Thursday, June 28, 2018

Upgrading your vcenter server made easy with Hybrid Linked Mode

So whenever you upgrade an environment you must start with HCL [hardware compatibility list]. Let us pretend that you want to go from vsphere 6.5 to 6.7 without any downtime. hmm... yes you are asking for a pony and thanks to vmware you have it too.
I always say that the first point of contact should be upgrade first because it will be backward compatible of what lies beneath. Anyway assuming that you made sure that the rest of your stuff like version of your NSX, VRA is all taken care of. You have to then upgrade your
vcenter>esxi>vm tools>vm hardware.
Get a new vcenter 6.7 appliance ready.
Create HLM between the old and the new vcenter.
Decommission the old one.
Yes, that  is it. If you are not satisfied with this high level plan then there are so many bloggers wanting to be at the yearly top 100 virtualization blog list (and its awesome) by http://vsphere-land.com (http://vsphere-land.com/news/top-vblog-2017-full-results.html) and they have detailed posts on how to do hybrid linked mode. It is easy and you dont have to pull out any hair.
I still do recommend the old ways of having a plan B as backup. Yes take a backup of your old vcenter before you get on with this plan/task.
What if you have 2 vcsa already in linked mode and you want to retain the networking information of them?
Let us say that you have vcsa1 linked with vcsa2.

  1. Decommission the vcsa2 from linked mode with vcsa1.
  2. Shutdown the vcsa2, disable the network adapter
  3. get your new vcsa with your newer desired version and assign the vcsa2 networking details (hostname, ip..) and join the linked mode with vcsa1.
  4. Make sure all is well and they are in sync.
  5. Decommission the vcsa1
  6. deploy the newer versioned vcsa and assign vcsa1 networking details to it.
congratulate yourself.