vSphere vCenter Server Install 5.5 and upgrade to 6.5

In this article we will learn about vCenter Server upgrade


  • Experiment with vCenter Server upgrade from v5.1 to v6.5
  • Upgrade from vCenter Server v5.1 to v5.5
  • Installation of vCenter Server v5.5
  • Upgrade from vCenter server from v5.5 to v6.5
  • Prior proceeding with the upgrade, you must check for software and hardware compatibility with this version for your existing backup, storage, hardware firmware versions.
  • Take snapshot of your vCenter server
  • Take backup of your database and vCenter server.
  • generate rvtools inventory
  • get all credentials in handy like SSO, Database, domain account.
  • Download required software version from VMware portal and generate license keys.
For this article I have chosen vCenter version “VMware-VIM-all-6.5.0-9451637”
For vSphere versions you must follow upgrade paths. For example, vSphere 5.1 can’t be upgraded directly to vSphere 6.5. first you must upgrade to vSphere 5.5 then go for vSphere 6.5.
In this article I did some experiment to show you what error message it will triggered if you won’t follow upgrade path.
This is the VMware article which shows about all upgrade paths for available vCenter server versions
It is advised to take screen capture or note the details of affinity rules, roles, custom alarms. Technically these settings remain after upgrade however just prepare for the worst case.
After your vCenter server upgrade, you can upgrade esxi hosts and SRM. Remember higher vCenter version still can support lower esxi versions. That means if your VC is v6.5 still you can connect hosts with version 5.5 & 6.0
Experiement with not following upgrade path. vSphere 5.1 upgrade to vSphere 6.5 not possible !
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Note: Ignore this below image, it shows as premature ended. However it should be displayed as success.
vCenter Server version 5.5 Installation
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Please refer this article for vCenter Server upgrade from 5.5 to 6.5