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ScottBris
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Upgrade vSphere freeware 5.5 client on iDRAC to 6.5 Essentials

Hi,

Just moved into a VMWare environment for the first time and need to upgrade to vsphere 6.5. From what I've seen so far I've been able to login to a 5.5 web client but can't find a vCenter server. If I https to the virtualisation host I get the following splash screen:

pastedImage_2.png

The "Download vCentre" link takes me to a dead page on the VMWare site with a msg "We are not able to process your request at this time. Try again later."  My new company didn't pay anything for the esxi setup a few years ago, told me it was freeware. It's sitting on a Dell PowerEdge T320 box with iDRAC 7 Version 1.57.57, and not doing a lot. Just a handful of windows server 2008-2016 VMs and 3 Lync 2013 VMs.

The issue: I'd like to upgrade to vSphere 6.5 essentials (including an esxi upgrade and vCenter install), just not sure where to start. If I can't run the vCenter server on the host, it will have to be on a server in AWS. I'd obviously like to upgrade in place so that I can migrate VMs across easily, if possible. Am I correct in assuming my organisation might not have a vCenter server and could just have a 5.5 hypervisor sitting on bare metal? If so, where do I begin? I couldn't find any useful upgrade info in the Dell guide: http://topics-cdn.dell.com/pdf/vmware-esxi-6.5.x_user%27s%20guide_en-us.pdf

This looks like great gear and I'm pushing to get up to speed fast, any help would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Scott

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daphnissov
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Sorry, links got dropped. List of vSphere Clients here:  https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2089791

then migrate the VMs to the new host.

So if you have a new host which is yet to be installed, you probably want to get that up and running first, the install vCenter, and then manage the rest.

Is it possible to just do a clean vCenter 6.5 install on a different server (ie not on the physical host), or should I keep it on the host, cycle through 5.5 and then upgrade that?

Not sure what you mean here. When installing vCenter 6.5, you should be using the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) which is a virtual machine and cannot be installed on bare metal. That implies you need an existing ESXi host with waiting storage on which to deploy the vCSA.

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daphnissov
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My new company didn't pay anything for the esxi setup a few years ago, told me it was freeware.

If this is the case, you're not using vCenter you can rest assured.

The first thing you need to do is get access to this ESXi host to see what's running on it. According to your build, you're using the (very) old 5.5 GA build. So you'll need to download and install the vSphere client from here. Try this file (EXE) as it is the latest client for the 5.5 code branch. Do you already have Essentials licenses in hand? You need two separate licenses: one for ESXi; one for vCenter. If you don't have this, ensure you do.

Once you're able to access the ESXi host, it'd be helpful to see its configuration including the storage it's using. If you intend to use vCenter, do you have other hosts (preexisting or incoming) you'd wish to manage together?

ScottBris
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Thanks, I couldn't see any links in your post? Sorry not sure if you meant to include them.

I can log into a web app which is pretty bare. I can see and modify the host, pools of VMs etc and have mapped out where the resources are coming from. The CPU and memory is from the physical host machine, and the storage is from a mix of the physical host + NAS's. I'll need to migrate the current VMs onto a new host and decommission the current machine in coming months hence wanting to get everything VMWare up to speed now. From what I understand I need to sort vCenter first, then upgrade esxi, then migrate the VMs to the new host.

Is it possible to just do a clean vCenter 6.5 install on a different server (ie not on the physical host), or should I keep it on the host, cycle through 5.5 and then upgrade that?

Just ordering the essentials kit which comes with vCenter essentials (don't have to order separately like with the standard kit).

Thanks again,

SM

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daphnissov
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Sorry, links got dropped. List of vSphere Clients here:  https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2089791

then migrate the VMs to the new host.

So if you have a new host which is yet to be installed, you probably want to get that up and running first, the install vCenter, and then manage the rest.

Is it possible to just do a clean vCenter 6.5 install on a different server (ie not on the physical host), or should I keep it on the host, cycle through 5.5 and then upgrade that?

Not sure what you mean here. When installing vCenter 6.5, you should be using the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) which is a virtual machine and cannot be installed on bare metal. That implies you need an existing ESXi host with waiting storage on which to deploy the vCSA.