How to upgrade ESX 3.5 with boot from san and no local VMFS?


we have the following situation: ESX 3.5 without local hard disk, ESX boots from SAN. The LUN is about 20 GB and partitioned like this:

  • 8 GB /

  • 100 MB /boot

  • 2GB swap

  • 500 MB /home

  • 1 GB /tmp

  • 8 GB /var

There is no local VMFS, because with ESX 3.5 and boot from SAN there was no reason to have one. Now with ESX 4 I have to move the SC to the esxconsole.vmdk on a local (or private) VMFS volume. How would I do that? Is there any way to avoid reinstalling ESX 4 from scratch to the existing LUN or creating a 2nd SAN LUN and mask it to the ESX privately?



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You can go with the default Host Upgrade Using the Upgrade utilities, vCentre Update Manager (VUM) or vSphere Host Update Utility (vHUU). It will do the inplace host upgrade from 3.5 to 4.0.

vHUU is a freeware, you can install it along with the vSphere Client 4.0. Once you install vHUU add the 3.5 host to it for upgrade.

Start upgrade procedure with the "Upgrade wizard" in vHUU. The steps are clear and streight forward. In between , the wizard will ask for you to choose the VMFS datastore for COS vmdk.

In your case, choose the VMFS data store whic's in SAN.

Before vHUU starts the upgrade, it will do a host compatibility check to make sure that the host is compatible for upgrade.

The detailed steps for 3.5 to ESX4.0 upgrade are available in vSphere 4.0 Upgrade guide.


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