Upgrading VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager from 5.0 to 5.1

A little while ago VMware released vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.1 together with other products and vCloud Suite. Here is a quick summary of “What’s new in SRM 5.1” and the new improvements.

  • SRM 5.1 supports reprotect and failback with vSphere Replication. Previously, you could only perform reprotect and failback on array-based protection groups. In SRM 5.1 you can perform reprotect and failback on vSphere Replication protection groups.
  • The SRM Server in SRM 5.1 is now a fully 64-bit application.
  • Improved handling of datastores in the all paths down (APD) state. If SRM detects that a datastore on the protected site is in the all paths down (APD) state and is preventing a virtual machine from shutting down, SRM waits for a period before attempting to shut down the virtual machine again. The APD state is usually transient, so by waiting for a datastore in the APD state to come back online, SRM can gracefully shut down the protected virtual machines on that datastore.
  • Improved disk resignaturing for VFMS disks.

Before you begin with the upgrade, make sure you have read the release notes and the “Upgrading SRM” chapter from Site Recovery Manager Installation and Configuration guide. If you are running SRM earlier than 5.0 you will have to upgrade to SRM 5.0 or 5.0.1 before you upgrade to 5.1. The upgrade preserves settings and configurations that were created in the previous version. This includes the following:

  • Datastore groups
  • Protection groups
  • Inventory mappings
  • Recovery plans
  • IP customizations for individual virtual machines
  • Custom roles and their memberships
  • SRM object permissions in vSphere
  • Custom alarms and alarm actions
  • Test plan histories
  • Security certificates
  • Mass IP customization files (CSVs)

Also, you have to upgrade the vCenter Server to version 5.1 before upgrading SRM to version 5.1. This includes the vSphere Client and VMware Update Manager. So, let’s start the upgrade. In this case we will concentrate on an in-place upgrade of SRM.

Important: make a back-up of your existing SRM database in case something goes wrong.

Create ODBC System DSN

Since SRM 5.1 is now a fully x64-bit application, we have to create an x64-bit ODBC system DSN for the database connectivity (you can delete the old x32-bit ODBC later).

  1. Open the ODBC Data Source Administrator and on the System DSN tab, click Add.
  2. Select the SQL Server Native Client 10.0 and click Finish.
  3. Provide a name, description and the SQL Server you want to connect to. Click Next.
  4. Provide a Login ID and password for the database. Click Next.
  5. Change the default database to your SRM database and click Next.
  6. Leave other settings as default and click Finish.
  7. Alternatively, click Test Data Source to test the database connection. Click OK to close the ODBC Administrator window.

Upgrade SRM Server

OK, it’s time to upgrade SRM.

  1. Execute the downloaded installation file from VMware on your SRM Server.
  2. Click Next on the SRM installation wizard. Note that the wizard detected a previous version of SRM and states that it will upgrade the product.
  3. Click Next on the patents window and agree to the EULA.
  4. Select the destination folder for the installation and click Next.
  5. Select Install vSphere Replication even if you already have vSphere Replication deployed. This option will install components that SRM requires to work with vSphere Replication. Click Next.
  6. Provide the vCenter Server username and password, click Next.
  7. Click Yes on the security warning.
  8. Click Yes when asked to overwrite the existing SRM registration.
  9. Select the option to automatically generate a certificate or use a PKCS#12 certificate file. In my case, I choose to automatically generate a certificate. Click Next.
  10. If you choose to generate a certificate for you, provide the Organization and Organization Unit. If you choose the certificate file option, this windows will not appear. Click Next to continue.
  11. Verify the settings for the SRM Extension and click Next.
  12. In the Database Configuration, provide the username and password for the SRM database. Click Next.
  13. In the Database Usage Selection, choose if you want to use the existing database or recreate the database (this will of course destroy the data). In my case, I used the existing database.
  14. Click Install to begin the installation.
  15. Click Finish to complete the installation wizard.

Upgrade SRM Client plug-in

Up next is the SRM Client plug-in upgrade. Before you begin, uninstall the old SRM plug-in from your system (Control Panel –> Programs).

  1. Open the vSphere Client (the SRM Client plug-in is at the time of this writing not available for the vSphere Web Client) and open the Plug-in Manager.
  2. Under the Available Plug-ins click the Download and Install link.
  3. Install the certificate and ignore the warning.
  4. Run the installer.
  5. The installation is as easy as next, next, finish.

Upgrade vSphere Replication

The easiest way to upgrade the vSphere Replication is by using VMware Update Manager. You have to upgrade the vSphere Replication Management server first.

  1. Open the VMware Update Manager and select the Configuration tab.
  2. Select Download Settings and make sure the VMware VA update source is selected. Click Download Now to check for new updates.
  3. Next, go to Baselines and Groups, select VMs/VAs button and click Create to create a new baseline.
  4. In the new baseline wizard, provide a suggestive name for the baseline and make sure the VA Upgrade is selected. Click Next.
  5. In the Upgrade Options window, select VMware Inc. as Vendor and All Products as Appliance. Click Add Rule and Next to proceed.
  6. Click Finish to create the new baseline.
  7. Next, go to VMs and Templates view. Select the vSphere Replication Management Server and select the Update Manager tab.
  8. Click Attach, and select the baseline created earlier.
  9. Click Remediate to start the upgrade.
  10. Click Next in the remediation section.
  11. Provide a task name and schedule the upgrade or upgrade immediately.
  12. If desired, take a snapshot and provide a name for the snapshot. Click Next.
  13. Review the settings and click Finish.
  14. Wait until the upgrade completes.

Repeat the steps described in Upgrade vSphere Replication for all vSphere Replication servers in your environment.

All done, don’t forget to upgrade the Recovery Site. 🙂


– Marek.Z

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