root and Admin password: *********, which can be found in your IP Plan.

  • If your Administrator password has been changed, and you need to recover it, please open a MacStadium Support ticket and we will provide the password back to you.
  1. Select Update from the menu on the left.

  2. At the top right is a button called Check Updates.

  • Select the Check Updates button and select the Check CD-ROM and URL button.
  • You should see a list of updates populate in the table below.
  • Select the appropriate version you want to upgrade to from the list and then Stage and Install.

🚧

NOTE:

If you do not see the list populate, you may not have internet access for your vCenter environment. You will likely need to go to the Offline Upgrade Process.

📘

NOTE:

You can select Stage Only to prep your environment instead of upgrading immediately. This can help cut down on the expected downtime of your environment, however we still recommend 1-2 hours for the actual upgrade window. If you use Stage Only, you will need to repeat these steps to this point to begin the actual upgrade.

  1. Read through the License Agreement and check the box and hit Next.

  2. If you would like to participate in the Customer Improvement Experience you can leave the box checked and select Next. Otherwise, uncheck this box and select Next.

  3. Ensure you have backed up your VCSA (see the How to Backup VCSA guide if you have not already), check the box and select Start.

  4. If you did not Stage previously, you will see the Staging process start. If you selected Stage Only, you will only stage the upgrade and need to perform these same steps again during your upgrade maintenance window.

  5. Once the upgrade is complete, you will need to reload your browser.

  6. Log back in to https://vCenter_IP:5480 where vCenter_IP is your VCSA IP.

  7. Finally, verify the vCenter version shows the correct vSphere version you selected.

Offline Upgrade Process

These are additional steps that should be followed if your vCenter is isolated from the internet and cannot download the latest updates online. MacStadium provides the install media for your
vCenter through the CD-ROM and allows you to do the upgrade through this.

📘

NOTE:

This will require opening a MacStadium support ticket to perform the upgrade.

You will follow the Online Upgrade Process after MacStadium has provided the correct install media to your environment and MacStadium will remove the install media when your upgrade is complete.

  1. Login to the MacStadium Portal using your credentials and open a support ticket. For the title, use "vCenter Offline Upgrade".

  2. Your ticket will be updated when the update media has been attached to your VCSA and you may begin the upgrade process.

  3. Follow the Online Upgrade process and finish the upgrade in your approved maintenance window.

  4. Once the upgrade is complete, update the MacStadium support ticket to say your upgrade is complete. We will detach the install media from your VCSA at that time.

Once your vCenter has been upgraded, you can move onto the ESXi Host upgrade steps.


Did this page help you?