Upgrade from 3.5 U5 to vSphere 5 but keep all host info in DB?


I have 3 vSphere 3.5 U5 embedded hosts (Dell R710 1GB SD card) currently (Managed by vCenter 4.1) and due to the SAN not being on the HCL, was unable to upgrade.

Now I have a new SAN which is on the vSphere 4 and vSphere 5 HCL's so I am looking to upgrade.

It appears the best way to do this is to basically re-install... otherwise I need to upgrade to 4, then upgrade again to 5.

I take it if I do a rolling upgrade, i.e. evict one host from the cluster, upgrade it and then put it back in... I will not lose any historical data about the VM's themselves...

But can I do something similar with the hosts?

Also what version of vSphere 5 do I actually need, does embedded still exist?


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VMware Employee
VMware Employee


I would also suggest to reinstall the hosts because you are still running on 3.5i and I prefer a fresh approach, but you will loose the host settings and historical data. So move all VMs of host, reinstall, reconfigure and create a new Cluster

The VMs data will stay in tact as that is kept in the vCenter which you need to upgrade first if your hosts are 3.5 Update 5 (minimum version supported in vCenter 5)

Also I would install the new Hypervisor using the Dell Image build found here  Smiley Wink

This ISO image should be used only to recover/reinstall the ESXi image to SD Card/USB Key on Dell Platforms.

Just some added information you might need:

Upgrade Virtual Hardware

Upgrade VMware Tools. On Microsoft Windows virtual machines, if you upgrade the virtual hardware before you upgrade VMware Tools, the virtual machine might lose its network settings

But here is a link I found that could help you with the whole upgrade process and decisions

Please award points for correct/helpful answers :smileycool:

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