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mlarrivee
Contributor
Contributor

vCenter upgrade 5.5 to 6.5 via Fresh install??

Hi guys,

we are currently running vCenter 5.5 on Windows 2008 R2 with an external SQL 2008 R2 Database.

We are now considering moving to vCenter 6.5 and at the same time moving our Windows servers to Windows 2012 R2 and Sql 2012 R2.  What would be the best way to do this?  Fresh install and move all the hosts over the new vCenter?

Current enviroment

- 5 clusters

- about 40 hosts total

- dvSwitch with multiple port groups

The easiest way I have seen for now is probably by moving to VCSA with the migration tool but the organisation is not very enthusiastic about moving over Linux base vCenter.

So considering this what would be the best way to accomplish this on Windows.

Thanks

14 Replies
daphnissov
Immortal
Immortal

While you could do that, it doesn't make much sense at all to deploy a new vCenter on Windows especially considering Windows is EOL and will not be available in the next release.

aadi369
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

You can go for both....either new vCenter running on upgraded version of windows server. Also, VCSA is the good option, if you educate some best part of this appliance to your organization (like eliminating Microsoft license).

But again Choice is your and both will server you the best.

I will suggest you to deploy new vm with Win server and move all host over the new vCenter. Upgrading option is time consuming and may go through few challanges like win upgrade, sql upgrade and then vCenter upgrade.

Also, I can see that the Current environment is manageble, if you go for fresh vCenter installtion and configure you existing host accordingly.

If it is useful, plz mark answer as correct or helpful.

mlarrivee
Contributor
Contributor

thanks guys for your comments.

The fresh install looks tricky.  I don't really want to re-configure every dvSwitch and port groups to the new vCenter.  And I saw somewhere that it's not recommended to move a host with dvswitch to another vCenter.

Thanks

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jprovine7
Expert
Expert

Just curious what the benefit would be to have a virtual windows server over having a virtual appliance?

mlarrivee
Contributor
Contributor

For us it's pretty easy.  Staff is much more familiar with Windows Server and SQL Server than Photon OS and vPostgres DB.  That's our main issue right now.

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jprovine7
Expert
Expert

Do you really do that much with the associated database? or logging into the windows server? I can see why you might want a physical server for the security of a box that you don't have to look for on your hosts, or not be able to get too if the host it is on is down.

mlarrivee
Contributor
Contributor

We don't really do anything at the OS or DB level that's for sure.  To be honest, my first choice would be VCSA but I'll need to convince people over here and right now I don't have much other than Microsoft licences.  They don't really care about the complexity of the upgrade.

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Patrick490
Contributor
Contributor

to me, the fact that Windows VC is already EOL, is the most important argument to switch to appliance. And I did not regret that step!

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jprovine7
Expert
Expert

So Patrick do you ever run into the fact that when hosts are down and the vcenter is not reachable because it is not a physical hardware box?

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Patrick490
Contributor
Contributor

no, I never had that problem. But with 6.5 appliance you can also use new VCSA High Availability feature

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jprovine7
Expert
Expert

Really as in it moves between the hardware hosts or something else

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Patrick490
Contributor
Contributor

you configure 3-node cluster: active, passive & witness. All spread on different hosts.

New Walkthroughs for vCenter High Availability - VMware vSphere Blog

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aadi369
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

We completely agree with you. We do understand the same thing as a Techie....However, its hard to make understand the management/end user something.

Better to go with Windows base vCenter, if all are comfortable for windows version. Smiley Wink

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ChrisFD2
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

I would find it incredibly hard to recommend a Windows based vCenter server if going to 6.5. Just use the vCSA, the migration progress is painless and in case of any issues you will have VMware support.

6.5 vCSA has embedded database but also Update Manager built in. That's at least 2 windows licenses and also SQL licenses you no longer have to pay for.

Regards,
Chris
VCIX-DCV 2024 | VCIX-NV 2024 | vExpert 6x | CCNA R&S
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