Technical Architecture

The vSphere Upgrade Blog Series (Wrap-Up)

The vSphere Upgrade Blog Series began in July and ran through September 2018. It provided customers with screen-by-screen guidance from start to finish of a vSphere Upgrade in a six part blog series. Since each part of the blog series was posted over a few months, it’s common for steps or posts to be missed during that time frame. Today I am happy to share that I have consolidated these blog posts into one main post as a wrap-up.

Below you will find a short snippet from each of the six parts in the series with links directly to the main post you are looking for. My hope is that this can help customers quickly find help when planning or executing a vSphere Upgrade. Let’s get started!


vSphere Upgrade Series Part 1: Preparing to Upgrade

Part 1 of the vSphere Upgrade Series covered the prep work that must be completed prior to your upgrade. We also reviewed the vSphere environment that will be upgraded, understood the proper vSphere Upgrade order by component, reviewed the VMware Product Interoperability Matrices for version compatibility and collected our perquisite information. Lastly the upgrade work began by running the Migration Assistant on the VUM server to allow it to migrate Baselines to the new target 6.7 VCSA.


vSphere Upgrade Series Part 2: Upgrading vCenter Server

In Part 2 of the vSphere Upgrade Series we upgraded vCenter Server and vSphere Update Manager (VUM) from vSphere 6.0 Update 3 to 6.7 GA. VUM baselines were also migrated to the 6.7 VCSA during this upgrade scenario. We discussed running the Migration Assistant on VUM to run the required pre-checks to capture baselines. DRS recommendations were also reviewed and suggested to be set to manual versus disabling as to not interrupt the upgrade or migration of the vCenter Server.

vSphere 6.7 Upgrade


vSphere Upgrade Series Part 3: Upgrading vSphere Hosts

Part 3 of the vSphere Upgrade Series jumped into preparing vSphere Update Manager (VUM). We covered the creation of an Upgrade Baseline for vSphere 6.7 that would be used to remediate vSphere ESXi Hosts. Cluster settings like High Availability (HA) were also considered for configurations such as Admission Control that could interrupt upgrade success.


vSphere Upgrade Series Part 4: Upgrading VMware Tools and VM Compatibility

When part 4 of the vSphere Upgrade Series arrived it covered VMware Tools and Virtual Machine Compatibility. We discussed how both of these components hold value for virtual machines (VM) when upgraded. It’s important to consider some caution anytime a customer upgrades VM Compatibility versions as it may not always be necessary to perform these types of VM upgrades unless specific features are needed that are exclusively available in the next version. This post touched on the possibility of using PowerCLI for upgrading VMware Tools as well.

Updating VMware Tools:

Virtual Machine Compatibility:


vSphere Upgrade Series Part 5: Upgrading VMFS Storage

Next up Part 5 of the vSphere Upgrade series, Upgrading VMFS Storage. This post covered VMFS Storage and supported filesystems in vSphere 6.7. With vSphere 6.7, filesystem version VMFS-3 is deprecated and vSphere 6.7 supports just two versions, VMFS-5 and VMFS-6.

By comparing the two filesystem versions customers also learned about Automatic Space Reclamation or “SCSI unmap” to reclaim unused space from a VMFS-6 datastore. Upgrading VMFS storage can be done within the GUI or via CLI. David Stamen of our vSphere Technical Marketing team has a great follow up post on this method here: Automating Migration of VMFS-5 to VMFS-6 Datastores

More information on the usage of Update-VMFSDatastore is available in the PowerCLI Reference.


vSphere Upgrade Series Part 6: Upgrading vSphere Networking

Last but not least, part 6 of the vSphere Upgrade Series guided customers with upgrading vSphere Networking (specifically vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS)). While covering the upgrade process for networking we also reviewed some considerations when upgrading to VDS version 6.6 via KB52621 which should be reviewed to side-step any potential issues.



There we have it. vSphere Upgrades from beginning to end, component to component, screen by screen. As always, it is recommended to consult VMware Documentation when upgrading. vSphere Upgrade information can be found here within VMware Documentation. Another great resource for upgrades is vSphere Central where product walkthroughs, KBs, Blogs, and Videos can be accessed. Check out our new “vSphere Upgrade” section.

Be sure to also checkout my team’s VMworld sessions around upgrades:

Please do not hesitate to post questions in the comments section of this blog or reach out to me directly via Twitter @vCenterNerd.

Remember to always, FocusPlan, and Execute!