I wanted to try the convergence process for one of my nested labs that is built up with these components:

  • 2 Platform Service Controller behind a Load Balancer (Netscaler)
  • 2 vCenter on the same site that is pointing to the PSC Vip

I did a series regarding this environment upgrade from 6.5 and 6.7 with some part of configuration regarding the PSC behind an LB. It’s the same draw I just have to rename the version of the PSC components because now they are on the 6.7 version. The point here is to get rid of the external Platform Service Controllers because on vSphere 7.0, you can no longer have an external PSC deployed so as part of upgrading.  No need to worry though, VMware from the 6.7 U1 version built up a useful tool to converge external PSC to the Embedded all in one appliance.

The target so is clear, converge the two vCenter to an Embedded one, the version of this environment is the 6.7 43000 build 15976714.

This is the currently last build of 6.7 and I needed to patch this environment due to the fact that these appliances were previously upgraded from the 6.5 to 6.7. (vulnerability)

So before starting just recap a bunch of Prerequisites for this convergence process (vmware-doc):

Prerequisites

  • (Optional) If your vCenter Server does not have external Internet access, download, and mount the vCenter Server Appliance 6.7 Update 2 ISO to the /mnt/cdrom folder. See Download and Mount the vCenter Server Appliance Installer for UI Convergence for details.
  • Create backups of the vCenter Server and external Platform Services Controller instances so that you can restore them if the reconfiguration fails. See File-Based Backup and Restore of vCenter Server Appliance for information on backing up the vCenter Server.
  • Disable and remove vCenter HA before starting the process. Converging with vCenter HA configurations is not supported. Remove any vCenter HA configurations before starting the converging process. After converging, enable vCenter HA configurations in the embedded node.

So let’s start by creating the backups for every vCenter and PSC appliance, in my case I’ve set up before a FTP server on my Nas and I’m forwarding all the backup files on a folder called “Backups”. For doing that you need to go on every VAMI console “https://appliance-ip-address:5480”, login and go under the backup section and do the backup.

Procedure

  1. From the vSphere Client side bar, click Administration. In the Administration panel, under Deployment click System Configuration.
    The System Configuration page lists each of the vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller nodes with details including FQDN or IP address, node health, type, version, virtual machine, and uptime.
  2. (Optional) To display more information, including replication partner, click the expand button next to the node.
    To log into the vCenter Server or Platform Services Controller, click Login.
  3. (Optional) To display the nodes in a graphical format, click View as Topology.
    Select each node to view its details.
  4. (Optional) To return to viewing the nodes in a table format, click View as Table.
  5. Select a vCenter Server with an external Platform Services Controller and click Converge to Embedded.
    If you are logged into this vCenter Server, you receive a warning that converging this node restarts all vCenter Server services. Access to the vSphere Client on this vCenter Server is lost while the services restart. However, the converge process is not impacted. If possible, log into a vSphere Client from a different vCenter Server connected through Enhanced Linked Mode to monitor the converge process without the vSphere Client session being impacted.
  6. In the Convert to Embedded dialog box, enter the details:
    • Single Sign-On user name.
    • Single Sign-On password.
    • Select from an available embedded node (only for the second and subsequent convergences).
    • Active Directory information, if you select Join AD (extends the dialog box). Enter the following information for joining Active Directory:
      • Active Directory domain name.
      • Active Directory domain user name.
      • Active directory domain password.
      • DNS server.
    • Select Skip AD if you do not want to join an Active Directory.
  7. Acknowledge that you took a backup of the vCenter Server Appliance before starting the converge process.
  8. Click Converge.

This procedure is described in this vmware article.

Here below how my environment looks from the vSphere Client on both view Topology and Table.

Then before starting the upgrade process in order to go through the process on the right way remember to download the .ISO file for the vCenter version that you are using (for me is the xxx) and connect it to the appliance you decided to converge. This will avoid any kind of issue regarding the initial phase of the process, like the error “failed to get all RPMs” or “process stuck at 8%“. link to the discussion

Then with the ISO connected you can start the process, select the vCenter from the table view, and click on the action on the action Converge to Embedded, a message will appear to your screen asking if you want to proceed.

You need then to fill in all the required information and if you want you can also join to Active Directory by enabling the Join AD process and compile the needed data.

A good hint after you start the convergence procedure is checking the log on the appliance to understand what’s doing.

You just need to connect via SSH to the appliance and use this command to check in real-time what’s going on:

tail -f /var/log/vmware/convergence/convergence.log

So as we can see from the System Configuration Tab, the procedure went smoothly and now we have the first vCenter Appliance with Embedded Platform Service Controller.

If we compare to the other vCenter we can see also a difference between the replication partner, the new one have its own psc and it’s replicating to the active one behind the Load Balancer, the old one its still pointing to the LB-Vip.

Now we can do the same step for the second vCenter Appliance, the vCenter-C.

Then we have arrived at the last phase of the convergence procedure, so finally get rid of the external PSCs, for doing that we need to go on the system configuration, and use the button DECOMISSION PSC.
In my case there is an additional node on my configuration the Load Balancer, in fact, I try to decommission a PSC before the LB this message was displayed:

Make sure there are only vCenter Servers with embedded Platform Services Controller and decommission the load balancer psc-ha.dominhouse.it.

So let’s follow the rules and decommission the Load Balancer first.

Decommissioning this node will restart all the vCenter Server services. The vCenter Server will be inaccessible until the operation is complete

Of course, we cannot decommission the LB from here, we need to put the VIP service offline in order to get the proper node list in the System Configuration table.
So what I did is disable the Virtual Server service for all the required port for the PSC, I did a refresh on the System Configuration page and I saw that’s was loading for a long time, after a while the page was ready but without any node inside. So I enable again the Virtual Server on the LB and Voilà after some page refresh the table contains only the PSC and vCenter nodes.

So now we can now try the PSC decommissioning process, let’s select again the PSC and follow the instruction,  the wizard will require the SSO administrator user and password and also for going through this process you need to click first on see PSC thumbprint otherwise the RED decommission button will not be available.
After doing that you can click on decommission, grab a cup of coffee, and watch the decommission flow. In my case after the decommissioning was completed the vCenter where I launched the decommission process basically restarted its services.

After that we can doing the same step for the last PSC

After this, we finally arrived at the end of the article and the end of the convergence process from External PSC behind LB to the two vCenter with Embedded Platform Service Controller.

I hope this was informative and will help someone to understand the whole process.
If you have doubts, advice, or comments just use the box on the bottom and Let me know.

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