PSA: Before you upgrade to vSphere 6.7

***I recently posted this topic on the NYC VMUG Community Forum (Found Here). I thought it would be a good idea to add it here as well.***

I want to provide a little guidance to anyone looking to upgrade to vSphere 6.7.

One thing that I see constantly with my customers and VMware admins the world over when a new version comes out is that everyone wants to install it as fast as possible.

DON’T.

Take a deep breath.

Do your homework first.

Make sure you start out by reading the VMware support document in reference to upgrading. Important information before upgrading to vSphere 6.7 (53704)

Along with this document, there are a number of factors that you need to check before you upgrade. Here are a few that I can think of off the top of my head.

  • Hardware Compatibility
    • Have you checked the VMware Compatibility Guide? VMware Compatibility Guide
    • Is all of the hardware in your environment supported?
    • Do you need to be on a specific firmware version
  • Software Compatability
    • Do you have any applications that rely on vCenter to function? (Ex.Zerto, Veeam, SRM, Citrix) Will they be affected when you upgrade?
    • Prior to upgrade, you must ensure that all of your 3rd party apps will function with the new version of vCenter. If they are not supported at this time, can the vendor provide you with a timeframe for support?
    • Will these applications be down during the upgrade process? For how long? Will that impact your end users? (<—- MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION) An example of this would be if vCenter is down, will I be able to provision new desktops?
  • Operations
    • Is there a particular order in which you need to upgrade your environment? Host firmware before ESXi upgrade? vCenter before ESXi (YES!), vCenter before SRM?
    • Do you need a maintenance window for the end user impacting upgrades?
    • Can you upgrade the firmware of your ESXi hosts, prior to upgrading them to the new version of ESXi? Will that version be supported on your current version of ESXi as well as the new version? This is another great opportunity to look at the VMware Compatibility Guide
    • Same goes for your storage platform. Ensure that your storage array will work with the new version as well.
    • Do you need to upgrade any certificates? Are there any additional security concerns?

These are just some general guidelines that you need to consider before moving ahead with a vSphere upgrade. The old adage “Measure twice, cut once” really comes into play here. The more prepared you are prior to implementation, the more successful you will be.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter, Did I forget anything? Have you run across this in any of your previous upgrades? Would you share any other tips? Please let us know.

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