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With the recent announcement of vSphere 7 it is an exciting time for vCenter Server 7 as well. In particular, migration & upgrade workflows have undergone a number of changes to help simplify them, making it easier to patch and move to new versions as part of the life cycle of vSphere:

vCenter Server 7 Lifecycle

Converge & Install

First, there is no longer an option to deploy the external Platform Services Controller (PSC). The only option is the vCenter Server Appliance which contains an embedded PSC. Embedded PSCs have all of the services required to manage a vSphere SSO Domain. Please see KB 60229 for more details. As a reminder, there is no longer an installer for vCenter Server for Windows. vSphere 6.7 was the last version to include this version of vCenter Server.

The Converge Tool was introduced in vSphere 6.7 Update 1 to move from an external PSC deployment to an embedded PSC via either the vCenter Server CLI or vSphere Client:

vCenter Server 6.7 System Configuration Screen

In vCenter Server 7, PSC convergence now happens automatically during a vCenter Server upgrade! That’s right, no longer is it necessary to perform an upgrade and a convergence as two separate tasks. When upgrading your vCenter Server from version 6.5 or 6.7 to 7.0, the installer can detect external PSCs which allows these two processes to be merged for a simplistic method of upgrading and consolidating deprecated SSO topologies.

Notice that during an install that there is no option to select a deployment type of external or embedded PSC! The default process installs a vCenter Server appliance with embedded PSC services.

Picture of the External Platform Services Controller deprecation warning

Migration

This same process is used when upgrading and migrating from vCenter Server for Windows to the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA). If you’re running vCenter Server and PSCs on Windows Server these systems will be converged for you. Moving to the appliance has never been easier!

Picture of the warning that the external Platform Services Controller will be converged

Once the Platform Services Controller is converged, it remains in inventory to be decommissioned by the vSphere Administrator. The upgrade and convergence process in vCenter Server 7 does not decommission the PSC automatically. Decommissioning of the PSC is handled by an vSphere Admin using the CMSSO-UTIL command.

Upgrade Paths

When upgrading to a new version it is important to understand which version is compatible with the next version. The VMware Product Interoperability Matrices and VMware Compatibility Guide are going to be your best friends during this process. Please remember that these matrices and guides will not have updated vSphere/vCenter Server 7 version information until vSphere 7 is released to the public as GA. That said, I am excited to announce that all paths starting from vSphere 6.5(GA+) and vSphere 6.7(GA+) leading to vSphere 7 are supported.

vSphere 7 Upgrade Paths

Closing

Removing additional steps for the convergence of the PSC is another way VMware is helping vSphere Admins work more efficiently. Simplifying the upgrade process helps make upgrades a reality, and allows vSphere Admins easier access to all the new & wonderful features in vSphere 7 and beyond.

There is much more to talk about when it comes to lifecycle operations in vSphere 7. Please keep watching this space!

 


We are excited about vSphere 7 and what it means for our customers and the future. Watch the vSphere 7 Launch Event replay, an event designed for vSphere Admins, hosted by theCUBE. We will continue posting new technical and product information about vSphere 7 and vSphere with Kubernetes Monday through Thursdays into May 2020. Join us by following the blog directly using the RSS feed, on Facebook, and on Twitter. Thank you, and please stay safe.