Verify that all components of your environment are ready to upgrade vCenter Server.

Your pre-upgrade configuration of vCenter Server services determines your post-upgrade deployment type.

If your vCenter Server 5.5 service and vCenter Single Sign-On 5.5 service are deployed on the same virtual machine or physical server, the installer upgrades them to vCenter Server 6.5 with an embedded Platform Services Controller instance. See About the vCenter Server for Windows Upgrade Process.

If your vCenter Server 5.5 service and vCenter Single Sign-On 5.5 service are deployed on different virtual machines or physical servers, the installer upgrades them to vCenter Server 6.5 with an external Platform Services Controller instance. For information on the consolidation of distributed services during the upgrade, see Distributed vCenter Server 5.5 for Windows Services Relocation During Upgrade or Migration and Example Upgrade Paths for vCenter Server version 5.5 to version 6.5.

If you have vCenter Server 6.0, your current deployment type is preserved during the upgrade.

For information on synchronizing clocks, see Synchronizing Clocks on the vSphere Network.

To download the installer, see Download the vCenter Server Installer for Windows

After you have verified basic compatibility and upgrade readiness for your database, network, local database communication, and ESXi hosts, you are ready to perform the final tasks to assure upgrade readiness of your environment.

1

Log in as a member of the Administrators group on the host machine, with a user name that does not contain non-ASCII characters.

2

Make sure that your pre-upgrade configuration is correct for the post-upgrade deployment you want to achieve.

If you are upgrading from vCenter Server 5.5 to vCenter Server with an embedded Platform Services Controller deployment, make sure that your vCenter Server and vCenter Single Sign-On instances are deployed on a single virtual machine or physical host.

If you are upgrading from vCenter Server 5.5 to vCenter Server with an external Platform Services Controller deployment, make sure that your vCenter Single Sign-On is deployed on a separate virtual machine or physical host from its associated vCenter Server.

If you are upgrading from vCenter Server 6.0, the software preserves your current deployment during the upgrade to vCenter Server 6.5.

3

Verify that the required services have started.

The vCenter Single Sign-On instance to which you are registering vCenter Server

VMware Certificate Authority

VMware Directory Service

VMware Identity Manager Service

VMware KDC Service

tcruntime-C-ProgramData-VMware-cis-runtime-VMwareSTSService

4

Before you install or upgrade a vSphere product, synchronize the clocks of all machines on the vSphere network.

5

If you do not intend to use vCenter Server 6.5 in evaluation mode, make sure that you have valid license keys for all purchased functionality. License keys from previous versions of vSphere continue to support the previous versions, however they do not support vCenter Server 6.5.

If you do not have the license key, you can install in evaluation mode and use the vSphere Web Client to enter the license key later.

6

Close all instances of the vSphere Web Client.

7

Confirm that no processes conflict.

8

Download the installer.

Your vCenter Server environment is ready for the upgrade. See Upgrading vCenter Server 5.5 on Windows or Upgrading vCenter Server 6.0 on Windows.