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upgrade esx4.0 to esxi4.1

Hi Experts,
I hope you can help me with my problem.
We have a vmware system running with esx4.0 and vcenter server 4.0 on a 32 bit server.
But the future is just with esxi, so we need to upgrade from esx4.0 to esxi4.1
Can you help me to do this and explain the single steps ?

Our vcenter is installed as 32 bit machine. The new 4.1 version is just for 64bits.
How to upgrade this ?
Please provide me some manuals or a step by step manual.


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Eprs_Admin
Asked:
Eprs_Admin
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1 Solution
 
coolsport00Commented:
Teh upgrade guide should provide you with everything (mostly) you need to know:
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_upgrade_guide.pdf

Regards,
~coolsport00
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coolsport00Commented:
Basically,...
*upgrade your vCenter - if you have a remote DB, I recommend rebuilding your vCenter Server
*if you have clustered hosts, i would (personally) do a full reinstall of ESXi on ea. host.
 -> just migrate VMs off of 1 host, remove it from the cluster (if it's in one), document all configs/setting, disconnect any datastore/SAN connections to it, then install ESXi.
*reconnect datastore/SAN storage; reconfig settings, place in cluster, move VMs back to it
*do same to remaining hosts
*upgrade VMs -> VMware Tools, then VM Hardware

Hope that helps.

Again, see the Guide for explicit instructions.
Also: http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vs_pages/vsp_pubs_esxi41_i_vc41.html
Upgrade site: http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/upgrade-center/resources.html; has some GREAT videos (about 6mins each) that show you basic upgrades

Regards,
~coolsport00
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
I cannot just upgrade my vcenter, it is on 32bit server.
Yes we have the hosts in  a cluster.
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coolsport00Commented:
I understand. I actually meant to reinstall it. I recommend for everything a 'clean' install anyway. It's just best that way. With any upgrade, there is always residual files left behind that (IMO) can cause issues, no matter the product upgraded. As mentioned, if your DB is remote, it's very easy. Just disconnect from it on your current vCenter, back up any data on your server that you need, then install a new 64bit OS. Restore your data, reconnect to your vCenter ODBC DB connection, then install vCenter. During installation it should ask if you wanna continue using an existing DB and if so it will upgrade it. The upgrade guide should have all the info you need (as well as the videos).

My recommendation for your cluster hosts are as I shared above.

~coolsport00
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Excuse my British-ness, but here's "food for thought"

A new version of "ESXi 5.0" is going to be with us July/August 2011, there *will* be upgrade/uplift paths from ESX 4.0 to ESXi 5.0 (but this will be your last opportunity to complete upgrades/uplifts).If you keep your Support Subscription current, you will be entitled to upgrade/uplift providing your hardware is on the HCL. You therefore may wish to wait, and hold on.

Do you want to keep the current SQL Database?

Are you using the "free" SQL database?

It may be possible to "copy/move" the existing database to the new SQL Server on 64 bit platform.


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coolsport00Commented:
Hahaha :) Nice "hanccocka"

Wow...really?? I thought it was going to be out end of 3rd quarter last I heard. I personally don't upgrade to newest versions until at least a year after it's release (no matter the product), giving it time to go through it's headaches, hiccups, and thus revisions/updates/SPs. Can't wait to get my in-house lab set up. I'll be downloading it and testing it out!

~coolsport00
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
we have no remote vcenter db. we just use the sql express db on the vcenter server itself.
I need to keep this db.

can I install a new vcenter and copy the db to it ?
But what about the server name and the IP ? Do I need the same ? Because I have heared it is no wise to change the name or IP of the vcenter.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
@coolsport00: we run them in test, before production, we wait for the "pengins to jump of the ice berge" is that a British phrase as well! (maybe I need a wiki Translation guide!).

We are still testing 4.1 U1! Not in production yet.
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coolsport00Commented:
Ha...yeah...totally British! :P

I know...I haven't put 4.1 in prod either. The main reason is transitioning vCenter to 64bit OS.

"Eprs_Admin"...yes, you should be able to b/u your DB (hopefully your traditional data b/u solution does this for you), then restore the files to your new vCenter Server. DB Administration is out of my scope of expertise though. I know enough to get me by (or in trouble, 1 of the 2) :)

Yes, give vCenter the same IP. It won't matter. IP changes are fine, but I think what you're referring to is when everything is already built up and in production. Changing hostname/IP is fine to do, but disruptive to production because it involves rebooting hosts, etc. You can keep it the same when rebuilding it.

~coolsport00
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Okay, sorry about that folks, when for a "nosebag"

Okay, options, keeping the same SQL database, do you have any SQL dbadmins, are you familar with SQL?

Do you want to keep SQL db on the vCenter server, or move to a new dediciated SQL server?

Are the new server or servers vCenter or SQL going to be physical or virtual?

Are you going to use the included SQL Express included with vCenter installation, or purchase a version of SQL 32 bit or 64 bit?


