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vcenter 6.7 to 7 - new vcsa and esxi reisntall prep

We are running a 6.7 vcenter server appliance and 6.7 hosts connected to it. With the change in the partition tables, we want to reinstall everything from scratch so I am going to be deploying a 7.0 vcsa and then duplicating all the settings from the existing 6.7 vcsa. I will then one at a time put a host in maintenance mode, disconnect the esxi host from the 6.7 cluster and install 7.0 on it and connect it to the new 7.0 cluster. I will then use a 6.7 host to move some vm workloads over to the 7.0 cluster. Would appreciate any help in confirming my plan which is as follows:


Phase 1: Deploy new vcsa using wizard

1) IP configuration (other networking info such as DNS, NTP)

2) hostname 

3) root credentials 

4) esxi host name and IP the vcsa will be deployed to 

5) datastore it will be deployed to 

6) deployment size – Small (100 hosts or 1000 VMs) we have under a 1000 VMs


Phase 2: Duplicate all settings, folders and folder permissions, illumio rules

Use existing VCSA as a reference to configure all vcsa settings

  1. backups, access, admin and alerting
  2. datacenter, cluster, entire configure tab
  3. create folders and copy their permissions on the new vcsa (I'm hoping to find a script that does this)
  4. configure VUM
  5. configure vvol and vm storage policies (waiting for procedure confirmation from VMware support)
  6. add to vops manager


Phase 3: Build new ESXi server

Put one of the existing 6.7 ESXi hosts in maintenance mode. Disconnect and remove from inventory and install 7.0

  1. mount ISO and install
  2.  configure management network using dcui on an existing host for reference (use a different IP?)
  3. attach host to new 7.0 vcsa
  4. create all vswitches
  5. configure tab to duplicate any all other settings
  6. Add host to SAN and give access to LUNs and VVOL datastore
  7. use a 6.7 esxi host to move test VMs from 6.7 to 7

Phase 4: Move remaining hosts from 6.7 to the new 7.0 vc 

  1. Put host in maintenance mode, disconnect and remove from inventory
  2. install esxi 7, configure management network and connect to 7.0 vcsa
  3. use lifeboat for move VMs per schedule
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2 Replies

Do you have any issues with the current configuration (vCSA, ESXi hosts)?
If not, you may achieve the same result with way less effort.

  1. Upgrade the vCSA to e.g. version 7.0 U3d
  2. Upgrade the hosts from the command line using esxcli commands

Since you plan to re-partition the ESXi hosts, I assume that you don't have anything on the local VMFS datastore, i.e. no VMs, templates, or scratch files. To achieve the re-partitioning during the host upgrade, simply delete the VMFS datastore/partition prior to running the host upgrade.

For the host upgrade itself, upload the ESXi Offline Bundle (make sure you get the right one, e.g. a vendor customized one) to a folder on a shared datastore, and determine the "Profilename".

esxcli software sources profile list -d "/vmfs/volumes/datastoreX/folderX/<OfflineBundle>.zip"

The upgrade can then be performed using:

esxcli software profile install -d "/vmfs/volumes/datastoreX/folderX/<OfflineBundle>.zip" -p <Profilname> --ok-to-remove

If the command returns the "Installation Result"
"Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective."
type reboot to restart the host.

In case you want to test the upgrade command, append --dry-run to the command line.


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For some business reasons and to limit overall exposure to issues encountered during an upgrade, we were asked to perform a parallel build.

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