How to upgrade vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 to version 6.0

The latest version of VMware vSphere ships with a new version of the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA). Let’s have a quick look on how to upgrade the vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 to version 6.0.

As always, before you begin, make sure you read the vSphere 6 upgrade guide (chapter 5: Upgrading and patching the vCenter Server Appliance). Also, before you can proceed with the upgrade, you must install the VMware Client integration plug-in from the ISO located in the vcsa folder.

This article describes the upgrade process of the vCenter Server with an embedded Platform Services Controller. If you want to use the vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller, you must deploy a new vCenter Server Appliance. For more info on how to deploy the vCenter Server Appliance, see vSphere 6 Installation and Setup guide.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance 5.5

  1. Open the vcsa-setup.html file that is located in the ISO image.
  2. When the file is loaded, click the Upgrade button.upgrade vCenter Server Appliance 5.5
  3. Review the prerequisites as described in the supported upgrades message window and click OK.upgrade vCenter Server Appliance 5.5
  4. Accept the EULA and click Next.
  5. Connect to the ESXi host on which you want to deploy the new vCSA. Enter IP or FQDN, user name and password. Click Next.
  6. Click Yes on the certificate warning message.
  7. Next, specify the name for the new appliance and enable SSH if necessary.
  8. In the next window, connect to the source vCSA. Provide all necessary information as requested. Click Next.upgrade vCenter Server Appliance 5.5
  9. Read the warning message if applicable in your situation. Click Yes to continue.upgrade vCenter Server Appliance 5.5
  10. Next, select the appliance size.
  11. Select the datastore and enable thin disk for the appliance if you want to. Click Next.upgrade vCenter Server Appliance 5.5
  12. Next, set up a temporary network. During upgrade, data is migrated from your existing vCSA to the new vCSA. The new vCSA requires temporary network settings during the migration. After the migration completes, the new vCSA assumes the network identity of the existing vCSA and stops using the temporary network settings.upgrade vCenter Server Appliance 5.5
  13. Review the settings and click Finish to start the installation process.
  14. Click Close to close the deployment wizard. Note that you will have to update the DHCP settings as described in the message.upgrade vCenter Server Appliance 5.5

This concludes the upgrade of the vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 to version 6.0.

upgrade vCenter Server Appliance 5.5

It is more a migration than an upgrade if you ask me but it works fine and you retain or all of your settings. As final steps, you should verify if all services are running on the new vCSA and finally remove the old vCSA from the inventory and the disk.


– Marek.Z


  1. Hi Marek,

    I am using standalone vCenter Appliance 5.5, would like to upgrade to vCenter Appliance 6 but to a distributed architecture. Is it possible?

    • Hi Rushid,

      What do you mean with distributed architecture? Dedicated Platform Services Controller? Or external database? If so, both scenarios are described pretty good in the upgrade guide as described above.


      • Please help me understand. If I am to migrate my vCSA 5.5 standalone to vCSA 6 with dedicated platform services controller. What prerequisites should i take and appreciate if you could let me know the step by step process. to migrate. Sorry for asking such a noob questions…


        • So, if I understand correctly, you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an External Platform Services Controller? The following is from the vSphere 6 installation and setup guide:

          To have the Platform Services Controller and the vCenter Server instance deployed as two different appliances, first deploy the Platform Services Controller, then deploy vCenter Server and the vCenter Server components as another virtual appliance, and register the vCenter Server Appliance to the
          Platform Services Controller.

          Please see page 238 of the guide I mentioned, the deployment steps are well described there.

          Hope this helps.


          P.S. This is quite interesting topic. I’ll try to create a blog post about it as soon as possible.

  2. One could also deploy a completely new v6.0 vCSA with a different IP address etc., then connect the hosts to it, then decommission the v5.5 vCSA, then give the new vCSA the old IP from the old vCSA, correct??

    • Yes, of course but all your settings will be gone. Also, don’t forget to check the A and PTR records in the DNS after swapping the IP addresses.

      • The vCSA settings?? They could be redone, there’s not that many of them. Thank you for the DNS A/PTR settings reminder.

        • Yes, and the HA/DRS/NIOC/SIOC etc settings as well. It depends on how big your environment is. If it is a small one, you can indeed reapply the settings.

          Good luck with the upgrade!


    • Do you mean the “classic” vSphere Client? Yes, it is supported and you can still use it but all the new features are only available in the vSphere Web Client (as in vSphere 5.5).

Leave a reply...