I tested vSphere 6 quite intensively when it was in beta, but I didn’t ever upgrade my lab – basically because I need a stable environment to work on and I wasn’t sure that I could maintain that with the beta.
I will be upgrading
- vCenter Server Appliance – currently 5.5 update 1
- vSphere Update Manager – currently 5.5 update 1
- 3 HP N54L resource hosts
- 1 Intel NUC management host
In my lab I run various VMware software suites listed below, although I typically run them in nested environments to keep my lab install relatively clean.
- vCloud Director
- vRealize Automation
- vRealize Orchestrator
- VSAN – I currently run VSAN 5.5 and will need to upgrade to 6.0
- Update Manager – I’d prefer to update my hosts using Update Manager where possible
- Certificates – I currently use a Microsoft CA, I’d like to move to the VMCA as a subordinate CA
- Drivers – VMware changed the drivers supported in ESXi, some consumer grade drivers are blacklisted
- Backup – I use the excellent Veeam Backup and Replication to protect key lab machines, and I know that it doesn’t yet support vSphere 6. That’s a hit I can take in my lab.
To upgrade I need to first verify everything is compatible using the VMware Product Interoperability Matrixes.
High level plan
Having read a lot of vSphere 6 docs, my upgrade plan is as follows:
- Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance
- Upgrade vSphere Update Manager
- Upgrade ESXi
- Upgrade VSAN
- Upgrade nested labs and other software suites