Upgrade vCenter Appliance VCSA FROM 5.1 to 5.5

With 5.5 released and lots of people using the vCenter Appliance (VCSA) I figured I would write a visual guide to upgrading the appliance.  vCenter is always the first step in the upgrade.  I will be showing the steps to upgrade from 5.1 to 5.5.

The upgrade process is as follows:

  1. Deploy the new VCSA from the OVF with a new IP that can talk to your old VCSA
  2. Import keys that allow them to talk to each other
  3. Input some new information
  4. Data is transfered from the old VCSA to the new one
  5. New VCSA takes over the ip of the original VCSA
  6. Old VCSA is left powered off

I will use the terms source VCSA 5.1 and destination VCSA 5.5.

  • Snapshot the source for recovery purposes
  • Login to source vcenter via https://vcenter_ip:548
  • VCSA 5840



  • Deploy the new version of the vcenter appliance from the OVF with a IP address that can talk to the old appliance (we will call this the destination appliance)
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  • Power on the appliance
  • Login to new appliance with https://destination_vcenter_ip:5480 and login via u: root p:vmware
  • Accept the EULA
  • Select Upgrade from Previous version
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  • It will provide a key that needs to be cut and pasted into the source machine
  • Cut and paste key from destination appliance:
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  • Import will take a while.  Once complete it will provide you a key to import into the destination machine:
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  • Next -> It may complain about the host names click ok. If asked to replace the certs say yes… unless you have custom certs in your environment.
  • 5.5 requires a new SSO password so you have to provide one on the destination machine
  • It will then try to bring in your hosts.  Confirm they look ok then next->
  • It will run some checks and let you know what it found.
  • Next to start the transfer -> It will ask if you snapshotted your old machine you should have
  • Then start the process it will take a while to run. During this process both machine will reboot and your new machine will end up with your old machines IP address and vcenter duties leaving the old one powered off.

Then you should be upgraded.  You can read more about the process here:



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