• This topic has 5 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated March 23, 2018 by Ron F.

Migrate Windows vCenter v5.5 to v6.5 vCSA

  • As Mike T pointed out in his post :

    VMware has a supported migration path from a Windows vCenter Server v5.5 to the v6.5 vCenter Server Appliance (link) .

    If we upgrade our Zerto to v5.0U1 first, what considerations should we be aware of if we migrate to the appliance (as this appears to be the direction VMware is encouraging folks to do)?  Obviously, we don’t want to hose our Zerto sites and/or replication, and I am sure most folks would want to avoid delta-syncs if at all possible.

    Hey Sam,

    I thought I already replied to this, but couldn’t see it when I logged back in today so apologies for that!

    This process looks sound to me and the most important thing is the MoRefs in the vCenter cannot change, which they shouldn’t. I’d recommend taking a backup of your Zerto configuration from the ZVM first and staggering the update of vCenter and ESXi hosts.

    Depending on the size of your environment impacts my next recommendation; large, I.E 500 VMs 50TB of data vs small 50 VMs 10TB. For small I’d go with just the above as you can always re-protect reasonably easily, if say the vCenter upgrade fails and you have to start from scratch.

    For large this is where I would spend more time and I’d probably look to take a clone of my vCenter (with database/PSC), a nested ESXi host registered into it and its associated DNS server. Note down a few MoRefs via the object browser, place it in an isolated VLAN and test the upgrade process. You’ll need DNS as the v6.5 vCenter appliance install process will fail without it, so upgrade probably will too. You’ll need a nested ESXi host to deploy the new appliance onto as part of the upgrade. FYI these are not recommendations for Zerto, they are my recommendations for testing the upgrade of a vCenter if it is critical to your operations! Conceivably you could just snapshot the vCenter/DB, upgrade then rollback if you had any issues, but this gets messy:


    Any questions let me know. Thanks,


    Hi Joshua –

    I was wondering, how did the upgrade from Windows vCenter Server 5.5 to vCenter 6.5 vCSA go with regards to Zerto?

    Did Zerto just continue to work without issue?



    Hi Kelvin,

    Not sure if this helps, but I did the upgrade from vCenter v5.5 running on Windows Server, to VCSA v6.0 a year or two ago. I had Zerto in place at the time. I can tell you that from a Zerto perspective, I didn’t have do a single thing. Communication was lost when the vCenter migration was in progress, and automatically reestablished when the migration was complete.

    Keep in mind, this is possible primarily because of 3 reasons: 1) the name of my vCenter remained the same, 2) the vCenter database was kept intact and migrated to the new server, 3) the IP address of my vCenter stayed the same.

    If you keep all those elements the same, Zerto shouldn’t have any issue and should pick back up as soon as the new vCenter is online.

    The same is true when I did an appliance upgrade from VCSA v6.0 to VCSA v6.5. In fact, that process is identical to the migration process from Windows to VCSA, so it was a process I was already familiar with.

    One tip for you, if you current vCenter is a VM, rename the VM prior to starting the migration. That way your new vCenter will have the appropriate name when all is said and done, as vCenter cannot have 2 VM’s with the same name. You’ll end up deleting the old one anyway.

    Bottom line, Zerto had no issues with my vCenter migration. I didn’t have to tend to it at all.

    Hope that helps.

    Thanks Matthew for your reply and the added information.  I’ll be doing something similar to you.  Going from vCenter 6.0 on Windows to vCSA 6.5 using the migration tool.

    Sounds like it should smoothly.


    Know too that you will need to upgrade Zerto to at least 5.5 to be compatible with vSphere 6.5. I just did that in prep for going to 6.5. Zerto 6.0 is still to new for us to make that jump.


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