vSphere 8 Upgrade! How to upgrade your vCenter Server 6.5\6.7\7.0 to vCenter 8.0

On October 11, 2022, VMware announced the initial availability (IA) of VMware vSphere 8.0. This new status of “initial availability” adheres to VMware’s new release model for all future vSphere releases. This new vSphere release includes many new features as well as many deprecated features.

Let’s have a look into upgrading our environment to the new version. Fortunately, the procedure for upgrading VMware vCenter Server 8.0 is the same as it was for earlier versions. For those who have never updated a VMware vCenter Server instance or who want a fast refresher, I will offer a walkthrough of the procedure in this post.

Before we start:

  1. Download ISO -> https://customerconnect.vmware.com/downloads/info/slug/datacenter_cloud_infrastructure/vmware_vsphere/8_0
  2. Check the Product Interoperability Matrix.
  3. Take a snapshot or backup of your vCenter Server.
  4. Prepare a temporary IP address.

Let’s start:

  1. Mount ISO.
  2. Go to vcsa-ui-installer.
  3. Accordingly to the system, you are on please select the folder and start the installation.
  4. From the wizard, page click on Install.

NOTE: You must run this action from a computer that has access to your source VMware vCenter Server appliance and the hosts/vCenter server where the VMware vCenter Server 8.0 appliance will be deployed. Once you’ve mounted the ISO, run the installation for your operating system. In my instance, I’m using a Windows-based computer.

  • Click NEXT on the Introduction page.
  • Accept the terms of the license agreement and click NEXT.

Stage 1: Deploy vCenter Server

Connect to source appliance

At this stage, the installer will ask for a vCenter Server Appliance, please provide the FQDN of your existing vCenter and click CONNECT TO SOURCE

After clicking CONNECT TO SOURCE, the installation will prompt you for information about the source VMware vCenter Server instance. The FQDN, SSO administrator account, root account password, FQDN of the vCenter Server/ESXi host that administers the appliance, and login credentials for the controlling vCenter Server/ESXi host.

vCenter Server deployment target

At this stage please provide ESXi hosts or vCenter where the installer will deploy the VMware vCenter Server 8.0 appliance. I provided ESXi hosts FQDN, but you can provide vCenter FQDN instead of ESXi FQDN.

Set up target vCenter Server VM

Here we need to specify the name of our vCenter VM and set up the root password.

NOTE: It doesn’t need to be FQDN. Please remember that the VM name cannot be the same as your existing vCenter VM. To avoid any issues with naming I added _old to my existing VM in vCenter.

Select deployment size

Please choose the required deployment size. The installer will choose the smallest deployment size that suits your existing settings by default. This decision will take into account the existing CPU, RAM, and storage allocations. This is also an excellent moment to confirm that the size of your vCenter Server deployment corresponds to your present or anticipated environment.

Select datastore

Please select datastore. I am going to use Thin mode for my deployment. If you want to know the difference between Thick and Thin provisioning, please read this article: https://angrysysops.com/2022/05/18/how-to-change-the-thick-or-thin-provisioning-of-a-virtual-disk/

Configure network settings

Please configure your network settings. Obviously, this section is very individual and I cannot tell you what are the right settings for you. You need to know:

  • Your home lab IP range
  • Temporary IP address
  • Your network mask
  • Your default gateway
  • Your DNS IP
Ready to complete stage 1

Read carefully summarization page and if you are happy with the setting you put in, please go ahead and click Finish.

Congratulation! Stage 1 is in progress. It will take a few minutes to complete it. During this stage, various processes are taking a place:

  1. Deploying the new vCenter Server appliance
  2. Powering on the new vCenter Server appliance
  3. Waiting for RPM installation to start
  4. Setting up storage
  5. Installing various RPMs

Once Stage 1 is completed, the message will pop up on the screen. We can continue the installation from the wizard or we can go to VAMI (ip_of_the_vCenter:5480)

Stage 2: vCenter Server

Connecting to source vCenter Server

After the Introduction screen, which describes the remainder of the upgrade process, the wizard will confirm that it can access the source vCenter Server Appliance using the connection details provided during Stage 1 of the upgrade process.

During this phase, the pre-upgrade check is performed and the detailed screen will be displayed if any warnings or errors are found. These warnings may include deprecated features, data that the installer will not migrate, certificate-related problems, or plugins that are no longer supported.

In my case I could ignore all of the warnings, but please have a closer look at this stage and try to resolve the issues, especially once the resolution is provided.

Select upgrade data

This phase of the upgrade will let you select which data the upgrade process will migrate from the source VMware vCenter Server instance. You can choose from:

  • Configuration and Inventory
  • Configuration, Inventory, Tasks and Events
  • Configuration, Inventory, Tasks, Events and Performance Metrics

The more data one chose to be copied the more space and time the upgrade process will take.

One can come across also the free space issue, where the installer will inform the user that there is not enough space to copy data. To solve this problem please read this article: -> https://angrysysops.com/2022/09/06/the-default-partition-has-only-2-6-gb-of-available-space-enter-a-new-export-directory-on-the-source-machine-below/

Configure CEIP

Make a decision if you want to participate in VMware Customer Improvement Program and click NEXT.

Ready to complete

Same as in stage 1 now you are presented with a summarization page. Have a look if you are happy with the configuration. If the data is valid, verify that you have a backup of the source vCenter Server appliance and click FINISH to finish the update.

The installer will now notify you that after migrating the network configuration to the VMware vCenter Server 8.0 appliance, it will shut down the source vCenter Server appliance.

Congratulation! Stage 2 is in progress. During this stage, various processes are taking a place:

  1. Copying data from the source vCenter Server appliance to the target vCenter Server appliance
  2. Setting up the target vCenter Server appliance and starting services
  3. Importing the data into the target vCenter Server appliance

Finally, you are presented with Install – Stage 2: Complete information. Congratulation! You have upgraded your vCenter Server to version 8.0!

Here is a step-by-step video :

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