tow-eric
Contributor
Contributor

Taking the Upgrade Plunge!

Looks like we are going to finally move to ESX 3.5. We currently have a cluster with 4 ESX 3.0.2 update1 hosts and are running VC 2.0.2 update 3.

My question would be with your experience is it better to VMotion the VM's off one host then do a fresh/clean installation then VMotion back.

or

Just do an upgrade

Also should we upgrade VC first or the hosts first?

Thanks.

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12 Replies
wgardiner
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

You have to upgrade VC first, as VC2.0 cannot connect to ESX3.5 servers.

I've done both upgrades and reinstalls, alot of people will recommend reinstalls because its quick and clean. But i really didnt experience any major issues with upgrades..and if you find it goes pearshaped you can always fall back to a reinstall if you like.

There is a good pdf published here for more info:

http://www.rtfm-ed.eu/docs/vmwdocs/esx3.5-vc2.5-upgrade-experiences.pdf

tow-eric
Contributor
Contributor

Ok, so if I do decide to do it clean, I "shouldn't" have any issues using VMotion between ESX 3.0.2 and ESX 3.5?

Thanks

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wgardiner
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

You will have to vmotion your guests off regardless of which method you decide to use because they both require a reboot of the host. Vmotion works between 3.0.2 and 3.5 hosts fine.

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kjb007
Immortal
Immortal

VMotion will work fine. Just don't upgrade the vmware tools until you have all your ESX hosts to 3.5.

-KjB

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB
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ejward
Expert
Expert

I upgraded VC to 2.5. Then, I vmotioned VMs off a host, booted off the CD, selected "Upgrade", then vmotioned back. No issues. I also added new 3.5 hosts into a cluster that had mostly 3.0 and had no issues.

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TomHowarth
Leadership
Leadership

your main issue will be the upgrade of you VC to 2.5 from 2.0.2. be very carefull and make sure you read the documentation throughly. also after you upgrade you may have to reinitialise the connection between the VC and your hosts, to do this login to a console session either via the console screen or Putty and enter the following command

service mgmt-vmware restart

service vmware-vxpa restart

once you have upgraded your VC, VMotion your guests of a host and upgrade, if you do a full rebuild you will have to remove the host from VC and re-add it

Tom Howarth

VMware Communities User Moderator

Tom Howarth VCP / VCAP / vExpert
VMware Communities User Moderator
Blog: http://www.planetvm.net
Contributing author on VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment
Contributing author on VCP VMware Certified Professional on VSphere 4 Study Guide: Exam VCP-410
ejward
Expert
Expert

Oh yeah ..... my upgrade of VC to 2.5 failed miserably. I ended up doing a fresh install of VC on a new server with a new database. I lost historical performance data but, i wasn't looking at it anyway. :smileygrin:

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tow-eric
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for all the tips.

So do you think it is easier just to do a fresh install of VC on a new server? Do most people use a VM as there VC or do they use a standalone server? Is there any advantages/disadvantages. Right now we use an older standalone server.

Thanks again!

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kjb007
Immortal
Immortal

I have my vc as a vm, and I wanted to retain my historical data, so I performed an upgrade. It took some time, but I took a snapshot of my vc vm (Big advantage), and then ran through the upgrade. If I had issues, I revert, and start over.

-KjB

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB
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wgardiner
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I dont think it's easier doing a fresh install, I've upgraded 4 virtual centre servers to 2.5 and only had issues with one and that was due to me using incorrect credentials.

As advised above, just ensure you do you reading first and have all the information at hand before you start. Take a backup of your VC database, make sure you are using the right accounts, set up your ODBC connections right etc

I've used VC's as both physical and virtual boxes. VirtualCentre is perfectly happy being installed in a virtual machine and it runs very well, so if you want to move it off the old host I wouldnt hesitate. You could just do a P2V or migrate the DB and do a fresh install in a VM.

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ejward
Expert
Expert

My VC machine is virtual. My issue with the upgrade was something Vmware couldn't even figure out when I called them. It was their suggestion to do a fresh install. Either way, try the upgrade. If you don't have any issues, great. If you do, you really don't lose much in creating a new server.

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ron_jackson
Contributor
Contributor

the Link has changed

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