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Posted on 2010-08-12
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Can you have different versions of esx/esxi in the same cluster?  Is this the best way to migrate VMs from one host to another host using a newer version of ESX?
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Question by:ENTPF
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Kevin_Leadbeater earned 800 total points
ID: 33425178
Yes different versions of an ESX/ESXi host can exist in a cluster - with some restrictions.  If VMotion is licensed and configured, then you would migrate guests from one host, update that one, and then migrate hosts back before you upgrade the next host.  VMware vCenter Update Manager would automate this process.

The admin guide gives some further details about the process and what would be unavailable during the updates.

> When you update vSphere objects in a cluster with DRS, VMware High Availability (HA), and VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) enabled, you should temporarily disable VMware Distributed Power Management (DPM), HA admission control, and FT for the entire cluster. When the update completes, Update Manager restores these
features.

> Patches might require that the host enters maintenance mode during remediation. Virtual machines cannot run when a host is in maintenance mode. To ensure a consistent user experience, vCenter Server migrates virtual machines to other ESX/ESXi hosts within a cluster before the host is put into maintenance mode.
vCenter Server migrates the virtual machines if the cluster is configured for vMotion, and if DRS is enabled.
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by:rvivek_2002
rvivek_2002 earned 800 total points
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If you are looking for the steps for ESX 3.x to ESX 4 upgrade, there is four part vedio on http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/upgrade-center/upgrade.html . This is VERY useful.
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by:jlprasadreddy
jlprasadreddy earned 400 total points
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Yes, you can have different versions of ESX/ESXi/VSphere in the same cluster, but you need to make sure that all of your VM's have the same VM Hardware Versions so that the VM's will be able to vmotion between the hosts while you upgrade them.

once you have finished upgrading all the hosts the the version you want then you can start upgrading the VM Tools followed by hardware version as needed.

in general upgrade should be done in 3 phases

upgrade all hosts  -->  upgrade vmware tools  --> upgrade VM Virtual Hardware.

JLP
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