vCenter upgrade questions

I need to upgrade my ESX 3.5 environment.  First I am thinking vCenter.  I have 2.5 version with 147633 build.  Full blown SQL 2005.
What are the procedures doing that?  I cannot find the correct documentation on that.

Can I go directly from 3.5 to 4.1?  or 4.0 first?
Will it affect the hosts in any way?  Do I need to reboot?  I am thinking to make a SAN snapshot prior to upgrade.

Please advice.
Thanks!!
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Tiras25Asked:
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VMwareGuyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
only if you don't want to recreate your permissions,logical groups, etc..   In small environments where perf data and permissions aren't important I just do it without concern, haven't seen a DB failure yet.  Last time I saw DB failure was upgrading from ESX 2.5 to VI3 (ESX 3.01).  

Here is a short tutorial on the backup of SQL 2005, looks like they are doing it with MS SQL sesrver managemnt studio..

http://www.exforsys.com/tutorials/sql-server-2005/sql-server-database-backup.html

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elmagoalCommented:
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Justin CAWS Solutions ArchitectCommented:
Here is VMware's process for upgrading to vCenter 4.1 and ESXi 4.1:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1022104

It's a pretty straightforward process.  You are right that you will want to upgrade vCenter first, you cannot manage ESX 4.1 from an older version of vCenter/Virtual Center.
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Tiras25Author Commented:
I will review these.  Also, has anyone done straight from 3.5 to 4.1?  
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
A point worth remembering is vCenter 4.1 is x64 only, no more x86.

This is how I would do it

1.Backup the VirtualCenter DB first
2.Upgrade the vCenter version from 3.5 to 4.1 (check the physical server whether it is compatible for 64-Bit compatibility if vCenter is running as a physical box.)

I don't think the hosts need to be rebooted in anyway.

Make sure that you configure the licensing server information correctly since licensing model has been changed in vSphere where 25-digit alpha numeric product keys are being used instead of *.lic files
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Tiras25Author Commented:
vCenter is a VM, no worries about the 64bit.

So go straight upgrade from 3.5 to 4.1 by executing the file?
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VMwareGuyCommented:
Back up DB, upgrade vCenter, it isn't a true upgrade but rather a re-install because of the your important data resides in the DB.  What you lose if you don't backup your DB and you fail is vcenter logical groups and permissions, and perf data that has been collected over time, as well as HA cluster stuff.  Then ugrade your VI client immediately.  If you don't upgrade your client to a matching version you won't be able to resiger or start VMs.  
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Tiras25Author Commented:
Looks like I will go with 4.0 upgrade.  My OS is not 64bit.  

do I still need to backup SQL 2005 DB?   Never done that.
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Tiras25Author Commented:
I can probably do a quick SAN snapshot so I know I am safe.

So will I have to recreate all the permissions,logical groups, etc?  Or its only in the event of the failure?
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VMwareGuyCommented:
Only in the event of failure.   The schema is vcenter 2.x DB is not compatible with 4.x, so if it fails, you lose your DB if you try to revert back.  Take a look at this file, it was hard to find, but it is for upgrading to vcetner 4.0.
Upgrade-Guide.pdf
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Tiras25Author Commented:
Got it.  I have this document but not too much about the vCenter upgrade there.  

My vCenter server is physical btw.
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VMwareGuyCommented:
IT has what you need.  I  just looked it over, You should be fine, your DB is supported.  Here is what will happen:

The Database Upgrade wizard runs after you click Install in the vCenter Server installer. The Database
Upgrade wizard upgrades the database schema to make it compatible with vCenter Server 4.0. The schema
defines the tables, the fields in each table, and the relationships between fields and tables.
If you are upgrading from VirtualCenter 2.5, the Database Upgrade wizard runs in the background. If you are
upgrading from VirtualCenter 2.0.x, the Database Upgrade wizard appears and you must complete the wizard.  

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Tiras25Author Commented:
OK thank you!  

Let me check again.  I am more worry about the DB backup/recovery.  Since its a physical server I cannot do a SAN snapshot.  
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Tiras25Author Commented:
OK so I will go ahead with you DB backup instruction link.  

After that; should I then execute the upgrade autorun file?
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VMwareGuyCommented:
Yes - you will find there isn't much to it.  keep the doc handy during the process just in case you are uncertain about something.  it really is a straight forward process.  Very easy.  
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Tiras25Author Commented:
Thank you again.  So far I am dealing with DB backup.  Not enough disk space for backup:-).....
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Tiras25Author Commented:
Just went through the upgrade procedure.  All finished!
The SQL server goes insane now.  Uses almost all 4GB RAM.  Server almost non-responsive.  
Should I wait or reboot?
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VMwareGuyCommented:
boot.  
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Tiras25Author Commented:
Helped thank you!!!
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VMwareGuyCommented:
it was a microsoft issue   :)
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Tiras25Author Commented:
HA HA HA
Perferct!!!
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Tiras25Author Commented:
Really slow after the upgrade.  sql server takes a lot of memory.  only 50MB free of 4GB total.  Reboot few times helpes first but then occupies all the RAM again and gets really slow..
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
I believe that you can post this as a separate question since this would not be shown in the queue of VMware questions.
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