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Enterprise Software Thread, Vsphere upgrade in Technical; Hi everyone I'm looking at upgrading from vsphere 4.0 to 5.1 and I wondered if any one has any good ...
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    Vsphere upgrade

    Hi everyone

    I'm looking at upgrading from vsphere 4.0 to 5.1 and I wondered if any one has any good tried and tested guides?
    I currently have 3 esx 4 host with venter on a 2003 server so I know the vcenter will have to now be on a 64bit OS and esx servers will now have to be esxi.

    Thanks

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I would start a brand new Vcenter server with server 2012. Add your 4.0 hosts. Then use the vmware update manager to update the hosts. Loads of guides on Youtube.

    Can be done in half a day.

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    DrCheese's Avatar
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    server 2012
    VCentre isn't supported on 2012 yet :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    I would start a brand new Vcenter server with server 2012. Add your 4.0 hosts. Then use the vmware update manager to update the hosts. Loads of guides on Youtube.

    Can be done in half a day.
    Do you mean a brand new database and configuration as well? Also, have VMware now done away with the maximum of 32gb RAM per host?
    Last edited by techie08; 10th January 2013 at 11:13 PM.

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    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    It's a tricky one as if you were reinstalling ESXi you could use something like this to back up the existing configuration, then restore it again (I've had to do that when completely swapping out the disks in our backup host with larger ones), if you don't want the hassle of setting up vSwitch configs again and etc.

    But upgrading between versions can cause problems with restoring the backed-up configuration sometimes, and ESX to ESXi is a completely different kettle of fish. I'd just note everything down and recreate the configs from scratch tbh - that's what I ended up doing when we switched over.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrCheese View Post
    VCentre isn't supported on 2012 yet :P
    Is it not? Thought support came with 5.1. Good job im still on 2008 R2

    Quote Originally Posted by techie08 View Post
    Do you mean a brand new database and configuration as well? Also, have VMware now done away with the maximum of 32gb per host?
    Thats only for the free version. If your on VC you wont have that version. I would go for a clean install, no point faffing migrating. There is hardly any config in VC.

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    DrCheese's Avatar
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    2012 is supported as a guest OS on 5.1, but not as the host for the VSphere management yet.

    Annoying, as I'm in the process of replacing ours and I'd rather do it as 2012...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrCheese View Post
    2012 is supported as a guest OS on 5.1, but not as the host for the VSphere management yet.

    Annoying, as I'm in the process of replacing ours and I'd rather do it as 2012...
    Have you thought about usings VMware's pre built linux VCenter? I dont know if its better, the same or not as good as installing it on windows server.

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    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    We use the pre-built one and it seems fine. Asks for quite a lot of memory but I don't know if that's the same on a Windows installation anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    There is hardly any config in VC.
    Well, that depends if you're using distributed vswitches, datastore clusters, DRS rules, Resource pools, EVC, etc, etc....

    OP - you need to be sure you can recreate what's currently in place before blowing the DB away. I'd take a backup anyway.

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    when im creating the new vcenter server, would i have to take the existing one offline? I dont know if there would be a conflict between the new one and existing one.

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    Only if it's going to have the same IP/hostname. If it's going to manage the same servers, open vSphere Client for each server individually and disassociate it from the vCenter, then add them all back to the new one once it's up and running.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ephelyon View Post
    Only if it's going to have the same IP/hostname. If it's going to manage the same servers, open vSphere Client for each server individually and disassociate it from the vCenter, then add them all back to the new one once it's up and running.
    To be honest, im probably going to do a wipe and load on each Host (we are still using esx not esxi) So would the best route be: Install and config new Vcenter, Dissociate hosts from old vCenter, Add them to new vCenter, Migrate VMs off one host, Disassociate that host from new VCenter, new ESXi install on the host, Re-add host to new Vcenter.

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    Sounds about right, unless anyone else knows differently as I've only done this procedure between ESXi hosts before myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by techie08 View Post
    To be honest, im probably going to do a wipe and load on each Host (we are still using esx not esxi) So would the best route be: Install and config new Vcenter, Dissociate hosts from old vCenter, Add them to new vCenter, Migrate VMs off one host, Disassociate that host from new VCenter, new ESXi install on the host, Re-add host to new Vcenter.
    Doesn't matter about esx - the upgrade is capable of upgrading your servers to esxi too - so just do vcenter first and then migrate off one host to stage and then remediate the upgrade with the upgrade manager baseline you've created and assigned. I did mine from 4.0 to 5.0 and it takes care of the esx to esxi issue for you. It's all in the upgrade instructions or readme somewhere - I recall reading it at the time.



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