VMware Fling: vCenter 5.1 Pre-Install Check Script
If you’ve ever done an upgrade to vCenter 5.1, you know there can be a lot of caveats. The vCenter 5.1 install is a little more involved than previous upgrades. Luckily there is a VMware fling available to help us along the way! A fling is an application that can be used with VMware products, but there is actually no official support available for it. You can find the pre-install check script here.
In this article I’m going to use this fling to do a pre-install check of a vCenter 4.1 server running on Windows 2008 R2. Download the fling from the website in the paragraph above. Included in the zip file you’ve downloaded is licensing information, a user guide, and the script itself.
As is stated in the first paragraph of the user guide, “this is a PowerShell script written to help VMware admins validate their environment and assess if it is ready for 5.1.x upgrade, this script checks for common issues when updating or installing vSphere 5.1 and associated SSO services.”
Running the Script
After you download the fling you can open PowerShell and run the script by dragging and dropping the precheckv2 ps1 file into your PowerShell console and pressing Enter.
It may be necessary to open PowerShell as an administrator and run the Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted command before you can run the downloaded script. After you run it a GUI will pop up that looks like this:
Since we’re checking to see if we can upgrade, we put an IP or hostname (if it’s in DNS) in the second field and then click “Run Checks.”
In the PowerShell console window you’ll see this:
In the GUI you’ll see whether you passed the actual tests as shown in the pictures below. As you can see my environment didn’t pass all of the checks as this is just a lab environment.
As you can see from the pictures, there is a link to find more information on each of the checks. For instance, my check failed the IP Address to Name Check. The link takes me to this KB. So, now I can go through and correct the errors to make sure everything is okay before I move ahead with my upgrade. Most likely the problem with mine is with DNS or NTP because I have not actually set either of those up on this vCenter server in my lab.
You can run the Pre-check as many times as you like until you pass all of the checks. You may get a pass, fail, or just an informational message. The informational message does not mean that you can’t upgrade, but it will depend on what it says and your environment.
Summary: A Better Way to Determine Upgrade Compatibility
Having installed vCenter 5.1 several times, this is an awesome way to do a check before getting in too deep with an actual installation. There is a pre-check on the installation that comes with the actual upgrade, but it’s not as granular as this fling and doesn’t offer the links to helpful KB articles. The really nice thing about this script is not only does it check for upgrading vCenter itself, but also the install/upgrade of SSO (Single Sign On). From my personal experience I’ve found that SSO can be the most troublesome part of the install and having all your ducks in a row can be a very helpful thing.