We have 2 physical locations connected by 10GB connection. Each location has a VMware Datacenter with 2 clusters, one cluster for Primary hosts that runs current VMs and the other one is for DR for other location's primary cluster. Its a vSphere 5.1 environment. We are planning to create new vSphere ESXi 6.5 environment and moving 5.1 Hosts gradually to it. So we will remove a Host from 5.1 (VMs will be moved to other other Hosts before removal), and use it to fresh install 6.5U2 and VCSA with embedded PSC followed by creating new Datacenter and Cluster.
1. The Host that will be removed is in existing vSphere HA, do we need to do anything in HA configuration before removing the host or just remove it from cluster and it will automatically adjust HA? Just need to make sure that after removing the host, the 5.1 cluster should work with other Hosts as it was working before.
2. After removing the Host, it will still be running on its own. It still has Datastores, Networks and Switches. We want to start installing ESXi 6.5 U2 ISO on it. Do I need to do anything with regards to existing resources before I boot from ISO and start installation?
3. During the installation, the Host will be completely erased/formatted, right? Will it have any effect to the Datastores or other resources – say will any of the Datastores be erased? If there is any effect, the same Datastores are being used by 5.1 Hosts in the cluster, so that will be a problem?
4. I also want to update all drivers on Host. Should I use “ESXi 6.5 U2 Driver Rollup (Includes VMware Tools” ISO file for installation or “VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi ISO) image (Includes VMware Tools)”? The Host is HP Proliant BL660c Gen9.
5. After ESXi 6.5 U2 installation, I will install VCSA with PSC to it?
6. After VCSA is created on the Host, I have to create Datacenter and Cluster? And also configure Host?
7. How can I move VMs from 5.1 to vSphere 6.5? Is the VM -> Export of OVF and Import OVF the only option?
8. Our current VMs are Hardware version 7, 8 and 9. We want to use the latest version 13 in 6.5. Will the old VMs support version 13 when imported/moved? Most of the VMs running on Windows Server 2008 R2 and 2012 R2 OS.
Main thing at this moment is that, removing a Host and start fresh install of 6.5 without affecting current production VMware environment.
Appreciate your expert opinions. Thank you.
Wow, those are a bunch of question here and hard to reply to all of them, the migration of a production environment should not be taken lightly.
First off, you must take a look at the migration process/flow of vSphere and vCenter:
I know is a long read, but you should do it before continuing with your task.
Below, is a well-written post about how to upgrade and migrate from vSphere 5.x to 6.x, go through it and you solve (figure out) all your question.
Thanks for your reply. I have gone though the post, it was informative and I got a good amount of help. My approach to 6.5 move is slightly different, as we are planning to take one host off from 5.1 and do 6.5U2 fresh install, then create new Datacenters and Clusters. We are in a production environment and I am trying to make sure each step taken wont affect anything on production - the questions are specific to installation steps.
Ours servers are HPE ProLiant BL660c Gen9 with Intel Xeon E5-4600-v3 Series processors, and HP ProLiant BL660c Gen8 with Intel Xeon E5-4600 Series processors, compatibility is met up-to 6.5U2.
Our SAN, HP 3PAR StoreServ 7400, its supported up-to 6.7 for iSCSI, FC and FCoE array-types. So I believe we are good for 6.5 U2.
We are not upgrading existing host-servers, but creating new 6.5 environment using 5.1 hosts. The Host will have all VMs moved, but still have SAN Datastores attached and all configurations. We will create all configurations from scratch.
I got some information from other community which was very helpful. Right now I am checking if HA can be configured between two Datacenters which are in separate physical locations but connected by high-speed LAN.