I have a plan that would allow for our 10 version 5.1 vCenters to be consolidated down to 4 running version 6.0U1. This would entail spinning up the new vCenters and moving the 'old' vCenter objects/hosts into them. This will entail a bit of work where dVS's are concerned, but we have that piece more or less figured out using 'swing NICs'. It's a bit tedious but it's not that bad, and perhaps I can just export existing dVS's and import them into the new vCenters to save a step or two where building any new dVS's are concerned.
The issue is that I have a colleague who thinks we should just leave the old environment up on version 5.1 and not migrate ANY of those 'old' clusters/hosts into it and instead build new hosts into the new environment. We would subsequently move the VMs over to new hosts via swing LUNs, reconfigure their networking, etc. Of course, that approach would entail VM downtime whereas my approach would not.
I like the idea of moving older vCenter resources into the new vCenters but I guess I need more reasons to go the route of my colleague and wait for new host hardware and storage (which we do plan to procure, albeit eventually). Only about half of our hosts in the 'old' environment would get upgraded in-place, with the other half being replaced with new hardware within the next 6-12 months or so.
Which approach would YOU take? What are the pros/cons to my approach vs that of my colleague?
I like the approach of moving the hosts into the new vCenter. The dVS issue is a bummer, and one of the primary reasons we deploy dVS only when there is a true use case for "dVS only" features.
You might consider migrating to Standard vSwitches first and deleting the dVS 5.X (on the old vCenters) and then pulling the host into the new vCenter. This has the added advantage of (if you intend to migrate back to dVS) allowing you to create dVS natively for vSphere 6 (as opposed to upgrading the dVS 5.X).
The biggest PRO is leaving 5.1 entirely! Were it 5.0 or 5.5 it would be different, but vCenter 5.1 is particularly problematic due to the not-quite-successful implementation of SSO.
Thanks for the response --- keep them coming! Yes, the DVS piece is a drag but it's not horrible. We've done a similar migration before (5.1 to 5.1 for SRM related reasons) so I know it works out ok.
Upgrading DVS's is no big deal and is non-disruptive. But I do wonder if I can export the DVS from the 5.1 side and import that into the new vCenter as a v5.1 DVS and avoid at least manually re-creating the DVS in the new vCenter. Guess I can test in lab.
But yes, with the networking changes inherent in a new vCenter / new DVS's / host migrations from old to new vCenter, etc, we're looking at the need to go from DVS to StdVS to DVS again, adding/removing uplinks as needed through the migration, and utilizing the 'Migrate Virtual Machine Networking' along the way.
I'm wondering what true BENEFIT we can gain from moving the hosts over from old to new vCenters and DVS's and if it'll be worth all the effort where the networking piece is concerned, so I'm keeping this thread 'open' for additional comments.