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View 4.6 to 5.2 ... Upgrade or Start Fresh?

Company had single vSphere 4.1 vCenter server with two clusters (ESXi 4.1 hosts), one supporting virtualized servers (Server Cluster 1) and one supporting View 4.6 (View Cluster 1)

Wanted to move to vSphere 5.1, but wasn't ready to move to View 5 at the time.

Installed new vSphere 5.1 vCenter server, created cluster (ESXi 5.1) and manually migrated virtualized servers (Server Cluster 1).

We now are ready to move to View 5.2 ... couple questions:

Should we consolidate back to a single vCenter? The downside that I see if not being able to move the clusters independently ... such as moving the server environment to vSphere 5.5 ..eventually. What is the real benefit of maintaining a single vCenter  - we are a small shop 8 hosts, 75 virtualized servers, 350 desktops.

If we maintain two separate vCenter instances, should we upgrade from 4.6 to 5.2 or install fresh? I have been a fan of fresh installs because it gives you an opportunity to have a clean start.

What has been the experience with upgrading? Easy, moderate, difficult? Are there good guides to assist with an upgrade?

What has been the experience with a new install? Any issues with the migration (or lack there of)? I'll assume that all pools will have to be recreated.

Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


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I personally am a fan of a dedicated vcenter server for View. This prevents vcenter from becoming a bottleneck that can impact operations with your server workload during large end of shift desktop refreshes and recomposes.  However, yours is a small implementation and it would be unlikely that you would be stressing a single vcenter for both workloads.  If possible keep, keep the desktops in one cluster and the servers in another cluster; alternatively utilize resource pools to separate the workloads. You may want to consider the vcenter appliance for the desktop vcenter if you are leaning towards a dual vcenter design.

Upgrading View is not difficult if you read the upgrade documentation; especially when multiple view connection servers and composers are involved.  It will step you through the proper order.  After you read that, it is a good idea to re-read it. The upgrade guide will cover any pre-requisites and version incompatability between the View components.

The choice of an upgrade or new install is going to be based on your environment and your knowledge of the existing installation and any issues.  If you are using linked-clone pools with dedicated assignment, or have any persistent user data disks in your pools, then the 'upgrade' will keep the integrity of these pools and provide the least interruption to the end users.  If you have floating assignment pools, then either choice works; you will be recomposing anyway for the agent upgrade.

Best wishes,


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