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How to upgrade to vSphere 5.5

A few weeks ago during VMworld 2013 VMware announced vSphere 5.5. We already did a ‘What’s new in vSphere 5.5‘ post but now it is actually available, so it’s time to find out how to upgrade to vSphere 5.5.

But before we start, there are a few caveats:

  • ESXi 5.0 and 5.1 included drivers for network adapters that are not officially supported by VMware, but were very useful for installing ESXi on whitebox hardware. Some of these drivers have been removed, e.g. net-r8168 and net-r8169 for certain Realtek adapters and net-sky2 for Marvell adapters;
  • Once you upgrade a virtual machine’s hardware to VM hardware version 10, it is no longer possible to edit the virtual machine using the traditional vSphere client. Modification to this virtual machine must be executed using the vSphere Web Client. This can be a problem when you are using a free version of ESXi or if you’re unable to manage it through a vCenter server for whatever reason.Hardware version 10.PNG

Because I run a VMware vSphere 5.1 environment, this is a upgrade from vSphere 5.1 to 5.5.
The upgrade is a straight forward four step process.


Page 1 – vCenter Server Appliance upgrade
Page 2 – vSphere client upgrade
Page 3 – ESXi host upgrade
Page 4 – Virtual Machine upgrade



Erik Scholten is the founder of VMGuru.nl and works for Imtech ICT as a Solution Architect creating the most ingenious virtual infrastructures. He has over 16 years experience as a system engineer and consultant and now he specializes in virtualization. His current job includes selling, presenting, designing and developing virtual infrastructures for some major companies in the Netherlands. Erik is a certified VMware VCP (3, 4, 5), VCP Desktop (5), VSP (3, 4, 5) and VTSP (3, 4, 5). In 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 VMware awarded him the vExpert award for his virtualization community efforts.

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