IT_Vision
Contributor
Contributor

ESXi 4.1 upgrade to 5.5

Greetings,

I have a 5 member cluster running esxi 4.1 and would like to upgrade to 5.5.  vCenter has already been upgraded to 5.5.

The cluster utilizes 2 dVS's.  One for iSCSI traffic and one for production LAN/WAN traffic.  Is there any issues upgrading these hosts straight to 5.5 without impacting the configuration of the vDS's that are setup or do I need to go to 5.1 first then to 5.5.

Any information on the upgrade path would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

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3 Replies
JPM300
Commander
Commander

Hey IT_Vision,

No you can safely upgrade your hosts to 5.5 without any downtime.  You can do this with update manager, a direct upgrade with the cd/dvd, or just do a fresh install.  which ever you choose.

You can also upgrade your VDS to 5.5 without any outage.

The order you should go in:
1.) Upgrade hosts to 5.5

2.) Upgrade Datastores to 5.5, however upgrading your datastore from 4.1 to 5.5 will not change the block level.  Datastores after version 5.0 are all set to 1MB and you no longer have to set this as you did in previous versions.  This shouldn't effect any of the new features if you upgrade all your datastores to 5.5 and keep the block size, but if you create a new datastore in 5.5 it will be 1MB and if your other datastores are different block sizes you won't be able to use VAAI and some of the other features when you storage vmotion, clone, ect between those datastores.  So you may want to re-create some datastores then storage vmotion your VM's over to them.  Your call.

3.)  Upgrade VMware tools on all VMs to 5.5

4.)  Upgrade VDS to 5.5

5.)  Upgrade VM hardware version if you like.  I would stay on version 8 or 9 until the web console sorts out some of the issues as hardware version 10 vm's can ONLY be managed by the web client.  At the very least it is a good idea to keep the virtual Center VM at version 8 or 9 until the web client fixes its loop hole where you can't manage anything if vCenter goes down as it runs the web client :smileysilly:

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IT_Vision
Contributor
Contributor

Hi JPM300,

Thank you for the response.  My upgrade didn't go so well.  I utilized Update Manager and during the remediate process it notified me that any 3rd party drivers etc. would be removed if they were not compliant with 5.5.  I proceeded to check the box to remove them, thinking the 4.1 NIC drivers would be replaced with 5.5 drivers.  After the install of 5.5 and during the boot process is was purple screening attempting to load the NIC drivers (BNX2).  I attempting to roll back to 4.1 but that was not an option.  To see if there was an issue with the hardware I went ahead and did a fresh install of 5.1 on the box.  That install was successful and I proceeded to upgrade 5.1 to 5.5 without any issues.

I have a few other 4.1 hosts in the cluster so I will attempt the 4.1 to 5.5 upgrade again and see what happens.  Maybe this time I will leave the check box unchecked to remove any 3rd party drivers and add-ons.

I will keep you posted.

Cheers

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JPM300
Commander
Commander

Thanks for the update IT_Vision, sorry to hear about the troubles you had, usally the host upgrade with update manager is pretty smooth.


One thing I forgot to ask is your 4.1 install, was it upgraded from 3.5 in the past or from 4.0?  If it was this could be part of the problem.  The upgrade path is allowed from 4.1-5.5 if 4.1 was a fresh install.  If it had been upgraded prior its not compliant.

Let me know,

Thanks again,

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