The upgrade of your environment to VMware vSphere 6.7 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.
Phase 1: Perform the upgrade of the vCenter Server along with associated VMware Solutions
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 PSC. Use the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix and review Knowledge Base article 53704 to identify versions of these solutions that are compatible with vSphere 6.7. Refer to Knowledge Base article 53710 for the sequence to use when upgrading solutions and vCenter Server (and its components).
Upgrades to vCenter Server 6.7 are supported from vCenter Server 6.0 and above. A migration tool is also available to convert your deployment from vCenter Server for Windows to the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA). When migrating from vCenter Server for Windows to the VCSA it is important to externalize any installed VMware products like SRM or Horizon View Composer prior to beginning any migration steps. See the vSphere Upgrade Guide for more information.
Phase 2: Upgrade your vSphere hosts to VMware ESXi 6.7
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 6.7 are supported from vSphere hosts running ESXi 6.0 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 (VUM), and Auto Deploy.
Phase 3: Install or Upgrade vRealize Log Insight for vCenter Server and vRealize Operations
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.
Post-Upgrade Considerations: Complete the upgrade of your virtual machines, Distributed Switches, and datastores
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.