vmware upgrade to vsphere

hi guys

i have two esx 3.5 enterprise servers and one esx foundation. virtual centre also. i am entitled to free upgrade licenses so would like to start to look at doing the upgrade. has anyone here done the upgrade before? how did they find it?
mikeleahyAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, you will have to create a new server for vSphere vCenter on a 64 bit server.

You have to make a decision, do you want to preserve the existing settings in your vCentre setup, or start new.

If you want to maintain the database, you specify the original database at vCenter 4.1 installation, and it gets upgraded.

Lots of different scenarios, as to where your current database is, is it on a different server, or is it SQL express, full SQL on a seperate server.

We recommend the use of a different server than VC as a database server, and you don't ever have issues with vCenter installations in the future, because you just specify the SQL server (creation of DSN) at installation.

Choice is yours.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I assume upgrade to ESXi 4.1 and vSphere vCenter 4.1. It's very straight forward if you plan it correctly.

1. Check that your existing hardware is on the HCL, 4.1 requirements have changed.

2. vSphere vCenter 4.1. is 64 bit only, so requires 64 bit OS.

3. vSphere vCenter 4.1 can manage ESX 3.5 servers.

this is the upgrade guide

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_upgrade_guide.pdf

please ask questions
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mikeleahyAuthor Commented:
thanks. vshpere centre and the 64 bit os? i will have to  create a new server for this, will i be able to copy across the settings and data on the existin virtual server?
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mikeleahyAuthor Commented:
what kind of info would the database have?
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mikeleahyAuthor Commented:
its saved currenly local on the vc server
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mikeleahyAuthor Commented:
also its sql 2005 express
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
the database contains the past performance history of all hosts and VMs, the layout (if any) of your folders (easily re-created), template customizations.

okay so it sounds like it's the SQL 2005 Express database that shipped with VC2.5.

If you wanted to keep SQL 2005 Express on the existing server, you would have to enable it for remote connections from your new vSphere vCenter 4.1 server.

otherwise if you wanted to keep the history etc, you would need to migrate the database from this server to the new server.

The quickest and easiest option, is to create a new 2008 64bit server, new vCenter installation, and new SQL database (as part of the install), and then add then remove ESX 3.5 hosts from old VC 2.5, and add to new VC 4.1, ensuring the license server is still accessible (VC 4.1 doesn't include 3.5 licensing server, but does need to be specified in the configuration).
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mikeleahyAuthor Commented:
my vc server is the license server-

i will recreate a new server and recreate virtual centre. i would like to delete the old virtual centre so can i make the new vc server the license server? would i just download the licenses from the portal or do they come across?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If I was you I would leave the existing VC and License server in place, create your new VC server, remove ESX 3.5 from existing VC server, add to new VC server, and then add ESX 3,5 servers to VC 4.1, adding license server in the VC 4.1 config.

Licenses for 4.1 are different,. and downloadable from VMware against your account.

The license server is only required for 3.5 temporarily, once your on ESX 4.1, no longer needed.
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mikeleahyAuthor Commented:
add to new VC server, and then add ESX 3,5 servers to VC 4.1

was that just a type? is that the same step?

how do i add license server in the vc 4.1 config? is that just a custom install option?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
1. Create a new VC 4.1 server.
2. Add ESX 3.5 servers to new VC 4.1 server.

you add your VC 4.1 license key at installation.

and later when you've upgraded your ESX 3.5 to ESX 4.1 hosts, you add the license key for ESX to both servers in VC 4.1.

No need for license server anymore.
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mikeleahyAuthor Commented:
thanks
legend
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mikeleahyAuthor Commented:
just starting to do this work now.

the guide says that the vc server needs 2 64 bit processors, is this really needed or will one do ?

so my plan is as follows :

1. check the hcl (done this and all is ok)
2. build new virtual 2008 server 64 bit and install vc 4.1 on it
3. license this using new license from portal
4. remove hosts from old vc and pull into new vc
5. upgrade each host in turn and license in vc (or does it look for a license during the upgrade???

sound right?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
One or Two will, do how big is your infrastrucutre?

Yes, sounds good, you need to add licenses to the ESX 4.1 servers, from VC Client.

Just make sure you download the old licence server which just needs to run temporaily, while you have ESX 3.5 hosts.
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mikeleahyAuthor Commented:
2 hosts with 20 vms so i presume one processor will do?

do i add the licenses to the 4.1 servers after they are upgraded from 3.5 to 4.1 ???

im going to let my old license server stay running throughout so i presume this will suffice to keep the 3.5 hosts working ?

the licensing has me confused , is this correct?

1. ill add the vc 4.1 license when installing
2. old license server will continue to license 3.5 hosts
3. when i upgrade hosts to 4.1 then i will give them licenses through new vc??

when i upgrade a host to 4.1 and it reboots, will it be running on a trial license until i give it the license in vc?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
That is correct.

1. Add the VC 4.1 license to VC 4.1 on installation.

3. Assign the ESX 4.1 licenses to them, when they are 4.1 servers, through VC.

Correct, it will be running a 60 day eval licence.
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mikeleahyAuthor Commented:
last question :-)

if i upgrade vc and one host, can i leave the other host at 3.5 for a few days to make sure all is ok ? will vmotion between a host on 3.5 and 4.1 work?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, vMotion will work between 3.5 and 4.1 (providing the Hosts CPU are compatible)
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mikeleahyAuthor Commented:
should i go to the most recent version . 4.1 update 1?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, I would, no point jumping to ESX 4.1.
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mikeleahyAuthor Commented:
doing very well. getting an error when trying to add a 3.5 client to new vc

it says vi3 hosts cannot be added if vcentre server is licensed but not configured. i have pasted in all liceense to it, what else do i need to do?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
you need to set the VC 3.5 License Server in the vCenter settings.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
To configure the legacy VMware License Server information in vCenter Server 4.x:

   1.
      From the vSphere Client, click Administration > vCenter Server Settings.
   2.
      Choose Licensing.
   3.
      In the License Server section, enter the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) or the IP address of the legacy VMware License Server. Acceptable formats for entering the FQDN/IP address are:

      abcd@vmware.com:27000

      or

      27000@10.16.16.1

      Optionally, specify the port where the legacy VMware License Server is running.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
the licensing request for ESX 3.5 is made through VC 4.1 to the old legacy license server (which was rubbish!)
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mikeleahyAuthor Commented:
case on going. excellent help so far, will be closing call soon
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
okay, glad is ongoing....
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mikeleahyAuthor Commented:
call is not abandoned. i have one server done and will assign points now as im sure rest will go ok
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mikeleahyAuthor Commented:
excellent knowledge of the process
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
thanks for your kind comments.
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