Migration from Esx 3.0 to Esx 3.5

What is the best approach to migrating from esx 3.0 to esx 3.5?

We have one 3.02 ESX host with 3 virtual servers - Exchange 2003, Exchange 2007 and Blackberry.   Exchange 2003 is in production.   Exchange 2007 is built with one test mailbox on it.  Blackberry is in production.

We want to use same host upgraded to 3.5.

What is best approach?
Migrate mailboxes from Exchange 2003 to 2007 on 3.02 host and be left wtih 2 virtual servers.
Swing VSs to other ESX 3.5 host if available or upgrade current esx host?  Use cloing?  

When cloning, do you have to:
Shutdown Exchange services
Clone to 3.5 VS
Run a database consistency check on Exchange database?
Start services on cloned VS.

Any steps on cloning would be helpful.   I am new to VMware.

Also, right now there is no backup setup on 3.02 esx.   How can I get to backing up host and VS?  Do I need to be on 3.5 with Consolidated Backup?

Any VMware guidance is appreciated.

Ron White  
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Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:

First you are talking about two different things.

1º Upgrading VMware
2º Upgrading Microsoft

Upgrading one, don't have no impact in the another.

First to upgrade the VMware, you need to upgrade the VMware host(from 3.0 to 3.5), then upgrade the VMFS Storage(LUNs), then upgrade the Virtual Center.

You can run update directly from CD Setup, or using console on run esxupdate.

But since you have no experience in VMware i recommend that you run the setup directly.

There are same issues upgrading VMware so you need to read all about that.



About VCB, to use the last version, you need to upgrade first the VMware/Virtual Center.

Hope this can help

rreywhite22Author Commented:
Thanks for the information above.   Very useful.

We are upgraded to VMware/Virtual Center with some ESX 3.5 hosts.    We have live production with ESX 3.02 hosts and new ESX 3.5 hosts empty.    We may have an opportunity to use a swing ESX host server.    Is this an option to clone a VS from ESX 3.02 to ESX 3.5 and once 3.02 ESX host is cleared, we can upgrade ESX host with no virtual servers attached?   For an Exchange server, do we need to do a datbase consistency check?   I have read about other products like VReplicator from Visioncore that may also replicate our environment safely.

Ron White
Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:

There is no problem upgrading the VMware hosts itself. Is easy, and have no issues. The only issue, is that all the VMs will stop first.

The real problem(not a problem, but must work with careful), is upgrading your Storage.

In this part I recommend that you have a backup of all your VMs.

Upgrading the Exchange server, check this:


Hope this can help

Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:

I forget about the VReplicator.

This a very good replicator.

If you have budjed to buy, i recommend. Is very useful, for replication VMware Infrastructure. It can many thinks, but i think is power tool is very useful for, Data Disaster Recover.

And why is that? Because you can create a VMware clone, with all your VMs, and the VReplicator will replicate online, all the changes in the VMware Infrastructure.

Can you use for this upgrade? Well i never use this tool for that purpose, but yes i think it can be use for it.

But in my opinion, you don't need to do this. Is more easy, and quick upgrading the VMware directly.

But if your production environment cannot stop any of the VMs, then yes you need to create a backup VMware Infrastructure to hold the VMs, while you upgrade one.

Upgrading a VMware host, is about 10/15minutes


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rreywhite22Author Commented:
Good information on getting started on VMWare.
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