"nosebag" - british slang for lunch/food!
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bgoeringCommented:
I had a similar issue, except it was 3.5 esx to 4.1 esxi - had a long discussion on the topic in http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_26382678.html

What I ended up doing was a new install of vCenter server 4.1 on 64-bit Windows 2008 R2 platform, exported my exisiting ESX 3.5 hosts from old vCenter 3.5, recreated datacenters, clusters, resource pools (manually) in new vCenter and added hosts back in.

Then used update manager to update to ESX 4.1. I am gradually migrating to ESXi as I add new hosts or replace old hosts. Wasn't worth the trouble to re-install and reconfigure from scratch all of the ESX hosts just to get to ESXi.

I strongly recommend going to embedded on ESXi, or if you do installable then install to USB stick instead of local hard disk.

Good Luck
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bgoeringCommented:
And you guys need to get to 4.1 - it is great. I am in process of getting U1 on now. I have upgraded my DR site to U1 and should have main site all upgraded by end of May.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
@bgoering: We are already on 4.1 in production (our offices). We just don't have U1 in production Our offices), it's still in our Test Labs! Our big clients are awaiting our Approval!

Some new deployments we've gone straight to U1!
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VMwareGuyCommented:
There is currently no upgrade path to vCenter 4.1 from older versions buit on 32bit systems, you will need to rebuild.  However, if you would like to preserve your DB settings you can use VMware's database migration utility, instructions for this are here:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1021635

If you decide to build a new DB, here is what you lose:

1) logical groups created in vCenter and all permmissions assigned and configurd on vCenter objects
2) any historical perf data storage in vCenter DB
3) Any and all custer configurations for HA, DRS, etc
4) license set up

You must now decide whether or not the tool is worth using and it will depend on how much work you have already put into your vCenter installation

As for ESX upgrade, go with ESXi 4.1 u1 and prepare yourself for VMware's road map which is appliance focused.

Prior to rebuilding your ESX server(s_ - be sure to temporarily disconnect from your storage array to avoid laying down the install on a SAN attached LUN.  
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
Hi, what I don't want is to loose my configuration. So I will keep my DB.
For the ESXi Upgrade I now understand, I can do one host after another. That means my vm's still are accessible.

For the vcenter, a consulter told me never change the ip and the name.
But I have to install a new 64bit server, so I have a new name and ip.
And when I am telling the truth, I want to have another name of vcenter. Can I do it ? Or is it a problem with the SQL DB which I copy to keep my settings ?

Now I use the SQL Express 2008 version, but we also have a fully SQL server 2005. Can I copy the DB to this server and connect it ?
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VMwareGuyCommented:
I have renamed vCenter before, and yes, it is a pain in the ass because it will cause you to lose connection to your DB.  You will have to run some commands against the DB to fix the tables, I did this once before succussfully, but then had some additional fallout as a result of the name change pertaining to adding some new features \ plugins.. vCenter is not friendly to a name change.

If you must change the name, do so before you migrate the DB to a 64biti installation.  Otherwise, you can always build the new vCenter server off the wire, and then add it to the domain only after you take the old version down and delete the orginal machine account in AD.  this way you can stick with the orginal name.  
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
Hi VMwareGuy:

so you mean, there is no problem, to setup the new 64bit machine with another name and then migrate the DB to my SQL server ? Right ?
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VMwareGuyCommented:
vCenter SQL DB doesn't care about the AD machine account (SID), only the servername itself.  

If you need to change the name of vCenter and you don't want to build a new vCenter installation from scratch - something I don't recommend - here is what you should probably do:

Best to perform the following in a test environment - clone your vCenter VM and perform these actions on the clone off the wire.  

1)   Change the name of vCenter and follow this KB to get vCenter up and running

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1006843

note - I mentioned above the you would need to run queries against SQL to change table names, I had to do this with VCenter 2.5 years ago, apparently this is not required anymore according to the above KB which has been updated in 2/2011

2) build out a new VM with the name you desire - off the wire of course

3)  Migrate the SQL DB over to the new server using the migration utility I provided you a link to above, you may need to take the primary vCenter offline to do this, ESX doesn't need vCenter so it can come down temporarily, or you may be able to do it completely offline because a VM doesn't need to be online to transfer files to it, from within the VM properties you can mount the ESX host CDROM and transfer files directly into the VM in this manner.  In any event, the idea is to get DB on the new server

4) then once you have the DB migrated to the new 64 bit installation you can simply cut over by removing all ESX hosts from the original vCenter installation and re-add the hosts to the new.  

Note - after you migrate the 32bit DB to the 64bit server, and you launch the vSphere client and connect to vCenter, you will probably see that all of your hosts appear disconnected, just right click and select remove them and then re-add the new.  
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VMwareGuyCommented:
now I bet you wish you had kept your vCenter installation simple and easy to simply manually reconfigure.. :)
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Eprs_AdminSystem ArchitectAuthor Commented:
Can I not use the migrations tools for it ?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, you can use the Data Migration Tools.

See this VMware kb

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1024380

This is the VMware Recommended way.
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