Upgrading vCAC 6.0 to 6.1 – tips and tricks (a.k.a. vRealize Automation)

Last night we upgraded our vCAC 6.0.1.1 production environment including our VCO installation on vCenter. Fortunately we prepared this change in our test environment, because we ran into some challenges. In this blog I want to share our experiences and the way we fixed this.

We started by cloning the vCAC appliance, the Windows server hosting the IaaS components, the vCenter SSO server and the vCenter Server on which we run vCenter Orchestrator.

After that we finished upgrading the hosts in our management cluster to vSphere 5.5 U2. Next we opened the administration portal of the vCAC appliance, selected the Update tab and clicked on Check Updates. Capture vcacEasy as can be. When the latest updates are displayed (6.1.1.0 Build 2216936 when I wrote this) click Install Updates. This takes a while, so I had my hands free to upgrade the OS of the IaaS node to Windows Server 2012 R2. That too just takes some time. Remember to file the IP settings, with our upgrade all went fine, just the IP settings got lost.

When vCAC appliance and OS upgrades are done, there are a few things you need to do:

  1. Copy the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\vCAC\ to another disk or e.g. the temp folder as a safety precaution
  2. Download a 64-bits edition of Java (8.25) from java.com (manual download, or you’ll end up with a 32 bits version) and install it
  3. Set the Environment variable JAVA_HOME to the Java install folder
  4. Verify that the %JAVA_HOME%\bin\java.exe file is available
  5. Open a browser and browse to https://<vCAC appliance>:5480/i/
  6. Download the DB upgrade scripts
  7. unzip them
  8. Open an admin command prompt
  9. browse to the dir where you have unzipped the database upgrade scripts
  10. run the following command: dbupgrade.exe -S <database server> -d <vCAC DB> -E <dbowner> (replace the names in between <> with your server or clustername, vCAC database name and user with sufficient rights on the DB)
  11. Download the IaaS upgrade files from the vCAC appliance
  12. Make sure you are logged in with the same account that was used to install the IaaS components in the first place
  13. Run the installation as administrator

When you configure the wizard and run the upgrade, don’t panic when it fails with errors like “server name cannot be empty”. That’s why you made the copy of the vCAC directory. Browse to C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\vCAC\Server\ModelManagerWeb\web.config and rename the web.config file to web.config.old. Browse to the copy you made and go to \\\vCAC\Server\ModelManagerWeb\and copy the web.config file to C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\vCAC\Server\ModelManagerWeb\

Now rerun the upgrade wizard. After the upgrade do not forget to repair MSDTC on the SQL server as described in kb.vmware.com/kb/2089503.

Next step is to upgrade VCO. You can combine this with the vCenter Server upgrade when these are on the same server. VCO will get upgraded with vCenter automatically, but to get it to work, you need to login to the configuration portal. Enable the VCO configuration service and open a browser. Go to https://<VCO server>:8283, login and re-establish the connecting with the SSO server. Logout and start the VCO client and try to login.

Finally, test all blueprints and workflows from your catalogue(s).

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About etqui

My name is Eelco de Boer and I work for DellEMC VCE as a Solutions Architect Virtualisation. I am interested in design (both high level and technical), product/solution management and helping customers solve their pains. I like to take a broader look and approach and prefer to look at a problem from several angles. My experience focuses mainly on solutions based on VMware technologies and software. I am a VMware Certified Professional, VMware Certified Advanced Professional Data Center Design, vExpert 2014, 2015 and 2016. This blog represents my own opinion and views.

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