When you upgrade a vCenter Server instance with an embedded vCenter Single Sign-On, you upgrade the entire deployment at the same time.

vCenter Server 5.5 with Embedded vCenter Single Sign-On Before and After Upgrade
vCenter Server 5.5 on Windows with embedded vCenter Single Sign-On before and after upgrading to vCenter Server 6.5 with embedded Plaform Services Controller 6.5

vCenter Server 5.5 ports that are in use by vCenter Server and vCenter Single Sign-On are preserved. You cannot change ports during the upgrade. For information on required ports, see Required Ports for vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller.

vCenter Server services are no longer deployed separately from vCenter Server. Separately deployed 5.5 services are upgraded and migrated to the vCenter Server virtual machine or physical server during the upgrade process. For details on service migration, 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.

The installer automatically migrates the database from Microsoft SQL Server Express to the PostgreSQL database that is included in vCenter Server. For information about migrating from Microsoft SQL Server Express to Microsoft SQL Server before upgrading to vCenter Server 6.5, see the VMware knowledge base article at http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1028601 and the Microsoft documentation. To upgrade without migrating to the PostgreSQL database, see the VMware knowledge base article http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2109321.

Verify that your configuration meets the upgrade requirements. See vCenter Server for Windows Requirements.

Complete the preparation to upgrade tasks. See Before Upgrading vCenter Server

Verify that you have made a backup of your vCenter Server configuration and database.

To verify that the VMware Directory Service is in a stable state and can stop, manually restart it. The VMware Directory service must stopped for the vCenter Server upgrade software to uninstall vCenter Single Sign-On during the upgrade process.

Download the vCenter Server Installer. See Download the vCenter Server Installer for Windows.


Download the vCenter Server for Windows ISO file. Extract the ISO file locally, or mount the ISO file as a drive.


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


Select vCenter Server for Windows and click Install.

The installer runs checks in the background to discover your existing vCenter Single Sign-On settings and notify you of any problems that can affect your upgrade process.

The vCenter Server installer opens to the Welcome page.


Review the Welcome page and accept the license agreement.


Enter your credentials.

Enter your vCenter Server administrator credentials.

If vCenter Single Sign-On is present, enter the administrator@vsphere.local user credential and the vCenter Single Sign-On credential.

Click Next.

The installer runs checks in the background to detect any issues that can cause the upgrade to fail. You might receive a warning if the old certificates do not meet current VMware security standards.


Configure the ports and click Next.

Verify that ports 80 and 443 are free and dedicated, so that vCenter Single Sign-On can use these ports.

The installer checks for the availability of the selected ports, and displays an error message if a selected port cannot be used.


Configure install, data, and export data directories and click Next.

The installer runs disk space and permission checks for the selected directories, and displays an error message if the selected directories do not meet the requirements.


Review the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) page and choose if you want to join the program.

For information about the CEIP, see the Configuring Customer Experience Improvement Program section in vCenter Server and Host Management.


Review the Summary page to verify that the settings are correct. Select the checkbox to verify that you have made a backup of the vCenter Server machine and the vCenter Server database and click Upgrade.

The installer starts the upgrade process and displays a progress indicator.


Before clicking Finish, take note of the post upgrade steps.


Click Finish to complete the upgrade.

Your vCenter Server for Windows upgrade is complete.

Verify that your upgrade was successful. For verification steps, see Verify Your vCenter Server Appliance Upgrade or Migration Is Successful.

For information on post-upgrade steps, see After Upgrading or Migrating vCenter Server.