Home lab vCenter 5.1 to 5.5 upgrade

I was running the vCenter appliance 5.0 in my home lab and wanted to upgrade to 5.5.  During the process I wanted to explore inventory snapshot and do an in lace upgrade of vCenter 5.1 to 5.5 on a windows install.  I have recently become a big fan of creating a standalone super vm to house vCenter, SSO, VUM and the vCenter database.  This method makes it easier to backup and HA protect the system while keeping it simple.  This will of course burn a real SQL licenses just for vCenter but it becomes a self-contained appliance that has the advantages I spoke of above.

In order to move from the appliance to the new windows super vm I built I used inventory snapshot.   http://labs.vmware.com/flings/inventorysnapshot  This was a simple and straight forward way to migrate to a new vCenter.  The Fling uses Java and a Power-shell script to collect information from your original vCenter and then creates a .ps1 with all the commands necessary to add your hosts create clusters add permissions and set everything else necessary back to the way it was.  The only thing it does not address is VDS configuration so if you are running a VDS or 1000v you will need to migrate to standard vswitches first.  I only had a couple in my home lab so it was simple.  I did not take any screenshots of this method but it was simple.

Now that I had a fully functional vCenter windows machine hosting SQL for vCenter and SSO it was time to upgrade.  I downloaded and ran the 5.5 installer and picked the simple install.  It started out OK jumping into the new SSO install (internal database instead of SQL for 5.5) but then never gave me a successful install message for SSO.  It then moved on to the Web client install and failed.  I took over after that and installed the inventoy service manually and then vCenter server after that.  Once complete it all worked as expected and after I stopped the old SSO data base my permissions and accounts kept working.  It seems the new internal SSO database is now in  D:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\vmware-sasl



Here are screen shots from my install:


I chose the Simple install

It jumped directly into the New SSO install and verified my IP and FQDN:

Setup detected a previous install of SSO:

It looks like there is a new user account for SSO in 5.5 other than admin@system-domain I made my password the same as before.

The new version wants a site name for the first site now

I changed the install directory to D:\

Next step was to smash the Install button…..

During the install I noticed three new directories were created under D:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure.  I assume this is the new internal SSO database

I never received a successful install notice for SSO but it moved into the Web client install

During Web install I received an “error” stating the service or solution was already registered.

Install failed


I moved on to manually installing the inventory service

I chose to keep my database:

I took the defaults

Input the SSO password

Clicked yes on SSL cert

Smashed install



Now on to the vcenter install

I left the key blank for now

I input my SQL credentials for the vCenter database

I chose to upgrade the database

I chose automatic

Ill run as a local account.

Default ports should be fine


I doubt my lab will ever grow over 100 hosts but just to be safe :)

SSO password again

Yes to the certificate

Will the install be successful?



As soon as I was complete I hit up the web page and no dice :(

I then tried the C client and it appears vCenter is up the web interface is just broken.

I re-installed the web client and it was successful the second time.  I think the simple install chose the C: instead of D: and that was the fix

After all this I wanted to verify that SSO was not using SQL anymore.  I disabled the old SSO database and my users still work and I can log in.

Next to install NSX…………………………..



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