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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Backup and restore ESXi via PowerCLI after a failed boot device

A few days ago I encountered the following error in the webclient of my homelab.


"Lost connectivity to the device mpx.vmhba32:C0:T0:L0 backing the boot filesystem /vmfs/devices/disk/mpx.vmhba32 :C0:T0:L0. As a result, host configuration changes will not be saved to persistent storage."

In a production environment you would now check the events of your out-of-band management component (IMM, iLO, DRAC, etc.) for a failed SD-card or USB boot device. In such a situation a reboot of the ESXi host (e.g. after doing some updates) wouldn’t be a good idea. To fix the problem we need to …

  1. replace the boot device
  2. reinstall ESXi
  3. reconfigure ESXi (in an automated PowerCLI way)

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Lets upgrade to vCenter 6.X: A generic guideline

Lets upgrade our vCenter

*** Updated (22-04-2016): Links changed for vCenter 6.0U2 release.

There are a lot of great blogs out there about the process of upgrading the vCenter from 5.X to the most current version 6.0U2.

Having done the upgrade now in multiple production environments I try to summarize the general process and potential caveats. The following article is more a general approach and not specifically tied to a certain version. I start with the key facts outcome first. The detailed description where those key facts are extracted from are mentioned afterwards.

vSphere Upgrade 6.0

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