What to check before upgrading to vSphere 6.5

Last week vSphere 6.5 was released (GA). This release has a lot of new cool features (see this link for more information). In the past I saw vSphere environments that are upgraded without proper preparation resulting in a rollback because compatibility issues with hard-or software. So I created a simple list with steps to check before upgrading to vSphere 6.5:

  • Check the hardware against the VMware Compatibility Guide, link
    • There is a PowerCLI script to check the hardware against the VMware Compatibility Guide, link
    • Devices deprecated and unsupported in ESXi 6.5, link
  • Check if all vSphere products are supported by vSphere 6.5. The following product are not supported yet (when writing this blog):
    • VMware NSX
    • VMware Integrated OpenStack
    • vCloud Director for Service Providers
    • vRealize Infrastructure Navigator
    • App Volumes
    • Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode
    • Integrated OpenStack
    • vCloud Networking and Security
    • vRealize Business for Cloud
    • vRealize Configuration Manager
    • vRealize Hyperic
    • vRealize Networking Insight
  • Check the “Important information before upgrading to vSphere 6.5 article, link
  • Check the update sequence for vSphere 6.5 and its compatible VMware products, link
  • Check if all the third-party products are supported by vSphere 6.5. For example last week Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 is released. This release has no support yet for vSphere 6.5. Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 1 will add support for vSphere 6.5.
  • The existing vSphere 6.0 license keys are supported for vSphere 6.5. No new license key are needed. More info: link
  • Check the vSphere 6.5 upgrade documentation, link
  • Always install vSphere 6.5 first in non-production environments and test all the critical stuff for some time. vSphere 6.0 had some nasty Change Block Tracking (CBT) bugs that you don’t want in your production environment.
  • Check the supported and deprecated topologies for VMware vSphere 6.5 article, more info: link
  • The vSphere Windows (C#) Client is  deprecated. Use the vSphere Web client of the new HTML5 based Client.
  • VMFS6 is the new filesystem of vSphere 6.5. VMFS6 cannot be inline or offline upgraded from VMFS5 to VMFS6. More info: link
  • TLS protocol versions 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2 are enabled by default in vSphere 6.5. More information about disabling TLS 1.0 can be found here: link.


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