We are currently on vCenter/Esxi 6.5 and are you in the process of reviewing hardware replacement. We currently have 5 Dell hosts (PowerEdge R820) with all flash SAN. We are keeping the SAN since its recently replaced.
Our earliest upgrade schedule would be around July. Would the upgrade to the next version or latest version allow us to remove a host to free up a license and then add in a new hardware host as long as the CPU is from the same manufacturer?
Some ideas I am thinking, would this work?
1) remove a single host to free a license (host with 2 CPUs)
2) add host with new hardware into the current environment (same ESXi version or new version)
3) Vmotion VMs to allow another host to be taken out of the cluster
4) repeat procedure
5) Install new vCenter and add each individual ESXi host to the new cluster.
Btw, we did this similar method when we upgraded from 5.5 to 6.5 keeping the same hardware. Back when we attempted the upgrade and it failed. Support told us to just do a complete new installation to version 6.5 since our environment wasn't large (we were able to do vmotion among two ESXi versions).
When you install VMware vSphere you have 60 days in demo with all features active. This would be enough for the new servers to move the VMs from the old servers to the new servers. At the end you must move the license from the old servers to the new ones.
If you have the version 6 licenses these will work for versions 6.0, 6.5 and 6.7.
If you are going to upgrade to the latest version (version 7) at the end of this migration, you must upgrade your version 6 licenses to version 7 in my VMware if your software contract and subscription is still valid.
Check the compatibility between the new vcenter server version and the old ESXi servers. it may be necessary to patch the old ESXi servers to avoid problems.
t is also good to check the compatibility of the new hardware.
Appreciate you thorough response. So during the upgrade (lets say 6.5 to 7), the upgrade process will be fine without the key for version 7? I will have a grace period as usual to apply the key (once given by support)?