ESXi 5.1 Update 1 upgrade to ESXi 6.0.0 on Cisco UCS C240 M3S


I have a standalone ESXi running version ESXi 5.1 Update 1 with 7-8 virtual machines in production environment with VM Hardware version as 8. I have been tasked to upgrade the existing version to ESXi 6.0.0 (not update U1, U2, U3) due to application specific requirements & compatibility. Virtual machines are residing on the local disks of ESXi host.

Kindly suggest on the correct approach to upgrade.

1) Power down all the virtual machines

2) Put ESXi host in maintenance mode.

1) Shall I do interactive upgrade (ISO mountable on CDROM drive of ESXi) then?

2) Upgrade Virtual machine hardware version (next step?)

3 Upgrade VMware tools?

Also,  I would assume, I would need to download the custom Cisco ESXi 6.0.0 installer to avoid any driver related issues?

Kindly confirm my approach on the above. Is it safe to perform above steps? However, there is no backup for virtual machines available.

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3 Replies

Hello Rajat,

Steps are correct, are you using local storage or shared storage for virtual machines, if shared storage, try to migrate them rather than power off

Secondly, you can use iso (preserve vmfs) or use the offline bundle or update manager to upgrade the ESXi host.

Methods for upgrading to VMware ESXi 6.0 (2109711) | VMware KB

You can check the current image profile for the ESXi host and then decide if you want to go with standard or custom based on the existing profile.



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Since you haven't shared storage and its a standalone host, take a snapshot of VMs after their shutdown as you don't have backups. Rest of the steps are correct.

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The most important part of your upgrade process is to make absolutely sure that you have selected "PRESERVE VMFS"  otherwise you will lose your virtual machines.

A much better option would be to verify that you have a working full back up of all those machine prior to commencing the upgrade activity.

Tom Howarth VCP / VCAP / vExpert
VMware Communities User Moderator
Blog: http://www.planetvm.net
Contributing author on VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment
Contributing author on VCP VMware Certified Professional on VSphere 4 Study Guide: Exam VCP-410
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