Upgrading vCenter 5.5 to 5.5 U1 with vCenter Heartbeat installed [Part Two]

In Part One , I mentioned about KB2070181 that demonstrates a different method of upgrading vCenter Server when Heartbeat is installed. In this article, I will show the steps I did to perform this task on the Primary vCenter Server. Details of my environment are as follows:

Primary vCenter Server:
Hostname: vc01.lab.local
Management IP address:
Channel IP Address:

Secondary vCenter Server:
Hostname: vc02.lab.local
Management IP address:
Channel IP Address:

vCenter Server Public Name: vc.lab.local
vCenter Server Public IP Address:


Both vCenter Servers are VM’s in a LAN deployment. The SQL Server database in my environment is in a different VM and is not protected by Heartbeat. The version of Heartbeat is 6.6 which is a supported version from  the KB. In a production environment, always make sure you have a backup.  Here are the steps:

1. Make the Primary Node active and verify.


2. To verify, double click the Configure Server icon on the desktop and go to machine tab


3.  Shutdown the secondary node. The KB article mentioned to delete the secondary vCenter Server but I won’t do that just yet. I did a snapshot of my Primary VM and in case something goes wrong I can just revert to the snapshot and still use both the primay and secondary vCenters.

4. Rename the Primary node from the Management Name to the Public Service Name and reboot when requested.  In below screenshot, I renamed my primary vCenter from vc01 to vc.


5. Shut down vCenter Server Heartbeat, leaving protected applications running.

6. Using the Service Control Manager, configure the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat service Startup Type to Manual.


7. Upgrade all protected applications. In my environment, I upgraded the following components to 5.5 U1 in the following order: SSO, Web Client, Inventory Service and vCenter Server. If you have Update Manager, upgrade it as well. The upgrade went smoothly, the installer detected an existing installation and prompted that they will be upgraded to 5.5 U1 version.

8. Start vCenter Server Heartbeat and run protected service discovery by navigating to the vCenter Server Heartbeat Console Application tasks page.


8. Clone the server (do not start the newly cloned node yet)

9. Using the Service Control Manager, configure the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat service Startup Type to Automatic.

10. Rename the server back to the Primary node’s previous Management Name, and reboot when requested.


That’s it for the Primary vCenter Server. In part 3 of this series, I will continue on with configuring the Secondary node which actually is just the clone of the newly upgraded primary vCenter Server.


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