Like most enterprise IT shops, we have a significant VMware investment. One of the requirements of upgrading to VSphere 6 is to upgrade your VCenter out of band. Our VCenter is on Windows Server 2012 with Micosoft SQL Server on box. A Windows VCenter upgrade is fairly straight forward – make sure your SQL DB, SSL certs and SSO config are backed up prior to running the upgrade. Another gotcha is to make sure you know your VCenter DB username and password prior to any upgrade. If your VCenter is a VM – then here is where a snapshot is the perfect tonic.

During the installer pre-upgrade check i had the following error:

SQL Permissions Error

SQL Permissions Error

This was resolved by running an SQL query on the VCenter DB:
use master
grant VIEW SERVER STATE to [vCenter_database_user] go
GRANT VIEW ANY DEFINITION TO [vCenter_database_user] go

The KB below details this:

Once I ran the installer it started to remove the existing 5.5 version but then it failed with an error, dumping the logs to the system temp directory. Upon investigation the MSI error was 29702 – unable to configure log browser. Further inspection of the logs pointed to the VSphere Web Client. So the plan of action here was to remove all 5.5 components and then reinstall them cleanly, pointing to the existing database. All of the components would uninstall accept for the Web Client – it kept giving the above error.

Enter the Microsoft Fix It utility:

This utility allowed me to force remove the Web Client (from the Windows registry) and then proceed to installing 5.5 fresh again. Pointing the 5.5 install to the existing DB – i now had a clean VCenter 5.5. This actually took several hours to find the fix and remove and reinstall 5.5. From this point running the 6.0 wizard was a breeze and took around 30 mins, this depends on the size of your VCenter DB.