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Mixed ESXi versions in cluster

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We  started a pilot project of Nvidia's GRID with our VDI. We have a three server cluster with two IBM x3650 M3 and one x3650 M4. After upgrading our VDI and vCenter to 6.0 u1 we discovered that the M3 servers had dropped off of the compatibility matrix for 6.0. So right now our ESXi are all 5.5. I need a 6.0 host to continue the GRID project, so I am wondering if I can upgrade the one ESXi server to 6.0 u1 and run the cluster in a mixed ESXi configuration?

We would only need to upgrade the virtual desktops that are using GRID to hardware version 11. I am concerned about vMotion. I already know that the virtual desktops accessing the GRID GPU cannot vMotion, so not worried about that. However I am concerned about the servers being able to vMotion between 5.5 and 6.0.

Thanks!

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Hot Shot
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If you are looking at vmotion of VM between 6.0 and 5.5 hosts, then that is a supported use-case.

But make sure that the VM's running on 6.0 is having hardware 10 ( dont upgrade the hardware version to 11 which is the compatible version for 6.0)

Also, dont enable the new feature of 6.0 esxi on VM's.

You can upgrade vmware-tools to 6.0 version because tools are completely inter-operable across various version

BTW, when you are upgrading a vsphere 5.5 cluster to 6.0 , during upgrade process, some of the vm's will be in 5.5 and some in 6.0 and you will migrate them across different version when you put them in maintenance mode. So this is completely supported configuration.

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If you are looking at vmotion of VM between 6.0 and 5.5 hosts, then that is a supported use-case.

But make sure that the VM's running on 6.0 is having hardware 10 ( dont upgrade the hardware version to 11 which is the compatible version for 6.0)

Also, dont enable the new feature of 6.0 esxi on VM's.

You can upgrade vmware-tools to 6.0 version because tools are completely inter-operable across various version

BTW, when you are upgrading a vsphere 5.5 cluster to 6.0 , during upgrade process, some of the vm's will be in 5.5 and some in 6.0 and you will migrate them across different version when you put them in maintenance mode. So this is completely supported configuration.

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Yes, Mixed ESXi versions in a cluster works well. The only caution is no VM should have Hardware ver 10. So VMs can vMotion between 5.5 and 6.0.

Obviously ver10 VMs can't move on ESXi5.5. I did it , when upgrading my environment from 5.5 to 6.0. Some of the hosts were on 5.5 and rest were on 6.0.

Let me know if you need more details on it.

Regards

Pankaj Sharma

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Thanks to both of you for the confirmation. I'll be upgrading the one host this weekend, then early 2016 3 new servers and finish the upgrade.

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