Can Esx 4.0 coexist with Esxi 4.1 U1 in a cluster

vSphere 4.0 Infrastructure

 
Cluster1 = 2 ESX 4.0 Hosts  (HA/DRS)

Networking is standard vSwitches

Storage is iSCSI

About 20 VMs

 
Cluster 2 = 2 ESX 4.0 Hosts  (HA/DRS)

Networking is standard vSwitches

Storage is iSCSI

About 15 VMs

Our plan is to upgrade to Esxi 4.1 U1.

1. if i migrate all the vms to one host within the cluster and a clean install of ESXi on the other host, will i be able to manage them both within vCenter.

2.Would I upgrade the vCenter server to 4.1 U1 and then do the upgrading on the host.

3. Can I have both versions of VCenter running at the same time or once the new server is up remove the old version.

MECITAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
Grant BerezanConnect With a Mentor Senior Network EngineerCommented:
Always upgrade vCenter first to 4.1, and it will be able to manage to 4.0 clusters. Then upgrade your hosts and migrate your VMs one at a time, as you are able. Then you can, if you choose to, upgrade your VM hardware versions and take advantage of the USB and other advanced features that 4.1 offers.
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SysExpertCommented:
I have not done this, bt in general ESX is backward compatble so I would first do the vcenter upgrade and then do the other stuff whenever. 4.1 should certainly be able to maintain a 4.0 infrastructure.

I hope this helps !
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coolsport00Commented:
Simple answer? No. Reference? Compatibility Matrix:
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40/vsp_compatibility_matrix.pdf, beginning on pg. 2

Regards,
~coolsport00
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coolsport00Commented:
Pg. 33 of the Upgrade Guide (http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_upgrade_guide.pdf) begins discussion on how to upgrade your infrastructure. I recommend as "SysExpert" & "OrcaKnight"...upgrade vCenter 1st, then do the hosts, then upgrade VMware Tools on your VMs. I personally tell everyone to just do a clean install on the hosts instead of worrying about upgrading. I've read some threads here where folks have had issues with upgrades, but none with clean install.

Hope that helps.

~coolsport00
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MECITAuthor Commented:
is there an article on how to do a new install.

how would I migrate over the current database and the current configurations.

Can you explain the option to upgrade the VM hardware version to take advantage of the USB, what are some of the advantages and is this included in the ESXi 4.1 U1?
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coolsport00Connect With a Mentor Commented:
This link, in the 'Guides and Papers' tab, has the ESX/vCenter Install Guide. That would be a 'new install' Guide to use. Here is a KB on 4.1 Install and Best Practices: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1022101. I don't believe you need to migrate your DB. I assume your DB is on a remote DB server (i.e. not local)? If so, just create your 64bit OS for vCenter (recommend it be on a VM), then configure your ODBC connection. Do the vCenter install and it should 'see' the DB and ask to upgrade it. So, no 'migration' of DB needed. No VM hardware upgrade is needed. USB support is dependent upon 'passthrough' support of your physical host: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1022290 and supported USB devices: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1021345. USB support in my opinion is still highly limited. VMware needs to get their butt in gear in that area :)

~coolsport00
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coolsport00Commented:
Forgot to provide the 1st link that has the Guides :)
http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vs_pages/vsp_pubs_esx41_vc41.html

~coolsport00
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MECITAuthor Commented:
I was not invovled in the first installation of ESX 4.0 on the host or vCenter. From what I can tell there is a SQL database running within the vm where vCenter is currently on.

How would I do this?
Would it still be the same process as you described?
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coolsport00Connect With a Mentor Commented:
There is a procedure in Upgrade Guide beginning on pg. 35/36 that shares what you need to do to move/backup the vCenter DB.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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MECITAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the help guys.
Will post my results later?
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