Upgrade path question

We would like to go from esx 3.5 to 5.0. I was wondering if this upgrade path/model would work and if anyone sees any show stoppers or road blocks. We currently use an oracle DB but we want to use SQL 2008 R2 for the new version.

We run 20 VM's over 3 servers currently and we pushed them all to one server that can handdle to load for holding.

-Take down a production 3.5 host and install host 5.0.

-install Vsphere trial on a machine to connect to the new 5.0 host

-install SQL to the new VM host and setup a new DB

-install vcenter on the new SQL server

-attach the 3.5 license server to manage my older 3.5 hosts from 5.0

-add my 3.5 hosts into the new vcenter.

-move my VMs that are on 3.5 hosts to the new 5.0 host.

-update all other 3.5 hosts to 5.0 hosts

-place vm's back on to their orginal servers.

-update my vcenter to use the new 5.0 keys

-update vm tools on all vms

-update hardware on all vms

-covert all vmx files to the new type on alll vms

Anything jump out at you guys that be a show stopper here?


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2 Replies

Did almost the same steps as you, however because we were running a very old version of VI3.5, we could not upgrade straight to vCenter Server 5.0 as we couldn't add the VI3.5 hosts with the ESXi 5.0 hosts in the same HA cluster.

I remember reading in the vSphere HA docs about VI3.5 hosts requiring some sort of patch level... update 4 or something (can't remember off the top of my head).

So what I had to do was add in additional steps to go from VI3.5->ESXi 4.0->ESXi 5.0. (was quicker than trying to work out patch levels required and stuff)

Basically vMotion all VMs to free up 1 host, take the host out of the cluster and rebuild it with ESXi 4.0.

Deploy a VM with vCenter 4.0

Add in the new host and the old VI3.5 hosts, create a cluster, vMotion VMs off 2nd host and re-install with ESXi 4.0, etc.

With the last host I went straight to ESXi 5.0, decided it would be quicker/cleaner to build a fresh install of vCenter 5.0 and went about the same process.

I then upgraded the VM tools and VM hardware to the latest and greatest (downtime required - and on some Windows servers it kicked up a big fuss with 'hidden' devices, etc.... I vaguely remember having to hack some Linux VMs as well - ifcfg files and stuff).

I then upgraded the datastores to the latest and greatest too (no downtime).

I didn't bother attaching the VI3.5 license server to manage the VI3.5 hosts as it wasn't required with the method above.

I'm assuming you don't want any of the old info from the oracle DB since you're installing a fresh SQL DB - not quite sure how to migrate the data over.....

hope you get the gist of the method... didn't want to write out the whole process. 😃
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Welcome to the Community - So you currently do not have vCenetr? You do not need toupgrade a host to run ESXi 5 to install vCenter - you can build a new vCenter server on an existing ESXi 3.5 host - Iw ould also review the upgrade guide -

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