VMware Hardware upgrade

Posted on 2009-12-28
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Hi All,

I have a VMware esx3i 32 bit version (Free Version, no support).

It has been working amazing on my supported motherboard (Tyan) with xeon CPU 2,66Ghz Dual core socket 604 with 12GB of Memory. This is a 32 bit plattform

I now need to upgrade my hardware to 64 bit platform and I indeed found an opteron motherboard compatible with ESX3i.

I need to install production virtuall machine that are 64 bit and I need to upgrade the exchange 2003 to exchange 2007 64 bit.

I still need to keep the old virtual environment that is installed on Raid5 (4 Disk of 250GB Each) .

My question is if I upgrade the motherboard as 64 bit and I plug back the the raid5 that is configured on Adaptec Sata Raid controller do the vmware esx will see the new motherboard?

If yes, can I upgrade the old vmware esx 32bit to Vshere 64 bit with VmWare version 4?

I need to know that before I start to replace the motherboard, if I cannot just replace the old 32 bit mainboard with the new one 64 bit, what's the correct way to achieve this goal?

Question by:daveviolante
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    No you will have hardware issues since the drivers for ESXi may not see the new hardware.
    If ESXi was installed on your RAID5 partition, the safest way would be to shutdown your virtual machines and transfer them off the datastore (using Veeam FastSCP and then rebuild your hardware and install Vsphere ESXi. Once this is done and the datastore configured - use FastSCP to move your VM's back to the new Datastore. The VMs will still run as normal.
    Ok, hope this helps!

    Author Comment

    It seems to be clear. I have to transfer them to some storage I have a SAN (Open Source Called Openfiler).
    Can I transfer this Virtual machine even to a normal external hardisk or what's the best way to do could you be a little more specif if you do not mind? I know ESX but I never done Hardware upgrade.

    My office is in production I want to avoid mistake or data loss
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    You can transfer the Virtual Machines to any external disks for backup and restore purpose. If its a USB external harddisk then it will take lots of time if your VM takes TeraBytes of disk space. Other than that there is no harm done in transferring the VM to USB HDD and then transferring it to  your production SAN

    Also, since your motherboard will have Opteron in place of Xeon it is advisable to install vSphere 4.0 directly.


    Author Comment

    OK, I am doing all transfer right now and it seem to work just fine.

    I have 120 GB of VM but according to the time should finish in about 4 hours and 30 minutes

    I will provide feed back tonight around 7pm Amsterdam time and I will assign the points to you


    Author Comment

    I transferred all machine and installed the new hardware much quacker than what I thought.

    great all good and thanks for your support

    Author Closing Comment

    Great help


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