Upgrade VMWare VSphere from 5.5 to 6 AND migrate from windows vcenter to the linux vcenter appliance

Hello we currently have vmware vsphere 5.5.  We have 5-10 physical ESXi servers and one windows box serving as "vcenter" with another windows box acting as the SQL server back-end for vcenter.  I heard recently that VMWare has released a linux-based appliance to act as vcenter.  I would like to upgrade our environment from vsphere 5.5 to 6.x.  I am excited to get rid of these two windows boxes and migrate to the linux-appliance.  I heard there's an unsupported tool out there that will attempt to migrate your configurations from your windows vcenter server to the appliance.  Has anyone had any luck with this?  Or can we simply spin up the appliance in an entire new vcenter "domain" and put 1 or 2 physical ESXi servers in this new vcenter environment and then migrate our VMs from our old windows vcenter 5.5 environment to the new vcenter linux appliance 6.0 environment?  Hope that makes sense, thanks.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The appliance has been with us since version 5.0! (5.1, 5.5 and 6.0!) but it's now better than ever!!!

1. You can spin up a new vCenter 6.0 appliance.

2. Remove/Dis-associate the existing ESXi hosts from current vCenter Server. (appliance)

3. Add ESXi hosts to new vCenter Server.

simple....and I've just written new EE Articles...


have a read of this also

KishwaukeeAuthor Commented:
Thank you Andrew.  I'm just a little foggy on how to transition, with as little/no downtime as possible, my live 5.5 environment and VMs to the 6.0 environment.   So for example do I move all the VMs off two of my existing ESXi 5.5 serves and then un-license them from the 5.5 vcenter and then install esxi 6.x on those two physical servers and then install the VSA in that environment?  And then how do I get my VMs from the standalone 5.5 environment (8 esxi hosts)  to this new 2-host 6.0 environment?  Hope that makes sense.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
VMs do not move *anywhere*.

there is no *downtime*

vCenter Server is just a management server, it does not affect running VMs.

Import and install the new VCSA appliance, into an existing host.

Power it up.

Remove/Dis-associate hosts with existing vCenter Server 5.5,

Add to new vCenter Server 6.0.

No VMs moved in the process, or is there something I'm missing.....

repeat for all hosts.

turn off Windows vCenter Server and SQL server.


Connect to new VCSA 6.0.

You are done.

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