Looking for options for smooth updating VMware VCenter Server 5.1 to the latest 5.1 stable edition

People,

I'm running VMware ESXi servers 5.1 Update 2 and Update 1 managed by my Windows VMware VCenter VM is currently on version vCenter Server 5.1 Update 1 (build 1064983 2013-04-25) as follows:

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Standard - 10 GB vRAM
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition (64-bit) (SP2) - 10.0.4000.0

all in one virtual machine.

Which VCenter server inline upgrade is the easiest without having to bother with SSO or some other java problem ?

Thanks,
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAsked:
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Does this version can be upgradeable with no known issue especially from the SSO component?

VMware vCenter Server 5.1.0 Update 3a and modules
or shall I use the below version instead:
VMware vCenter Server 5.5 Update 2e and modules

My assumption is the rollback plan can be as follows:

1. Cloned the existing VCenter into VCenter_Template (as VMware Template)
2. Patch / Update the VCenter
3. if it is failed, shutdown and delete the Vcenter VM.
4. Connect directly using root to the ESXi host where VM template is running.
5. deploy from VM template as the previous VCenter VM name.
6. Connect back to the VCenter server using vSPhere console.

is that plan going to work considering VCenter server is offline ?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
First, do you need new features, or just bug fixes, why are you updating ?

Always ensure you have a full backup of the vCenter Server to perform a rollback if all goes wrong, that should be standard IT practice.

This does not include a Snapshot.

CLONE of the VM will do. This clone is your backup. Updates are faily straight forward, select your update, mount the ISO.

and Update ALL the Components in Order.

e.g.

SSO
Inventory
Web Client
vCenter Server

By update I mean, click the software menu icon, it will detect existing version, and update it.

Nothing more than you to do.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Andrew,

Well it is because I have been applying updates to ESXi server to Update 3 but the VCenter server is not updated at all since Update 1. There is no problem so far with my VCenter.

The backup is also taken daily by Veeam Backup v8.0 Patch 2, but in this case to restore to the ESXi server, it requires VCenter itself so I cannot do the VCenter restore without VCenter server VM being online.

OK, so is that the steps that I need to do manually rather than clicking "simple" update ?
SSO 
Inventory
Web Client
vCenter Server

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Dariusz TykaICT Infrastructure Specialist Senior Commented:
Hi ITSystemEngineer,

you can make a restore of VC using Veeam. Just add in Veeam your ESXi servers besides your vCenter server and then you can make restores directly to ESXi hosts.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
ok, do I just need to add any ESXi host ?
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Dariusz TykaICT Infrastructure Specialist Senior Commented:
Yes, just add any of your ESXi hosts (you can also add all of them).
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Well it is because I have been applying updates to ESXi server to Update 3 but the VCenter server is not updated at all since Update 1. There is no problem so far with my VCenter.

Does not matter, vCenter does not have to be updated. You do not need to have matching ESXi host and vCenter versions.

There is no simple update, just click the components individually.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Thanks !
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