VMware vSphere, the industry leading virtualization platform, provides a powerful, flexible, and secure foundation for business agility that accelerates the digital transformation to cloud computing and success in the digital economy.
vSphere 6.5 supports both existing and next-gen apps through:
With vSphere 6.5 customers can now run, manage, connect, and secure their applications in a common operating environment, across clouds and devices.
vSphere 6.5 provides a highly available, resilient, on-demand infrastructure that is the ideal foundation for any cloud environment. It offers innovation that will enable digital transformation for the enterprise, and makes the IT administrator’s job simpler, freeing up their time, so they can innovate rather than maintain status quo. vSphere 6.5 is also the foundation of VMware’s hybrid cloud strategy moving forward and is required for cross-cloud architectures. Some key new capabilities of vSphere 6.5 include:
The upgrade of your environment to VMware vSphere 6.5 is performed in a phased manner. The components that are upgraded in earlier phases are fully compatible with components whose upgrades have not yet occurred.
Before starting the upgrade of vCenter Server, note any other VMware solutions associated with your environment, such as Site Recovery Manager (SRM) or VMware NSX. Also, determine whether your current deployment uses an embedded or external architecture for SSO/PSC. Use the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix and review Knowledge Base article 2147548 to identify versions of these solutions that are compatible with vSphere 6.5. Refer to Knowledge Base article 2147289 for the sequence to use when upgrading solutions and vCenter Server (and its components).
Upgrades to vCenter Server 6.5 are supported from vCenter Server 5.5 and above. A migration tool is also available to convert your deployment from vCenter Server for Windows to the vCenter Server Appliance. See the vSphere Upgrade Guide for more information.
This may be done in a rolling manner, with individual hosts in a cluster successively updated after virtual machines are migrated using vSphere vMotion to the other operational hosts. A rolling approach allows you to upgrade vSphere hosts while avoiding virtual machine downtime. In-place host upgrades to ESXi version 6.5 are supported from vSphere hosts running ESXi 5.5 or later. Upgrade methods for upgrading your vSphere hosts include using the ESXi Installer, the ESXCLI command from within the ESXi Shell, vSphere Update Manager, and Auto Deploy.
The final step is to install or upgrade additional management solutions that integrate with vCenter Server and provide capabilities for monitoring and planning. Consult the product documentation for vRealize Log Insight and vRealize Operations to see how to deploy these products and refer to Knowledge Base article 2147289 for the exact sequence for upgrading these solutions.
vSphere 6.5 allows previous versions of VMware Tools and virtual hardware to continue running in a supported configuration on newer versions of ESXi. This extended support matrix facilitates vSphere upgrades by allowing you to immediately upgrade your vCenter Server, ESXi hosts and associated VMware solutions – followed by a phased upgrade of virtual machines. In most cases, upgrades to a virtual-machine compatibility version is required only when introducing new capabilities. VMware Tools should be updated as needed to benefit from security and reliability patches.
Virtual machines must be powered off to be upgraded. Plan appropriate outage windows for this step. You can perform an orchestrated upgrade of virtual machines with vSphere Update Manager, which allows you to upgrade both VMware Tools and virtual hardware. Refer to the vSphere compatibility matrix for more information.
vSphere environments that use distributed switches are versioned to correspond with vSphere releases. Older versions of the switch may be used safely on newer vSphere editions, but upgrading is required to benefit from enhanced capabilities or performance improvements.
You must obtain new licenses to deploy VMware vSphere 6.5 if you are on a version older than vSphere 6.0. Existing VMware vSphere 4.x and vSphere 5.x licenses will not work on vSphere 6.5.
Licenses will be upgraded to the new version according to these rules:
To upgrade a product to the new version:
The system deactivates your current license for you. The new licenses are delivered in the same folder as the original license key. If any quantities of the current key remain un-upgraded, new licenses keys are generated for the remaining portion of the current product and be displayed in the confirmation process.
The ability to upgrade a license key depends on:
If you cannot upgrade, contact the Super User associated with that particular account or VMware Support.
Upgrades will be available on the portal shortly after VMware vSphere 6.5 becomes generally available. All license keys with active support and subscription contracts with an end date on or after General Availability are eligible for an upgrade.
To ensure a problem-free license upgrade, VMware requests your cooperation in verifying that your license and subscription data are correct. Please take the time to review your account and contact Support if the information is not consistent with your expectation. If corrections are needed it is preferable to make them prior to the delivery of your VMware vSphere 6.5 licenses.
1. Review Your Support Contracts
Go to Support Contract History under Account after logging into My VMware and, using the same login, review your support contracts. Review the status and end-dates of all contracts that contain vSphere 5.x and vCenter 5.x components. If some contracts are expired or have an end-date before the General Availability (GA) date for vSphere 6.5, you will not be eligible to upgrade your licenses to VMware vSphere 6.5 for the quantities on those contracts. To request a renewal or reinstatement of contracts, use the Request Quote button in the Support Contract Details page.
For additional questions related to licensing, contact Support.
2. Verify Your Role
Go to Account > User & Permissions after logging into My VMware and verify your permission on each of the folders.
The ability to upgrade a license key depends on:
On the date a new version of a product becomes available, you will receive an alert that you are entitled to the new version of your current product. (see Upgrade Eligibility above). The Super User of the account has the ability to grant and remove permissions on the folder.