VMMikeC
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

esx 3.5 to 5.5

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I'm working on a project where a client has a few esx 3.5 hosts, but no longer has a vcenter server/license server.  The plan is to build a new vsphere 5.5 environment with new hardware, along with vcenter 5.5. I'm trying to figure out the most efficient way to bring the VMs on the 3.5 hosts over to the 5.5 environment. The kicker is the VMs on the 3.5 hosts are all on local storage.

I'm thinking of doing a V2V, but as I don't have much 3.5 experience, I'm wondering if I'll be running into any issues(or incompatibilities) attempting to do this? I'm also wondering if there is a better way. I've thought about backing up the 3.5 VMs and restoring them to 5.5 hosts, but that is not an option for them.

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ch1ta
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

If you've already looked at Veeam free, why no to use Quick Migration functionality that is included in it? Supporting both 3.5 and 5.5 ESX(i) version, the said tool allows you to migrate VMs between datastores, hosts or both. Just add two servers to the backup console and start migrating VMs.

Cheers.

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pratjain
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hi,

VMware Converter 5.5 and 5.1 do not support ESX/ESXi 3.5 as source hosts only VMware Converter 5.0 does support 3.5 as source.

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 Release Notes -  VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Release Notes

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5 Release Notes - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Release Notes

I would suggest setup one host with ESXi 5.0 GA and install VMware Converter 5.0 and select 3.5 host as source and 5.0 host as destination . Leave the 5.0 host as a standalone host and do not connect to vCenter Server.

Once all the machines are migrated and moved over to 5.0 host you can move add that host to vCenter Server 5.5 and move the machines to appropriate hosts as required and upgrade the 5.0 host to 5.5.

Let me know if this helps.

Regards, PJ If you find this or any other answer useful please mark the answer as correct or helpful.
a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

>>> I've thought about backing up the 3.5 VMs and restoring them to 5.5 hosts, but that is not an option for them.

That's interesting. Backup and restore was my first thought before I read this last sentence. How do they backup their data at the moment? Even if they don't currently have a backup application, and don't want to purchase one, there are free options (like VeeamZIP, ...) available which support both versions.

André

VMMikeC
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

PJ - thanks for the info, that totally slipped my mind.


A.P. - I know this is scary, but I'm not sure how they are doing it today, as nobody could provide me that answer. I didn't consider VeeamZip, but that is a great suggestion. It may be the faster option.

Mike

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VMMikeC
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

After looking at this some more, VeeamZip only allows the backup of one VM at a time, but also, there is the issue of downtime. If I go the backup and restore route, I'd have to power off the VM prior to backing it up to make sure there is no data loss.

My original thought was to vmotion the VMs from local disk to shared storage (which would be visible to both 3.5 and 5.5 hosts). Once the VM is on shared storage, power it off, remove from inventory, and then add to inventory on the 5.5 hosts. At least that was a possibility in my head, I've never worked with 3.5, so I could be completely wrong. Of course, without a vcenter server/licensing server, that wouldn't be an option regardless.

I'm just wondering if there is a quicker way to accomplish this, without going the V2V route. The new environment is already on 5.5, and they don't want to downgrade.

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ch1ta
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

If you've already looked at Veeam free, why no to use Quick Migration functionality that is included in it? Supporting both 3.5 and 5.5 ESX(i) version, the said tool allows you to migrate VMs between datastores, hosts or both. Just add two servers to the backup console and start migrating VMs.

Cheers.

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