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vCenter 6.5 running with different ESXi versions (6.5 and 5.5) | Best Practices

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In our technological infrastructure (BANCO CENTRAL DE NICARAGUA) we currently have vCenter 5.5.0 Build 2183111 (Linux Appliance) with all the HOST in ESXi 5.5 Update 1 Build 1623387.

We want to update the infrastructure, for which we already have current licenses, we would like to consult it following:

- We want to upgrade to vCenter Server 6.5, in this case What is the best practice? Migrate the existing vCenter 5.5 to 6.5 (going through 6 direct to 6.5) or deploy a new vCenter Appliance 6.5.

- Currently we have vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) version 5.8.1 we want to know with the update to vCenter 6.5 it is better practice to update SRM or deploy it again from zero.

- We want to know if having a mixture of HOST ESXi 5.5U3 (Build 5230635) and ESXi 6.5 (Build 5224529), which is possible to work well and without problems with vCenter 6.5 or good practices indicate otherwise, this being the two Maximum versions that allow the existing hardware in our infrastructure. In other words, would we experience problems with different versions of ESXi in the same vCenter?

We appreciate your technical recommendations as we have invested in the VMware products and wish to perform a secure and good practice upgrade.

Carlos Cortez González.

1 Solution

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi ccortezni​,

I would recommend firstly to check the upgrade paths in VMware Product Interoperability Matrices​ and see how mush effort it will take to upgrade the environment.

According to VMware, Site Recovery Manager (seq. # 9) can be upgraded after vCenter (seq. # 8), but before upgrading ESXi hosts (seq. # 11) - Update sequence for vSphere 6.5 and its compatible VMware products (2147289) | VMware KB​.

Your environment must be vCenter Server 5.5 Update 2b (VMware vCenter Release and Build Number History | Virten.net ). So it is possible to upgrade VCSA straight away to version 6.5. Please check these articles for more details - Best practices for upgrading to vCenter Server 6.5 (2147686) | VMware KB​ and About the Upgrade Process of the vCenter Server Appliance and Platform Services Controller Appliance​. Even if the upgrade process fails, it is not going to impact your productive environment. The VCSA 6.5 installer copy data across to the new instance and does not make any changes to the current appliance.

When upgrading the hosts, make sure your hardware is fully compatible with ESXi 6.5. Please apply all recent BIOS and firmware updates as well. Although it is possible to have different ESXi versions in the same HA/DRS cluster, VMware recommends to minimise the period of time of this to avoid any issues. Also, you should plan for VMFS (relocate data and re-format datastores) and vDS upgrades (straightforward) after completing with the hosts.

Hope this information helps.

Regards,

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3 Replies
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi ccortezni​,

I would recommend firstly to check the upgrade paths in VMware Product Interoperability Matrices​ and see how mush effort it will take to upgrade the environment.

According to VMware, Site Recovery Manager (seq. # 9) can be upgraded after vCenter (seq. # 8), but before upgrading ESXi hosts (seq. # 11) - Update sequence for vSphere 6.5 and its compatible VMware products (2147289) | VMware KB​.

Your environment must be vCenter Server 5.5 Update 2b (VMware vCenter Release and Build Number History | Virten.net ). So it is possible to upgrade VCSA straight away to version 6.5. Please check these articles for more details - Best practices for upgrading to vCenter Server 6.5 (2147686) | VMware KB​ and About the Upgrade Process of the vCenter Server Appliance and Platform Services Controller Appliance​. Even if the upgrade process fails, it is not going to impact your productive environment. The VCSA 6.5 installer copy data across to the new instance and does not make any changes to the current appliance.

When upgrading the hosts, make sure your hardware is fully compatible with ESXi 6.5. Please apply all recent BIOS and firmware updates as well. Although it is possible to have different ESXi versions in the same HA/DRS cluster, VMware recommends to minimise the period of time of this to avoid any issues. Also, you should plan for VMFS (relocate data and re-format datastores) and vDS upgrades (straightforward) after completing with the hosts.

Hope this information helps.

Regards,

View solution in original post

Contributor
Contributor

Hola Román, muchas gracias por tu pronta y amable respuesta. Voy a seguir las recomendaciones descritas. Saludos, Carlos Cortez de Nicaragua.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi ccortezni​,

I'm glad my comment was helpful.

Let me know if any further assistance is required.

Regards,

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