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VMware ESXi 3.5 upgrade

Posted on 2011-09-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi,

I'm preparing for an upgrade of an ESXi 3.5 server to ESXi 4.0. Before the upgrade I'm going to disconnect datastores that reside on a SAN. I've got two questions:
1. When shall I disconnect SAN's iSCSI cables? Shall I shut down the host or put it into the maintenance mode or power down the guest machines and remove the cables?
2. I'm going to use vSphere host upgrade utility. Is it worth backing up the host config using vicfg-cfgbackup or it should be preserved duirng the upgrade?

Kind Regards

kiilaa
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Question by:kiilaa
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 125 total points
ID: 36528578
1. Shutdown VMs. Put ESXi Server into Maintenance Modem. Shutdown the host ESXi server, and then when the server is off disconnect the cables, ensuring your mark them corretly, so you know, where they need to connect back to, and which way round.

2. Always backup the machine configuration, so you have a copy you can rollback to if required.

Any other questions please ask.

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Assisted Solution

by:coolsport00
coolsport00 earned 125 total points
ID: 36528850
1. When shall you disconnect the cables? After you shut down your host (which is after performing the above steps @hanccocka mentions -> shutdown/migrate VMs if needed, put host in Maint Mode, then shut down the host); if you have another host to run your VMs, migrate them to that 2nd host first.
2. My personal opinion differs here about backing up the configs. If you have many configs, by all means, do so. At the very least, just document what configs you have, then recreating them isn't a big deal. Of course, having a b/u of them may be quicker to restore than reconfiguring the them. Your preference/choice.

A couple other items to consider -> I would consider doing a complete, new install of ESXi to 4 or 4.1 and install it on a USB stick. You can then utilize your local disks as testing storage. You can then make a b/u of the USB stick in case your main USB stick fails or gets corrupted for whatever reason (haven't yet heard of that happening, but better to have a b/u than not). @hancoccka has an article on how to do so.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/A_5409-How-to-Backup-an-ESXi-installation-on-an-USB-Flash-Drive-or-SD-card-for-security-or-redundancy.html

Regards,
~coolsport00
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by:kiilaa
ID: 36528963
Thank you very much guys for your quick response again. I understand that the vicfg-cfgbackup command saves the ESXi host configuration. Does it back up guests' config as well?
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 36528979
No, just the host. The only way to back up VMs is either an agent-based OS b/u solution (i.e. installing a b/u agent within the OS and back up using a solution such as Avamar, Veritas, evault, etc)
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LVL 120
ID: 36529028
That only backs up a small XML file with the Host ESX Configuration.

Checkout my other article on

VMware ESX/ESXi Backup Guide
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