Currently, the VMware vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) requires a Windows helper VM. This helper VM can be loaded with a number of different items, most notably vSphere Update Manager (VUM) and VMware Horizon View Composer. The services this VM can contain are listed later in this article. Suffice it to say, the helper VM (or VMs) become critical to your environment. I was running W2K8 R2 but decided to move to W2K12 R2. This was more of an effort than I had imagined. Most things worked just fine, but it took a bit of research to find out why some items did not work. See my previous article vSphere Upgrade Saga: vCSA Helper VM for the first part of this series.
The upgrade to VSAN 6.2 did not go as smoothly as I wished. It was possible to do but required me to rebuild not only VSAN but my cluster as a whole as a rolling upgrade did not work as expected. Perhaps this is just the way I have my VSAN configured.
In my environment I use VCSA as it is generally far easier to manage. However, to do so, you still need either a single or multiple Microsft Windows helper VMs. The VMs run packages like SRM, vSphere Update Manager, HPE OneView, and other tools that integrate with VMware vCenter. I recently wanted to do some automation based on a few PowerCLI scripts and my version of PowerCLI was out of date. In order to bring it up to date, I either needed to reconfigure my W2K8R2 helper VM or create a new helper VM based on W2K12R2. I chose the later as it was time to upgrade anyways.
To keep vSphere installs secure, it is often necessary to patch or upgrade them in a specific order, as outlined in KB 2109760, which has been our guide for the last few parts of our upgrade saga. However, patching vCenter 6.0 vCSA is not as easy as it looks. The instructions in the online manuals are only apropos for upgrading from vCenter 5.1 or 5.5. For vCenter 6.0, they contain information only valid once you have Update 1 involved. So, how do we proceed? Continue reading vSphere Upgrade Saga: Upgrading to vSphere 6.0 U1
Having upgraded all the management tools that make up vCloud Suite 6.0, it became time to upgrade vSphere itself to 6.0. My upgrade did not go as smoothly as I had expected. Following are the steps I took for the upgrade, plus an account of the one major problem I had and its solution. Continue reading vSphere Upgrade Saga: vSphere 6.0
There are many steps to the upgrade of vSphere, as outlined by KB Article 2109760, with the steps for my environment starting at step 4 (vCNS). However, before I could start my upgrade, I had to upgrade any third-party systems first, as well as to upgrade any Microsoft Windows Servers. Everything went fine for vCNS, View Composer, and View Connection Server. However, problem creep started with the View security server (not really on the list, but if you update the Connection Server, you have to upgrade any security servers at the same time). Continue reading vSphere Upgrade Saga: 6.0 Upgrade through SRM