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Upgrading vCenter from 4.1 to 5…

Finally, after months of waiting… vSphere 5 has been released. After upgrading one of my dev hosts to ESXi 5, it was time to address the Virtual Center.

Here’s what I’m starting with:
vCenter Upgrade

Start by heading out the the VMware site and downloading the vCenter software:

If you grabbed the zip, extract it and run the “autorun.exe”. If you grabbed the ISO, either mount it in your VM (if your vCenter is virtualized) or burn it and toss it in the drive. You’ll be met with this screen:
vSphere Upgrade Screen

Click on the “vCenter Server” installer, select your preferred language and select “OK”
Select Language

You should be greeted with a message that “An earlier version of vCenter Server is already installed on this computer and will be upgraded to vCenter Server 5.0”, click “Next”, click “Next” on the Patent Agreement screen, agree to the EULA and click “Next”
vSphere Upgrade Screen
Patent Agreement
EULA Agreement

Enter the User Name, Org, and License Key (if you have one). You’ll next receive a message about the new licensing keys for vSphere 5 and how using your old key won’t work, either acknowledge or grab your new license key from the VMware License Portal.
User Information
New License Info

I used SQL server on my previous install, verify the database information and click “Next”

With the new install of vCenter, a new version of vSphere Update Manager is required. You should now see a message about that reading: This vCenter Server is being used by the following registered extension(s). This essentially just says that you need to upgrade these programs as well.
Extension Upgrade Notice

Now it’s time to upgrade the Database, make sure to backup the existing DB and the SSL certs associated with it
Upgrade DB

The vCenter Agent will need upgraded on each host the vCenter manages. Note: if you select “Manual”, all of the hosts will disconnect and it will be up to you to reconnect them. I chose “Automatic”.
vCenter Host Agents

Enter the password for the account that the service runs as and the fully qualified domain name
Service Setup

Verify the locations to install the vCenter Server and Inventory Service, verify the ports the vCenter uses, and verify the ports the Inventory Service uses
Install Destinations
Verify Ports
Verify Ports

Set the Java VM Memory setting for the WebService to what fits your environment and click “Next”, then click “Install”, and sit back and watch it install.
JVM Setting

Once it’s done, you’ll see a nice screen you can click “Finish” on

Pop open your vSphere client and connect to the vCenter and you should be greeted with it reading version 5.
New Version

You’re not quite done yet though, there’s still the VMware vSphere Web Client (Server) to install. Which the installer indicates that “New improvements in license reporting require installation of hte VMware vSphere Web Client”. So click on the link to the Web Client and then click “Install”
Web Client Installer

Select the preferred language, click “Next” to start the installer, click “Next” to agree to the Patent Agreement, and click “Next” to agree to the EULA
Installer Language
Patent Agreement
EULA Agreement

Enter the customer information, verify the port settings, verify the install folder, and click “Install”
Customer Info
Port Settings
Installer Folder

The installer will start and then you’ll reach a completed screen, click on “Finish”
Installer Runs

Upon clicking finish, a webpage will pop up (which requires an install of Adobe Flash) going to the Web Client Admin Tool (https://localhost:9443/admin-app/)
Admin Tool

The page should display a message: vSphere Web Client is not ready to use as there are no vCenter Server Systems registered with this vSphere Web Client. Under that message, click on the “Register vCenter Server”. Enter the vCenter name or IP, a username & password to authenticate with, and the name or IP to the vCenter’s Web Client server, then click “Register”
Register vCenter

If you haven’t already added an SSL cert, it will give you a warning. This can be ignored.
SSL Cert Warning

You’ll return back to the Admin Tool’s main page and be able to see that a new vCenter Server has been added
vCenter Server Added

Now you can go to the Web Client page (https://localhost:9443/vsphere-client/), the drop down box should show the recently added vCenter Server, then enter a username/password for an account whom can authenticate to the vCenter Server and click “Login”
Login to Web Client

You’ll be greeted with a page explaining where everything is click on the circular “X” button on the top right, and you’ll see a rather comprehensive view of your environment in a web browser
Helpful Hints
Web Client

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