Viewaskew
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

VCSA 6.5 To deploy or not

I am thinking of moving from Windows VC (6.0) complete with external SQL, SRM, PSC servers to an all encompassing 6.5 VCSA. We currently run in linked mode to our DR site. The move is being motivated by a SQL licensing issue. I am currently looking into consolidating all the servers (bar SRM) into one VCSA on each side which can easily accommodate our capacity. I would not plan to upgrade but rather build the new environments and migrate my hosts to it once tested and bedded in.

Has anyone undergone this before and could advise of any tips or best practices learnt?

5 Replies
Gidrakos
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I'm actually in the midst of doing the exact same thing.

Absolutely go setup a VCSA instance to at least play around with it. There are a few gotchas that I'm sure you'll run into, as I have:

1 such gotcha was the following:

  • The UI installer has 2 stages: 1) The initialization of VCSA and 2) The configuration/finalization of VCSA. 1 will walk you through getting the OVA deployed, while 2 will let you setup hostname, certs and whatnot - There is a critical step in between 1 and 2 that can cause things to go awry, and that's how your VCSA gets its hostname.
    • Our (old) environment still uses /var/named and hostmac for DHCP - meaning I couldn't setup DHCP until I had VCSA's randomly-generated MAC address. If you start stage 2 before it has proper DHCP/hostname, certs and configs can get really wonky results.

So far, the appliance is running pretty well and feels a lot smoother than 6.0 on a separate box. Obviously that will change once I start throwing hosts/clusters at it, but the early stages are promising.

I'm planning on putting one of my hosts with a dozen or so VMs on VCSA in the next couple weeks, and can report back on how it's running if you'd like. Smiley Happy

cjscol
Expert
Expert

Don't forget if you are moving from vCenter 6.0 to vCenter 6.5 you will need to upgrade SRM to 6.5 (6.5.1 for vCenter 6.5U1) also.

Calvin Scoltock VCP 2.5, 3.5, 4, 5 & 6 VCAP5-DCD VCAP5-DCA http://pelicanohintsandtips.wordpress.com/blog LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cscoltock
Viewaskew
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Re SRM thanks yes I know which is why on the large upgrades (5 to 6, 6 to 6.5) I prefer to create a new clean environment and migrate the hosts to them since vCenter 6.5 supports ESXi 6.0 .x and then upgrade the hosts once settled.

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Mike_Gelhar
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Your approach is solid and the VCSA is very dependable. If you're using distributed switches currently, you'll want to plan that migration carefully. My personal experience was to migrate back to a standard switch first, then migrate hosts to the new vCenter. Here are a couple resoruces that might be useful for you:

Upgrade considerations:

https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2147548

vSphere 6.5 Upgrade Planning Tool:

vSphere Central

daphnissov
Immortal
Immortal

If you're going to do this "swing"-style migration, then you may want to have a read of this to give you some more ideas on what to expect and what the impact will be. As Mike says, conversion from a vDS to vSS will be necessary before the source vCenter will allow you to disconnect hosts, but there are other considerations as well which is why I decided to write about the process.