Migrating to vCenter 6.5: Design decisions and important characteristics/limitations to consider

Even though vSphere 6.5 has been announced and not released yet   Since vSphere and vCenter 6.5 are released now, a customer engagement put me into a position to gather much more information about characteristics and limitations within vCenter 6.5.

In the following I will discuss some of the upcoming and current vCenter characteristics that might not be completely aware (are not well documented) within the field /community.

Thanks VMware @Twitter community for helping me out here. Once again I really benefit from this great network out there.

The goal was to define a logical and physical design for the new vCenter release. Within the project we will have two phases

  1. phase: vCenter 6.0
  2. phase: vCenter 6.5

We will give the GA release of vCenter 6.5 a minimum time of 3 months to observe its behaviour and production readiness. Since we might require feature from the vCenter 6.0 release we want to design that is ready for an easy transition from 5.5 over 6.0 to 6.5.

However if you ever decide to move on to vSphere or vCenter 6.5. Please check the upgrade sequence here first & check the compatibilities (within VMware’s and 3rd party products).

Current state:

  • Windows based vCenter (vCenter 5.5 U2e)
  • SQL Server installed on the vCenter Windows

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Migration of a distributed switch (vDS) to a new vCenter (PowerCLI edition)

### UPDATE: I received some posts / comments that my approaced way does NOT work when using LACP. I haven’t had the time to get deeper into that topic, but please be aware of that fact.

Reviewing Google analytics for my old blog on vxpertise.net showed that my article a few years ago is still kind of famous.

It explains how the distributed switch import/export feature can be used to migrate existing ESXi to a new vCenter. I extended the information explained in this blog post with a few lines of PowerCLI code that makes the whole process a lot of easier/faster/less error-prone.


This requirements is raising up more and more in environments of people I deal with. Especially the awesome vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) convinces people to create a new vCenter from scratch.

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