I have a late 2013 Macbook Pro. I run Mojave with Fusion 11 and need to upgrade to Big Sur to access a new program for my business. My understanding is that Big Sur needs Fusion 12. So what is the process? Do I upgrade to Big Sur first and then upgrade/purchase to Fusion 12? Or do I do the other way around. And do I need to reload Win 7 after upgrading to Fusion 12. And do I need to reload VMWare Tools? Can someone point me to a process? I am strictly an "applicance" operator and know very little about software upgrades.
What's the hardware in that machine? The reason that I ask, is that Big Sur and later add a substantial load to the host, and we're seeing performance issues after upgrading on marginal machines. You really need at least a 4 core 8GB host to run VM's well on Monterey, and big sur is right on the cusp.
In any case, the process is to shut down, not suspend the virtual machine. Uninstall Fusion 11 (drag to the trash, empty trash). Upgrade to Big Sur, install Fusion 12, boot the VM. It'll prompt you to upgrade the virtual hardware, then once it's booted, upgrade vmware tools in the guest from the menu.
I would perform a full manual uninstall of Fusion 11 before upgrading to Big Sur per KB article https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1017838
Consider making a backup of that shut down Fusion VM to an external disk before performing the upgrades. Use the Finder to copy it, and don’t depend on a Time Machine backup of a VM.
You will also need a new license as Fusion 11 licenses won’t work on Fusion 12. You are eligible for upgrade pricing to Fusion 13 if you own a Fusion 11 license. That Fusion 13 license can then be downgraded to a Fusion 12 license through the VMware Customer Connect portal.