Don’t Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance From 5.0 to 5.1

computer 12 July 2013 | 4 Comments

Thinking of upgrading your vCenter Server Appliance from a 5.0 image to the 5.1 image using the official VMware upgrade process covered in the documentationDon’t do it. It fails somehow. Every time.

Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 3.08.32 PM


Unexpected error during the upgrade process.

To attempt to upgrade again, restore the old vCenter Server Appliance and external database from backup/snapshot, deploy the new vCenter Server Appliance again and start the upgrade process from the beginning.

Yeah.. you read the right. Now both your old and new appliance images are b0rked, and you’ll need to restore from the vCenter 5.0 backup that you definitely made before attempting the upgrade. In private emails, VMware has acknowledged the issues and has advised to stick with 5.0 and hold off on upgrading the vCenter Server appliance until the next major release since the upgrade/migration tools are such horrible crap. Time to sit back and wait it out!


Update: The built-in update tool in 5.0 that allows you to apply point release upgrades is also fairly broken. (See the red “Failed to install..” message in the background?)

Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 3.26.14 PM

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4 Responses on “Don’t Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance From 5.0 to 5.1”

  1. Russ says:

    I’m looking at doing this very soon
    Can you confirm whether this is now working?
    What versions were you running?
    When you said VMware acknowledged and said to hold off until the next relase, which next release?

  2. joe says:

    just ran in to same issue attempting to upgrade vcenter server appliance 5.0 to 5.5

  3. Celk says:

    Same issue with 5.0 to 5.5. Guess no one found a fix?

  4. preston.lee says:

    Not that I’m aware of. :/

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