I am about to perform the following two tasks. Please could you review and make comments as appropriate?
3 x ESX 3.5 Servers in Cluster. All licenses in use. Need to replace all 3 x servers with new hardware.
I have heard that you cannot add additional servers to existing clusters when no licenses exist, i.e. you can only run eval licensing on single servers. What I propose to do is put 1 x host into maintenance mode and let all VMs migrate off. Remove the server both from virtual center and physically. Install the new server giving it the same name/IP address and add to the cluster. Let all VMs migrate over to the server. I will use the same method for all servers over a period of say 3 days - i.e. if we have a PSOD we can put the old server back in etc.
Setup a new Cluster with 2 x new hosts and migrate VMs from 2 x ESXi FREE boxes running on local storage.
What I propose to do is to setup the new cluster with datastores etc.. install convertor on VC, power off the VMs on the ESXi FREE boxes, run convertor and migrate them from local storage over to SAN storage being hosted in the new cluster
I have heard that you cannot add additional servers to existing clusters when no licenses exist
You can in evaluation mode.
But to use them in license mode the first step could be right.
Task two can be done with vCenter Server.
But if you use free ESXi 4.0 you cannot add them to vCenter.
So Converter could be a option.