2. Upgrading a stand-alone host
3. Upgrading vCenter Server with Simple Install
4. Upgrading vCenter Server components manualy
5. Upgrading hosts with Update Manager and vCenter Server 5.5
6. Upgrading virtual machines
Ok, so what about the custom upgrade? In opposite to Simple Install you can upgrade components separately if they are installed on different machines or if you simply want to have better control over the upgrade process. Upgrade to vCenter Server 5.5 must be done in a particular order, and keep in mind this is important. Mind that if you select vCenter Server in the Installer, it lists prerequisites:
If you’re upgrading from vCenter Server 4.x, you should install them first. When I upgraded from 5.1 I thought that I would be required to upgrade SSO and vCenter Inventory Service first to be able to upgrade vCenter Server itself and I was right – I tried vCenter Server upgrade without satifying the requirements and I got an error after a few initial installation wizard screens when trying to login to Lookup Service saying that SSO should be newer.
In VMware KB: Upgrading to vCenter Server 5.5 best practices article I did not find any reference to this behavior during the upgrade. This is required during the installation so I guess it should be the same for the upgrade. For the sake of clarity I tried the following combinations:
SSO 5.1, Inventory Service 5.1, vCenter Server 5.1 -> upgrade of vCenter Server to 5.5 will not run (as shown above)
SSO 5.1, Inventory Service 5.1, vCenter Server 5.1 -> upgrade of Inventory Service to 5.5 will not run (same problem, newer SSO version required)
SSO 5.1, Inventory Service 5.1, vCenter Server 5.1 -> upgrade of SSO to 5.5 completes successfuly
SSO 5.5, Inventory Service 5.1, vCenter Server 5.1 -> upgrade of vCenter Server to 5.5 will not run with the following error:
SSO 5.5, Inventory Service 5.1, vCenter Server 5.1 -> upgrade of SSO Inventory Service completes successfuly
SSO 5.5, Inventory Service 5.5, vCenter Server 5.1 -> upgrade of vCenter Server to 5.5 completes successfuly
So as during the installation, during the custom upgrade the only correct order is SSO 5.1 -> Inventory Service 5.1 -> vCenter Server 5.1 and let’s keep with that.
During the upgrade of SSO, the Lookup Service will be installed as new. During the upgrade nothing special happes, as I noted here in fact the old version is being uninstalled and the new one installed so it seems to be actually a fresh install thus you will be required to create a new master password and give a name to the site. As per the best practices KB mentioned above, „In upgrades to vCenter Server 5.0 and earlier, which do not include a vCenter Single Sign-On (SSO) service, both the local operating system users and Active Directory users that are registered with vCenter Server continue to work with the upgraded vCenter Server.”
The rest of installation is pretty standard and does not differ much from Simple Install so I will not describe it here.