I was asked to take over managing the ESX servers at my place of work. We have two Dell R900's with 64gb of ram in each box. They are connected via fiber through a fiber channel swith to a EMC CX4-120. The ESX servers are running ESX 3.0.2. We also have a server that is running Vmware Infrastructure Client manager 2.5 that is connected to a SQL data base that is located on another server.
I would like to upgrade to ESXi 5.1. From what I have read I think I would have to first upgrade the Infratructure Client Manager to vCenter 4.0 first, then upgrade the two ESX server to 4.0. Afterwards I would update the clients and tools.
At that point should I be able to upgrade the vCenter server again to 5.1 ane then migrate the ESX servers to ESXi 5.1? I do have licensing for ESX 4.0 and I can upgrade the license to 5.1 from what I have read online.
Any help with this would be awesome. Thanks!
Is a clean install on your ESXi hosts a viable option? In my experience this has been the best way to achieve an upgrade. We recently attempted an upgrade from ESXi 4.1 to ESXi 5.1. We ended up going back to ESXi 5.0 U1. We did this for several reasons so just a heads up for things to look at:
1. Discovered that vCenter 5.1 has several new features that have to be installed and configured (e.g. SSO).
2. Make sure your backup solution supports ESXi 5.1 (Veeam didn't at the time but I have heard that the new version that is out does support 5.1)
3. Hardware compatibility. We just went through a mess because of this issue.
In our environment we are able to migrate VMs off of a host and then rebuild the host with the new version of ESXi then once done migrate the VMs back. I've found that using a kickstart script saves tons of time. With the kickstart script and a couple of other scripts to add users I can have a host built in less than an hour.
All I'm saying is that we've found it's cleaner to build a host from scratch instead of upgrading and risking the possibility that something residual is left from the upgrade.
Maybe. The only time I really used VMWare's site was when I was looking up PowerCLI and vCLI commands/examples. I guess I just did a lot of Google searches and found sample scripts and stuff. VirtuallyGhetto.com had some stuff on scripting and there were a few others I saved off I just can't remember what the sites were now.
I agree with snowmizer, and would recommend PowerCLI ... Here is a an example script that I created for configuring ESXi 4.1 hosts;
The same principle applies to 5.0 and I can send you an updated script for this ... Depending on how many hosts you have, you might want to consider using host profiles as well. Just plan out your configuration first and it will take 10 minutes to customize the script for your requirements ... Push the button, sit back relax and then do some final checks - you should be able to provision a fully configured host from scratch in under an hour.
You obviously need to cater for vCenter as well if you use this. See the interoperability matrix for supported versions;
Message was edited by: jrmunday