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oberon1973
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upgrade from ESX 2.5.2 VirtualCenter 1.3 to ESX 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5

Calling all you experts! Smiley Happy I have 3 new ESX 3.5 servers and a new Lefthand SAN setup. I have 3 old 2.5.2 ESX hosts running in VC 1.3. I need to upgrade VC to 2.5. Is it best to just create a new VC server? I also will need to get all the VMs off the VMFS2 ESX 2.5.2 servers to the new enviornment. What is teh best way to do that? Vmotion them from 2.5.2 server to 3.5 server then upgrade virtual hardware then VMtools? For that I would have to add the 2.5.2 servers to the 2.5 VC server can I add 2.5.2 servers into a new 2.5 VC with my ESX 3.5 hosts? I am looking for minimal downtime. I only have 20 VMs. So to summarize what is my best upgrade/migration path? I understand I cannot upgrade my 1.3 to 2.5 virtual server in place and it seems to be best just to create a new one?

Thank you all who take the time to help me with this.

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_David
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Setup virtual center on a new vm in the new environment.

Present the ESX 2.5 disks for the new 3.5 servers. As they are VMFS2 they will be shown as read only for the 3.5 hosts.

For every vm that you want to migrate you create a new vm on the 3.5 but dont make any disks.

Shut down the 2.5 vm. SSH into your 3.5 host and copy the diskfiles from 2.5 LUN to a LUN that belongs to your 3.5 environment.

vmkfstools -i /vmfs/volumes/old_LUN/examplevm/examplevm.vmdk/vmfs/volumes/new_LUN/examplevm/examplevm.vmdk

The disk is now copied to the new location and you need to modify the vmdk file.

vi /vmfs/volumes/new_LUN/examplevm/examplevm.vmdk

change from buslogic to lsilogic and save. You will now be able to attach the disk to the vm you created with you VI client.

After disk is attached right clik on the vm and choose upgrade virtual hardware. Power on the vm, save your ipconfig and upgrade vmware tools reboot and set IP.

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_David
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Setup virtual center on a new vm in the new environment.

Present the ESX 2.5 disks for the new 3.5 servers. As they are VMFS2 they will be shown as read only for the 3.5 hosts.

For every vm that you want to migrate you create a new vm on the 3.5 but dont make any disks.

Shut down the 2.5 vm. SSH into your 3.5 host and copy the diskfiles from 2.5 LUN to a LUN that belongs to your 3.5 environment.

vmkfstools -i /vmfs/volumes/old_LUN/examplevm/examplevm.vmdk/vmfs/volumes/new_LUN/examplevm/examplevm.vmdk

The disk is now copied to the new location and you need to modify the vmdk file.

vi /vmfs/volumes/new_LUN/examplevm/examplevm.vmdk

change from buslogic to lsilogic and save. You will now be able to attach the disk to the vm you created with you VI client.

After disk is attached right clik on the vm and choose upgrade virtual hardware. Power on the vm, save your ipconfig and upgrade vmware tools reboot and set IP.

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oberon1973
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Excellent! Thanks!

SO if I understand correctly. I just create my new VC server and go into the SAN and present the same LUNS that the 2.5.2 servers have to the new servers? I scan for them on the new ESX 3.5 hosts and import the files? Do I need to be concerned with file structure since they are different on the ESX 2.5.2 servers? Then after that I upgrade virtual hardware and VM Tools?

Is there a way to use convereter to migrate the machines? Would a cold migrate not work from within VC? I am not sure if you can add a 2.5.2 server to VC 2.5?

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oberon1973
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oh yeah one more thing. Will the above suggestion work if the host is 2.5.2? I notice there is not an upgrade path for that directly to 3.5, but that is for an upgrade. Will the .vmdk, .vmx, etc. files be okay to import onto the new VMFS LUN?

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_David
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Yeah thats correct. But you dont import all the files just the disk files is used from the 2.5 servers. You create a new vm with no disks on 3.5 and then you will get the filestructure /vmfs/volumes/servername/servername.vmx

Then just copy the 2.5 vmdk to that catalog. After that edit the vmdk (its just a text file, data is in the *-flat.vmdk) change from buslogic to lsilogic. Upgrade virtual hardware and install vmware tools. Note the IP before installation of vmware tools as you will get a new nic and have to set ip on that.

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oberon1973
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Thanks again, So I just move the .vmdk from 2.5 to 3.5? I don't have to worry about the others since 3.5 will create new ones. The .VMDK is the data file right? That is the file I need to edit?

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_David
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the vmdk is a text file containing meta data about the the data disk. -flat.vmdk is the file containing the actual data. But when browsing the filesystem in VI client you only see the vmdk. -flat.vmdk can only be seen on the linux filesystem.

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