First off there are a few different ways to get vCenter Operations 5.6 up and rolling into your environment.  The way documented here is the upgrade path that it looks like VMware is recommending; by downloading and installing the pak file into your existing installation of vCenter Operations 5.x.  By going this route you are able to maintain all of your collected data metrics and don’t have the hassle of deploying a new vApp or instance of vCOps.

Once you have the pak file downloaded, log into your vCenter Operations Administration Portal.  The admin portal is probably not a screen that you are familiar with.  In the few years that I’ve been running vCOps I’ve probably been into these screens only a handful of times.  You can get to your admin portal by browsing to https://your_vc_ops_ip/admin/

Once in the admin portal select the ‘Update’ tab along the top navigational menu.  It’s here you will browse to your downloaded pak file and initiate the update – to do so, click ‘Browse’, select your pak file and then click ‘Update’ – Imagine that – a step that follows the logic of what you are thinking in your head 🙂
vCenter Operations Update Tab

vCOps Update Tab

 Once you have selected the EULA and confirmed the update the upgrade process will begin.  This process for me took approximately 15 minutes.  Once it’s done you should be redirected back to the admin portal login.  Have a look at that version underneath the the header – Congrats you did it!

So, go ahead and log back into the admin portal and click the ‘Status’ tab.  You should see a screen similar to below outlinng that your services are running and you are running the 5.6.0 version.

There you go you are now updated to the current version. Now you can go into vCenter and add the license as you normally would with other versions of vCenter Operations.  One note here, vCOps will need to restart in order to detect the new license so it’s a good idea to probably do a complete power cycle at this point and I also needed to clear my browser cache before things were displaying properly.   Honestly thoughI love this upgrade process.  It’s the first time tthat I have gone through an update of a virtual appliance via the pak file method – it was easy, relatively quick and ran flawelessly – Great work VMware 🙂