how to upgrade Esxi 3.5i to Vcentre Server 4 essentials

Hi,
I am currently running VMware ESXi 3.5i (free edition) and have just bought a licence for VMware Vcentre Server 4 Essentials for vSphere, can anyone point me in the right direction on how to upgrade my server to this edition?
I have downloaded the iso file from VMware.
Thanks
BigBlueManAsked:
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coolsport00Commented:
Here are some really good resources "BigBlueMan":
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40/vsp_40_upgrade_guide.pdf
http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/upgrade-center/resources.html

Do you have a 2nd ESXi host? If so, my recommendation is to migrate ('convert' using vCenter Converter Standalone) your VMs to that 2nd host, then just do a fresh install of ESXi4. For your vCenter Server, you can just create a new VM, install vCenter and be good to go.

If you don't have a 2nd ESXi host, I would copy your VMs to a b/u storage location (you can use Veeam FastSCP for this; you have to enable SSH on your ESXi host if you haven't already done so). Once your VMs are copied over, perform the install on your ESXi host.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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rvivek_2002Commented:
Have you got Vsphere Essential edition license?. From your emssage it seems you have got just Vcenter License.

1. From the Vcenter media  Install vSphere client 4 on any of the windows desktop, which can reach ESX 35.i server.  (Make sure you put a check mark to inlude "Host update utility" during installtion)

Follow the below steps to upgarde ESXi 3.5 to ESX 4. (extracted from Vsphere upgarde guide  http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40/vsp_40_upgrade_guide.pdf)

Download an ESX 4.0 ISO file and save it on the same Windows computer on which vSphere Host Update
Utility is installed.
2 Use the vSphere Client to put the host into maintenance mode.
3 Select Start > Programs > VMware > vSphere Host Update Utility 4.0.
4 Select a host from the list and click Upgrade.
If a host is not in the list, you can add it by selecting Host > Add Host.
5 Type the location of the ESX 4.0 installation file to use or click Browse to select the location from a file
browser and click Next.
For ESX 4.0, the installation file is an ISO image.
6 Select I accept the terms in the license agreement and click Next.
7 Type the administrative account information for the selected host and click Next.
The software performs a host compatibility check.
8 Select the datastore and size of the service console virtual disk (VMDK).
VMware recommends that you select a datastore that is local to the ESX host. The service console VMDK
requires at least 8.4GB of available space.
NFS and software iSCSI datastores are not supported as the destination for the ESX 4.0 service console
VMDK.
The service console must be installed on a VMFS datastore that is resident on a host's local disk or on a
SAN disk that is masked and zoned to that particular host only. The datastore cannot be shared between
hosts.
9 (Optional) To disable automatic rollback, deselect the Attempt to reboot host and roll back upgrade in
case of failure check box.
By default, if upgrade errors occur, the host reboots and rolls back the upgrade. If you disable this behavior,
you can troubleshoot the errors manually.
10 (Optional) To automate post-upgrade configuration, select Run a post-upgrade script and type the
location of a custom post-upgrade script, or click Browse to select the location from a file browser.
The upgrade installer supports the Bash (.sh) and Python (.py) interpreters.
11 (Optional) Select Roll back the upgrade if the post-upgrade script fails and select the number of seconds
(0 to 180 seconds) for the installer to wait before it rolls back the upgrade if the post-upgrade script fails.
By default, if the post-upgrade script fails, the host upgrade remains in effect.
12 Click Next.
13 Confirm your upgrade configuration and click Finish.
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BigBlueManAuthor Commented:
great I am going to do the upgrade this weekend so will let you know how it goes.
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coolsport00Commented:
Great...keep us posted!

~coolsport00
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BigBlueManAuthor Commented:
ok so I tried the upgrade and firstly I did the copy onto external datatanks, but that didnt work, there too big and just kept failing.
Now I am going to try the 2nd host option.
I have another Esxi host which I am going to copy all my current Vm servers on to, then upgrade my 1st host to vSphere and then copy them back right?
Only problem I can see is that the snapshots won't copy, am I going to run into problems when copying back from the 2nd host to my newly updated vSphere.
Thanks
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coolsport00Commented:
"I have another Esxi host which I am going to copy all my current Vm servers on to, then upgrade my 1st host to vSphere and then copy them back right?"
- Yes.
"Only problem I can see is that the snapshots won't copy, am I going to run into problems when copying back from the 2nd host to my newly updated vSphere."
- My question is why do you need snapshots? You don't need them...just 'commit' them to get rid of them then do the copy. It will save time and 'potential' hassels.

~coolsport00
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BigBlueManAuthor Commented:
Hi,
I have performed the upgrade today and all seems ok, I am now copying the vm's back from my external HD to the datastores on my ESXi server using Veeam.
Once they have been copied back how do I then add them back onto my server? I can only see the option of creating a new virtual machine and not an import?
Thanks
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coolsport00Commented:
What you need to do is right-click on the datastore you copied your VMs back to, and select 'Browse Datastore'. A browser window will open. You will then see folders for all your VMs. Go into each VM folder, right-click on the .vmx file, and select 'Add to Inventory'. You will go through a brief 'Add' wizard, click Finish, and your VM will be back. Do this for each VM you have.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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BigBlueManAuthor Commented:
ok great thanks for that will give it a go.
One more question I copied over a virtual server which had lots of snapshots with it the total size of the folder is 465Gb.
I am now copying the folder back to the server but obiviously its taking a long time, is there a way I can just copy certain files back instead of all the snapshots or maybe just copy the most recent snapshot back over and get rid of the others?
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coolsport00Commented:
hmm...should've really 'committed' all those snapshots before doing the 1st copy. You leave yourself open for corrupting your VM when you have snapshots associated with it and do copies/moves. So, to answer your question...no, you'll have to copy all files associated with that VM. Sorry :(

~coolsport00
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BigBlueManAuthor Commented:
Ok should I import the same way even with the snapshots?it's still copying at the mo so is it likely to fail once complete?
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coolsport00Commented:
Yeah...just copy it all; it's 456GB of data..so it's gonna take quite a long time (8hrs + at least). It should complete ok.

~coolsport00
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BigBlueManAuthor Commented:
Mucho Gracias
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