Upgrade vCenter Server 4.x to vCenter Server 5.0 on the same machine if the vCenter Server 4.x instance is on a 64-bit machine.

This procedure requires downtime for the vCenter Server that you are upgrading. You do not need to turn off virtual machines.

If an earlier version of vCenter Server is on your machine, the vCenter Server installer detects and upgrades it. If the upgrade fails, no automatic rollback occurs to the previous vCenter Server version.

In-place upgrade to vCenter 5.0 is not supported on Microsoft Windows XP.


If your vSphere system includes VMware solutions or plug-ins, make sure they are compatible with the vCenter Server version that you are upgrading to. See the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix at http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/sim/interop_matrix.php.

If the vCenter Server that you are upgrading from has plug-ins or plug-in versions that are incompatible with vCenter Server 5.0, for example vSphere Converter or Update Manager, these plug-ins will be unregistered during the upgrade process.

See Prerequisites for the vCenter Server Upgrade for requirements for the vCenter Server system and for the database.

Download the vCenter Server 5.0 installer from the VMware Web site.

Back up the existing vCenter Server database.

Close all instances of the VI Client and the vSphere Client.

Make sure that you have a valid license key.

You must be logged in as Administrator on the Windows machine you are installing vCenter Server on.

If VMware Guided Consolidation Services is installed on the existing vCenter Server, uninstall it.


In the software installer directory, double-click the autorun.exe file to start the installer.


Select vCenter Server™ and click Install.


Follow the prompts in the installation wizard to choose the installer language, agree to the end user patent and license agreements, enter your user name, organization name, and license key.


If you do not enter a license key, your license will expire. After the installation, you can connect to the vCenter Server with the vSphere Client and reenter the license key.


Select the DSN.

This page appears if the installer is unable to determine the DSN for the database to be upgraded. The DSN must be a 64-bit DSN. Depending on the database type, the DSN might be selected, or there might be only one option.


Type the database user name and password for the DSN.

If you specify a remote SQL Server database that uses Windows NT authentication, the database user and the logged-in user on the vCenter Server machine must be the same.


Select whether to upgrade the vCenter Server database.

Select Upgrade existing vCenter Server database to continue with the upgrade to vCenter Server.

Select Do not upgrade existing vCenter Server database if you do not have a backup copy of your database.

You cannot continue the upgrade.


Click I have taken a backup of the existing vCenter Server database and SSL certificates.


Select how to upgrade vCenter Agent.




To automatically upgrade vCenter Agent on all the hosts in the vCenter Server inventory.


If one of the following applies:

You need to control the timing of vCenter Agent upgrades on specific hosts.

vCenter Agent is installed on each host in the inventory to enable vCenter Server to manage the host. vCenter Agent must be upgraded when vCenter Server is upgraded.

vCenter Agent is installed on each host in the inventory to enable vCenter Server to manage the host. vCenter Agent must be upgraded when vCenter Server is upgraded.


Select the account for the vCenter Service to run in.



SYSTEM Account

Select the Use SYSTEM account checkbox, type the fully qualified domain name of the vCenter Server host, and click Next. You cannot use the SYSTEM account if you are using the bundled database or SQL Server with Windows authentication.

User-specified account

Deselect the Use SYSTEM account checkbox, type the account password and the fully qualified domain name of the vCenter Server host and click Next.


Select a folder to install vCenter Inventory Service.


The folder size might grow large.


Enter port numbers to connect to vCenter Server.


Type the port numbers for Inventory Service or accept the port numbers shown in the Configure Ports for Inventory Service window.


Select the size of your vCenter Server inventory to allocate memory for several Java services that are used by vCenter Server.

This setting determines the maximum JVM heap settings for VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices (Tomcat), Inventory Service, and Profile-Driven Storage Service. You can adjust this setting after installation if the number of hosts in your environment changes. See the recommendations in vCenter Server and vSphere Client Hardware Requirements.


(Optional) In the Ready to Install the Program window, select Select to bump up the ephemeral port value.

This option increases the number of available ephemeral ports. If your vCenter Server manages hosts on which you will power on more than 2000 virtual machines simultaneously, this option prevents the pool of available ephemeral ports from being exhausted.

Upgrade the vSphere Client to version 5.0. This step prevents compatibility problems that might interfere with the proper operation of the vSphere Client. See Upgrade the vSphere Client. Review the topics in After You Upgrade vCenter Server for other postupgrade actions you might want to take.