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Summary: We have 2 vCenter servers in Linked Mode. Both servers run 7.0.3. If we upgrade one server to version 8, can the servers remain in Linked Mode?

Detail: One vCenter server is managing several ESXi 6 hosts. Therefore vCenter can't be upgraded from version 7 to version 8. The managers of those hosts plan to remove them at the end of this year.

The second vCenter server is ready to upgrade from 7 to 8. We had planned to upgrade both vCenter servers simultaneously after the old ESXi 6 hosts are removed.

However, we've order new vSAN-ready nodes, on which we want to utilize vSAN 8's ESA features. This requires that the hosts be managed by vCenter 8, not 7. Because one vCenter server is ready for upgrade, we'd like to upgrade it to 8, while leaving the other vCenter at 7. The two vCenter servers would be at different versions for about 6 months.

Would this break linked mode?

If so, should we unlink the servers before upgrade?

If we unlink, will the replicated permissions, roles, etc. be set locally on each vCenter server? Or will they revert to the permissions they had before linking?

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