Upgrade to vRA 7.5

Upgrade to vRA 7.5

Upgrading your vRealize Automation instance has some times been a painful exercise. But this was in the early days after VMware purchased the product from DynamicOps. It’s taken a while, but the upgrade process has improved for each and every version, in my opinion, and 7.5 is no exception. If you’re on a previous version, here is a quick rundown on the upgrade process from 7.4 to 7.5.

Note: As always, please read the the official upgrade documentation. It includes prerequisites and steps that should always be followed. https://docs.vmware.com/en/vRealize-Automation/7.5/vrealize-automation-7172732to75upgrading.pdf

Upgrade Prerequisites

There are a few things that should commonly be checked before these upgrades. I’ve seen prerequisites listed before for software that mention making sure you have free space available and the right hardware components, blah blah. But you really should check these. I don’t know how many times I’ve gone to do a vRA upgrade only to find out the disk sizes have changed or i used up all the free space, so do yourself a favor and check to be sure you’ve covered these.

vRealize Automation requirements:

  • 18 GB RAM
  • 4 CPUs
  • Disk1=50 GB
  • Disk3=25 GB
  • Disk4=50 GB

IaaS Servers and SQL Database must also have at least 5 GB of free space available.

Beyond these requirements, I highly recommend checking the Java version on your IaaS servers. vRA has required that the java version be upgraded between my vRA upgrades on the past few occasions and if you don’t upgrade them, it can bite you. Be sure that for 7.5 your Java version is version 8 update 161 or higher.

Also, it should make sense to you that your vRA 7.4 version is in good working condition before you upgrade to 7.5. If it isn’t, it’s unlikely that your upgrade will magically make everything work again. A couple of good things to test would be to check the services are all registered in your vRA VAMI console.

Another good thing to check is to make sure that your IaaS Management agent is communicating properly. I found out that changing my vRA root password (because I couldn’t remember it) caused my management agent to stop communicating. Check to make sure this works so that the upgrade process can not only update your vRA appliance, but then also seamlessly update your IaaS servers.

Lastly, and I can’t stress this enough, make sure that you have proper backups and snapshots. In my lab I prefer to keep my SQL database on my IaaS Server so that snapshotting this server and the vRA appliance is all that I need to do. I’ve frequently had errors during upgrades (almost always because I didn’t thoroughly review the documentation) and the snapshots instantly get me back to my starting point.

Perform the Upgrade

To run the upgrade, login to the vRA appliance’s VAMI console and go to the update tab. From there click the check for updates (assuming the default repository is set under settings) and wait until you get a notification that 7.5 is available. After that click the “Install Updates” button.

You’ll be asked a second time if you’re ready to do this upgrade. Consider this the “Do you have valid backups?” message box. Click OK when you’re ready.

You’ll get a dialog box that tells you to please wait. And it may stay this way for quite some time.

If you’d like to get more details on what’s actually happening, I highly recommend SSHing into the vRA appliance and running a tail -f on /opt/vmware/var/log/vami/updatecli.log. Eventually, you’ll see that the upgrade is finished.

The VAMI console will also show that the upgrade is complete but you’ll need to reboot the vRA appliance before it’s finished.

After the reboot, you should be able to log back into your tenant and will see the new HTML 5 interface and your “Services” menu should be gone.

Good luck on your upgrade, and thanks for reading!

 

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