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Vmware upgrade concern

Posted on 2011-03-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We are in the process of upgrading from 4.0 to 4.1 ESX. almost all the KB articles, it says to disconnect from the SAN before the upgrade. Our ESX are booting from SAN. Disconnect prior to upgrade is a requirements or is it being cautious so you "accidently" don't overwrite a data store..please advice!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Question by:stratoman
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coolsport00 earned 167 total points
ID: 35184186
I'm pretty sure they mean to not have a SAN connected so as not to overwrite anything. That has always been they're (and my) recommendation. I always suggest a clean install of ESX/ESXi for upgrades. During the process, I suggest to posters to remove their SAN so they don't mistakenly overwrite their data and VMs.

~coolsport00
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by:stratoman
ID: 35184264
Thank you...Since we are booting off the SAN, we cannot disconnect from the SAN.
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by:danm66
danm66 earned 167 total points
ID: 35184346
The danger of not disconnecting the SAN is that if you boot from the installation media, the installation routine (which is Linux and not ESX) will prompt you to initialize all datastores that it doesn't recognize.  So, if you're booting from the media to do a clean install, you will want to be very careful when you see this dialog and make sure it doesn't wipe anything but the install LUN.  In fact, it would be better if you unpresent all other LUN's except the one it's installing to.

If you are using the Update Manager or vihostupdate command to upgrade, then you should be safe, but again; unpresenting all but the boot lun would be the safest course.
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by:stratoman
ID: 35188915
Thank you...thats what i am going to do...:)
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by:markzz
markzz earned 166 total points
ID: 35189810
Could I reiterate the point that a clean install is best practice..
I have been upgrading our ESX4 hosts to esx 4.1u1 also.
I have had about a 50% success rate, due to this I have accepted we will have to stick to our old standards of NO UPGRADES.. Clean installs only.
Hey lets look at the reality. The first one takes a bit of time, but the second and all subsequent clean rebuilds are very fast.
I can rebuild a well documented ESX Host in about 2 hours, if the install is scripted it takes much less.
In fact I rebuilt one of the LAB ESX Host this evening, I'd had tried to upgrade it as it is only LAB, in this case the upgrade appeared successful but the Host was unstable.. Now it's Rebuilt.  
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Author Comment

by:stratoman
ID: 35337202
i totally agree with you. I went to that route too...unpresent the LUN's, enter maintenance mode, remove from cluster, install esxi 4.1, present the LUN's back, configure it, add it back to cluster....smooth and easy..while at it...we upgraded from ESX 4.0 to ESXi 4.1......everything running smooth
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by:coolsport00
ID: 35338583
Thanks for the update...glad it worked well for you!

~coolsport00
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