Munster
Contributor
Contributor

Migrating from VC2.5 (Up4) / ESX3.5 (Up4) to vSphere4

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All

Having read the excellent discussions in this forum I

thought I might as well take the plunge and upgrade our estate to vSphere4. At

present it looks this:

  • 17
    ESX 3.5 (Update 4) hosts

  • 1 VC
    server (2.5 Update 4), Update Manager and VMware Converter hosted on a
    Physical Machine

Having read the ‘vSphere4 Upgrade Guide’ I do know I have to

take a three ‘phased’ approach, i.e.

  1. VC
    server

  2. Hosts

  3. VMs
    (Tools first then VM hardware)

What I’d like to do is keep the existing DB on the same

server and move the VC server onto a 64-bit VM. Having researched this I found

the following KB article which seems to clear up a lot of things:

So my plan would be to follow this and finish the first

phase of the upgrade. This of course would leave my ESX 3.5 hosts requiring a

licence server which I intend to install on my new vSphere4 VM

My questions are:

1 – Have I missed anything out with the above procedure?

Seems straight forward enough was just wondering if I might have overlooked something???

2 – As part of the second phase (i.e upgrading the hosts) I

want to rebuild them as I need to increase their partition sizes. Would I lose

anything significant in rebuilding them as opposed to upgrading them? (I know

resource pools, clusters, folder info etc. and the like is all held in the VC

DB but we haven’t configured anything local on the hosts so rebuilding them we really wouldn't miss much)

Many thanks for reading and any comments would be greatly appreciated

Munster

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6 Replies
vmroyale
Immortal
Immortal

Hello.

Having read the ‘vSphere4 Upgrade Guide’

You are already ahead of a lot of people for doing that!

>This of course would leave my ESX 3.5 hosts requiring a licence server which I intend to install on my new vSphere4 VM

You can continue to use the current one as well - just stop/disable all the other vCenter services from the 2.5 version. There is also a standalone license server for 3.5 that can be downloaded separately.

1 – Have I missed anything out with the above procedure?

You seem to have it covered. You didn't mention your backup strategy, so make sure that is covered as well. You don't want to find that out after the fact!

2 – As part of the second phase (i.e upgrading the hosts) I want to rebuild them as I need to increase their partition sizes. Would I lose anything significant in rebuilding them as opposed to upgrading them? (I know resource pools, clusters, folder info etc. and the like is all held in the VC DB but we haven’t configured anything local on the hosts so rebuilding them we really wouldn't miss much)

This approach is fine as well. Starting fresh is always a good idea.

Good Luck with the upgrade!

Brian Atkinson | vExpert | VMTN Moderator | Author of "VCP5-DCV VMware Certified Professional-Data Center Virtualization on vSphere 5.5 Study Guide: VCP-550" | @vmroyale | http://vmroyale.com
Munster
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks vmRoyale!

Just one question though if I were to keep the existing licence server on my physical server. How would my ESX 3.5 hosts know where to get their licenses from?I mean I know with the rebuilt ESX 4.0 hosts they wouldn't need a licence server and would use the new vSphere Center VM. However with the existing 3.5 hosts would they still be looking at the physical server or would I have to 'tweak' the 3.5 hosts somehow.???

Many thanks in advance

Munster

(PS - with regards backups we have a standard client backup procedure using Legato so there would be no change there)

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bluebull2rhyme
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Point the ESX 3.5 server to the license server,you can do the same from configuration-&gt;License tab.

BTW..u can run 3.5 servers and ESX 4 on vcenter 4,it's not an issue.However both use a difference license mechanism.

If you find this useful,award me Helpful or Correct answer
vmroyale
Immortal
Immortal

You will configure vCenter Server 4.0 to point to the license server. Do this under Administration -> vCenter Server Settings -> Licensing -- The bottom section of the licensing information contains a field where you can specify your License Server.

Brian Atkinson | vExpert | VMTN Moderator | Author of "VCP5-DCV VMware Certified Professional-Data Center Virtualization on vSphere 5.5 Study Guide: VCP-550" | @vmroyale | http://vmroyale.com
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vm2i
Contributor
Contributor

OK Couple of more questions i'm afraid ?!?!?

I think I understand about the licensing now I'll probably point all of my ESX 3.5 hosts to the existing lisence server (i.e. the one they connected to already) and hope there isn't too much of an issue. However when building my ESX4 hosts obviously I'll be pointing them to my new vCenter server so when you mention pointing my vCenter server to the 'licence server' do I need to do this as well or can I add my new licences directly into the vCenter server and be done with it ????

Second question that I'm curious about is we have a complex datacenter/cluster/hosts layout. I do know that everything is located in the VC DB. However after the upgrade will my hosts drop out of their said datacenters/clusters for me to update their licence details. Just wanna make sure that I'm not having to recreate anythingafter the upgrade as it would be a nightmare.

Many thanks in advance (again)

Munster

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Munster
Contributor
Contributor

OK finished the install and it went through fine with a couple of errors (here and there) reported. I'll give a synopsis of what i went through just in case someone out there is thinking about upgrading the same way.

Existing setup

PHYSICAL Virtual Center server

PHYSICAL DB Server

New Setup

VIRTUAL vCenter server

SAME PHYSICAL DB server

1 Ensure no one is connected into VC

2 Shutdown ALL the Virtual center services (including the license server)

3 ensure your DBA gives your sql account permissions to access the msdb DB located on the Virtualcenters database

4 ensure he sets bulk logging set for BOTH the VirtualCenter and Updatemanager DBs

5 ENSURE A FULL database backup of VMwareVirtualCenter and Updatemanager is actioned before progressing.

6 Ensure your new vcenter VM is built and has a has a 32-bit DSN created and is pointed to the existing PHYSICAL database

7 Start vCenter server installation on your VM (ensure you have lots of space on your C: approx 15 GB upwards)

Insert new vSphere licence into installation or wait until after the build

Ensure vCenter Server points to the existing physical database

This will Upgrade the Schema and tables for the associated databases

8 Once installation is complete REBOOT your VM - check the c:\temp\upgradevcenter log file

9 Get the DBA to confirm the schema is ok and no errors have been alerted due to the upgrade

10 Log in to ALL the ESX 3.5 hosts and repoint them to the new vCenter Server - tried the above using the vpxa file but DID NOT WORK for me. Hence just connect them back into vcenter using your original passwords

11 Once they are all in you might have to reconfigure them for HA - we had to !

12 Ensure the existing ESX 3.5 hosts are still pointing to the existing PHYSICAL liscence server

13 change VirtualCenter and Updatemgr databases to full logging.

As I mentioned the upgrade from a physical virtual center to a virtual vcenter server went through fine, so long as you have the existing passwords etc. Some gotchas include the datastore permissions might need updating to allow certain users read access to them. i.e. Even though they have access to amend VMs their rights do not extend to the datastores that are attached to them. hence you might need to access them the right to. Also make sure all your users clients are updated to vsphere.

Hope this helps one and all

Regards

Munster

PS - Right ! now onto REBUILDING the hosts !

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