Howto Update vCenter and ESXi Hosts to vSphere 5.5

The recently released major update of VMware vSphere, version 5.5 addresses several issues in vSphere 5.1. An update is absolutely recommended as it resolves many issues and reduces the complexity of some components like Single Sign-On. This update guide shows a small Walk-though how to Update you Platform to vSphere 5.5.

update_vsphere55

Part 1: Check Compatibility

When you want to Update to vSphere 5.5, the first to check is the Hardware Compatibility List. That is a list of hardware which has been tested to work properly with ESXi 5.5. Please note that some servers were supported in 5.x but are no longer supported in 5.5.

Part 2: Check Interoperability

This is the standard task whenever you install or update anything related to your platform. Check all products you have installed at VMware Product Interoperability Matrix. Select VMware vCenter Server in the first Drop-Down Box and all your products in the second. When you have external tools, you should check them too.

It is usually not required (ESXi 5.x works great with vCenter 5.5) but definitely recommended to Update the physical ESXi Hosts too. Additional components are required to be updated when you want to install vCenter Server 5.5:

  • VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.5
  • VMware vCenter Orchestrator 5.5
  • VMware vCenter Operations 5.7.2
  • VMware vCenter Update Manager 5.5
  • VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP) 5.5.1
  • VMware vSphere Storage Appliance 5.5
  • VMware vCloud Director 5.5

Part 3: Product Update Sequence

When you have additional VMware products in your environment you have to follow a update sequence described in KB2057795:

update-sequence_VMware_51-51u1

Part 4: Update vCenter Server Components

The easiest way to Update to vCenter Server 5.5 is by using the Simple Install option. The update process itself if strait forward and can usually been clicked through without answering much questions. But do not start yet, as there is an issue with probably expired SSL certificates:

Warning 25000. Please verify that the SSL certificate for your vCenter Single Sign-On 5.1 SSL is not expired. If it did expire, please replace it with a valid certificate before upgrading to vCenter Single Sign-On 5.5.

warning25000

This message is always displayed. How to check and fix this issue is described in KB2060511. After the certificate has been verified, the update process should succeed without problems.

Part 5: Update ESXi Hosts

After the vCenter has been updated, you can update your ESXi Host. This can be done in various ways:

  1. Mount and boot the Installer ISO and select "Upgrade ESXi, preserve VMFS datastore"
  2. Upload the Offline-Bundle the the Update Manager and let all ESXi hosts remediate
  3. Upload the Offline-Bundle to a datastore and update with "esxcli software vib install"

More information on updating can be found here:

Part 6: Verify Updates

To make sure that all components have been updated you should check the Version and Build Numbers. They should correspond to the following listings:

Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features

  • vCenter Orchestrator: 5.5.0.1281930
  • VMware vCenter Inventory Service: 5.5.0.38036
  • VMware vCenter Server: 5.5.0.38036
  • VMware vCenter Server - Java Components: 5.5.0.678
  • VMware vCenter Server - tc Server: 5.5.0.636
  • VMware vSphere Web Client: 5.5.0.10865

vcenter55buildnumbers

Product Build Numbers

  • VMware vCenter Server Version 5.5.0 Build 1312298
  • VMware ESXi, 5.5.0, 1331820
  • vSphere Web Client Version 5.5.0 Build 1300321
  • Client Integration Plugin VMRC Version 5.5.0 Build 1280474

 

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