So here goes, do check the pre-reqs before going ahead with this to avoid breaking your vCenter setup. You can find those here.
After downloading the new version from myvmware.com you need to mount the iso and depending on OS go to the correct folder. Since I am doing the upgrade from Windows, that means the vcsa-ui-installer\win32 and then launch the installer:
That brings you the following screen where you can select to install, upgrade, migrate or restore. In this case we want to upgrade so click on that:
Next stage 1 of the upgrade starts
You are told a bit more about the upgrade, if you have not integrated the psc, then this will be done in the upgrade. I suggest to do it before because it may make the upgrade less of a hassle.
Next we get to accept the license agreement:
After that it is time to enter details for the current vCenter and connect to the vCenter to gather details.
Next you get a certificate warning or two, accept those and continue.
Next specify the host where the new vCenter will be deployed along with username and password.
Name the new vCenter and set root password:
Select the sizing you want for the vCenter, in my case tiny since it’s just a lab.
Next selec the datastore and if you want to thin mode or not.
Next you need to configure network settings. Make sure all is available and reachable as we don’t want the upgrade to go wrong.
Next review all the settings and select finish
The first stage of the upgrade starts, ,this will take some time.
After the first stage completes we can continue with stage two. It will give you the address of the VAMI interface to connect to.
Once we connect to the vami interface, we are given the choice to start on stage 2.
Select stage 2 and follow the screens, you may get a warning like the one below for several things that are wrong. Close the screen and continue.
You now get 3 options for the upgrade. I went with the default, be aware that more data may take longer time. This step is where your vCenter will be taken down.
You get the option to join the CEIP. I am not against this but I have seen upgrades for other VMware products where this was causing problems. You can join CEIP at a later stage once the upgrade is completed in any case.
Click next and then review the information, confirm you have a backup. If you do not have a backup, I suggest you stop here and take a backup and then start over.
After you click finish you are given a warning that the vCenter will be shut down once the configuration is completed and data is about to be copied. You get a final chance to stop if the time is not suitable.
Next the data copy starts.
This takes some time but you were given an estimate in a previous step.
After stage 2 completes you may be given some messages from the upgrade:
Close the message box and you are now given the completion message:
The vCenter is rebooted and you can access the VAMI:
Log in and check that all looks ok:
Once that is all ok you can login to your new vCenter:
That’s pretty much it. The upgrade process is quite smooth in my experience but do take care as always with these things. It’s better not to have to invoke support.