VSPHERE 6 – vSphere Replication Upgrade

By | March 27, 2016

Things are looking good after upgrading vCenter at both of my home labs to version 6.0. The process I followed for this was outlined in my previous post here.

However since upgrading vCenter to 6.0, I have lost my ability to monitor and configure my vSphere Replication workflows. Per the VMware product compatibility matrix at https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2109760, I know that my current build of vSphere Replication is going to need to also be upgraded in order to return functionality.

vSphere Replication between my two home labs is a primary concern for me. The site hosting this blog is actually a VM running in one of my home labs, front ended by NSX, running in a Linux guest OS via an NGINX instance. For disaster recovery, the bits are kept in sync with a remote lab via vSphere Replication. I want to ensure replication is up to date, so vSphere Replication will be the next component to receive the upgrade.


As a reminder, my lab components are in the below matrix. Items in RED remain to be upgraded.

PRODUCT Current Version Current Build Future Version Future Build
vCenter Server 5.5u2d




Update Manager 5.5u2d




ESXi 5.5u2


6.0 Express Patch 5


vRealize Orchestrator Appliance




vSphere Replication Appliance




NSX 6.2.0





This should be a pretty short post. As is the case with most of the self-contained appliances from VMware, the upgrade procedure is stupid simple.

There is no external database to back up in my lab. The appliance is running on the embedded database, as I only have a handful of replications configured for the solution.

In the past I have pulled minor version updates to the Replication appliance straight from the appliance’s management web UI. To access this feature, simply log in to the appliance at http://vsphere-replication-appliance:5480 as root, leveraging the credentials that were setup for the original installation.

Once authenticated, navigate to the Update -> Status tab and run “Check Updates”.

Unfortunately, the jump from major version 5 to 6 is not available via the system web update utility.

Per the upgrade documentation at http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-replication-61/topic/com.vmware.vsphere.replication-admin.doc/GUID-30083484-FB13-485E-AEC9-0695EADB7B3D.html, we need to download and mount the ISO to the appliance and run the upgrade from there. Log into my.vmware.com and pull the ISO down to a system from which the file can be mapped as a bootable CDROM to the appliance. For my lab, I am going to the latest 6.1 build at the time of this writing, which is build 3051487.

Once downloaded, map the ISO to the CDROM of the vSphere Replication Appliance. Then log into the web management page of the appliance at https://vsphere-replication-appliance:5480 and navigate to the Settings area of the Update tab. Change the update repository to the local CDROM, and save the settings.

Navigate back to the Status area, and select “Check Updates”. Apply the update to version 6.1.

The update procedure will run through its installation – there is no progress bar for this procedure. You may end up staring at the web page and application console wondering what is going on, like I did.

A little bit of patience is necessary – it took about 15 minutes on my appliance before the web page finally told me to reboot to complete.

Go ahead and reboot the appliance from the System tab.

I always prefer to watch the console of the appliance during these reboots, as often times issues or failed service starts are indicated during while the init scripts run.

The reboot should take place without issue. Once the system is sitting at login prompt, log back into the web management UI and verify the current version number.

Fantastic. Next we need to navigate over to the VR tab and re-register the appliance with the appropriate vCenter. Select the Configuration section of the VR tab.

Re-enter SSO admin credentials, and save the settings in order to re-register the appliance.

The LookUp Service SSL cert will need to be accepted.

The appliance should then show a running state with the existing configuration in place.


Following the re-registration of the appliance to vCenter, I found that a restart of the Web Client service on the vCenter server was necessary in order to get the appliance plugin to show up again in the web client.

Once the restart was performed, the vSphere Replication icon was finally available again. However I now encountered the following issue in the Web Client:

There weren’t many details given for what the configuration item could be. Hovering the mouse over the error in the web client actually revealed a mouse over informing me that the NTP service was not running in the vSphere Replication appliance.

This was an odd issue that took me a lot of time to find a solution to. Simply starting/restarting NTPD on the SUSE appliance would not suffice. I ended up locating the following KB https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2126965 on the issue which is what fixed the configuration. After following the steps in this KB, my appliance was finally healthy per the Web Client!!

Now, complete the above steps on the partner site.


Once the other side is also upgraded to 6.1, re-configure the pairing of sites within the web client.

Awesome! Navigating over to the Monitor tab for vSphere Replication shows my existing replications are healthy.


Easy enough! Other than my NTP service mis-hap, the upgrade was pretty straight forward. Next up is getting the ESXi hosts upgraded.