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- You cannot upgrade directly from vCenter Server 6.5 to vCenter Server 8. Instead, you will need to upgrade to vCenter 6.7 or 7.x and then upgrade to vCenter Server 8.
- Certain VIBs may be blocked when upgrading from ESXi 6.x to 8.0.
- USB and SD cards have been deprecated for ESXi installation in version 8.0.
- ESXi needs 8 GB of memory to boot.
- Upgrades and installations are disallowed for some CPUs that are now unsupported.
- vSphere 8 is not compatible with NSX-V.
To get started, download the vCenter Server 8 ISO image from VMware. Mount the ISO image and run the vCenter Server Installer, located under the vcsa-ui-installer\win32 folder of your mounted ISO. Since we want to upgrade from a previous version of vCenter Server, we choose the Upgrade option. We will be upgrading from a vCenter Server 6.7 appliance.
Stage 1—Start the upgrade process
The vCenter Server Installer will start with an introduction to the upgrade process, describing the phases. Then accept the EULA for the installation of vCenter Server 8.
Next, you will enter the source vCenter Server you want to upgrade. Click Connect to Source.
Enter the credentials for the source appliance and the ESXi or vCenter that manages the vCenter Server you are upgrading.
Accept the certificate warning and continue to configure the vCenter Server deployment target. Enter the username and password to connect to the target environment.
Accept the certificate warning for the target environment. Next, select the vSphere inventory folder to house the new vCenter Server 8 appliance.
Select the ESXi host that will provide resources for your new vCenter Server 8 appliance.
Name your vCenter Server 8 appliance virtual machine. The name will be used to list the vCenter Server 8 appliance in the inventory.
Next, select the deployment size for the new vCenter Server 8 appliance.
Select the storage for the vCenter Server 8 deployment. You can choose whether you want to Enable Thin Disk Mode.
Next, configure your network settings for the new vCenter Server 8 appliance. It may be confusing that you are setting a new IP address configuration. However, the new vCenter Server 8 appliance needs a temporary network to copy over the configuration from the existing appliance.
Finally, we are ready to complete Stage 1. Click Finish.
After Stage 1 completes, you will see a message to begin Stage 2.
Stage 2—Deploy vCenter Server 8
The Stage 2 process begins with an overview page. The wizard will launch pre-upgrade checks on the source vCenter Server.
After a couple of minutes, the results of the pre-upgrade checks will be shown.
Select the data you want to copy from your source vCenter Server appliance. These options range from configuration and inventory only to configuration, tasks, events, and performance metrics to capture all historical data.
Next, choose whether you want to participate in the customer experience improvement program (CEIP).
Finally, the Stage 2 wizard is ready to complete. To begin this stage of the upgrade process, click Finish.
The upgrade wizard will display a warning that your source vCenter Server will be shut down as the new appliance assumes the identity of the source vCenter Server.
The Stage 2 upgrade process begins. It will copy data from the source vCenter Server and set up the new vCenter Server 8 appliance with the data copied over from the source appliance.
After the Stage 2 wizard completes, it will display information messages regarding the behavior changes with the new vCenter Server versions.
After closing the message box, the Upgrade – Stage 2 wizard is complete. You can now click the hyperlink in the dialog box to browse to the new vCenter Server appliance.
After the Stage 2 upgrade completes, we can successfully log into the new vCenter Server 8 appliance. Note that your vCenter Server appliance will need a new license key.
The vCenter Server upgrade process follows suit with the procedure from previous vSphere releases. You will need to remember a few things before running the upgrade to vCenter Server 8.
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Upgrades straight from vCenter Server 6.5 to 8.0 are not supported. You will first need to upgrade to vCenter Server 6.7 or 7.x to upgrade to vCenter Server 8.0. Read through the vCenter Server 8 release notes for additional guidance for the upgrade process. You can find the release notes here: VMware vSphere 8.0 Release Notes.