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VMware ESXi Hosts

All, I am in the process of upgrading my VM infrastructure to v Sphere 5. Today I created a new VC on win2k8 64 and moved my hosts over. This worked just fine.  However, I was told (if I understood correctly) that if the esxi hosts themselves were upgraded from 3.5x to 4.0 the upgrade to 5.0 is not supported.

Can anyone comment on this? I am not sure if my hosts fit this criteria as I didn't set them up.  Is there a way I can check and be certain they were/n't upgraded from 3,5?\

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cheto06
Asked:
cheto06
2 Solutions
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The ESXi 5.0 Installer will detect a current installation of ESX or ESXi, and try to complete an upgrade. If it cannot perform an inplace upgrade it will advise during the installation, and provide you with a warning before over-writing and completing.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Personally, if I was completing an upgrade, I would complete a new installation on the host if the hardware is supported, and I would install on a USB or SD card.

Here is the VMware KB on installing 5.0 on USB/SD:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2004784
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coolsport00Commented:
@cheto06: Do you have an intricate/complicated host configuration? If not, I concur with @hanccocka's 2nd post there and recommend just doing a fresh install of ESXi. That way there is no legacy data/files left over...it's clean. An install, as I'm sure you're aware, only takes about 7-8mins. If you have a standard type host configuration (vswitch, NTP, DNS, etc.), that's only another 10mins maybe. So, just disconnect your storage, assuming it's a SAN, or even if it's local, just as a precaution to protect your data (VMs), then after your install/config, just connect it back up and you're good to go. Also, make sure you've verified your host model is on VMware's HCL for compatibility with v.5. http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?deviceCategory=server

Regards,
~coolsport00
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coolsport00Commented:
Forgot to mention about your host configuration....just document your host configs before doing your fresh install so you have a reference of everything, which should make the reconfiguration on the new host go fairly quick.

~coolsport00
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cheto06Author Commented:
So if I choose to go this route, what would happen if I have vms on local storage as well. I have both SAN and Local Storage. Kind of new to this stuff...
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
When completing the Upgrade, it will preserve, any existing VMFS datastores.
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coolsport00Commented:
Well, pretty much nothing. In actuality, you could even keep your storage connected. But, it's just safer to disconnect in case you overlook the step during the install that asks if you wanna keep your existing VMFS partition. So, that pretty much answers your question. During the install process, when you get to the partition part of the install, the installer will detect your current VMFS volume (datastores) and ask if you want to keep them or overwrite (again, that's IF you choose to keep them connected). You would obviously wanna select to KEEP them. But again, I just recommend disconnecting the storage just as a precaution. When finished with the install, just connect the storage back up (if you did indeed disconnect it), rescan your HBAs, and the VMFS should be detected automatically...you won't have to re-add the storage or anything.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Please make sure you have a BACKUP of your VMs before you complete and change to any production servers!

Despite what any Expert advises.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
and as Consultants our motto is "A Backup is NOT a Backup unless held in 3 places"!
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Danny McDanielClinical Systems AnalystCommented:
to directly answer your question...

the person who told you that the double upgrade is unsupported is incorrect as the Upgrade guide(http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-50-upgrade-guide.pdf) says:

Page 77
3.x ESX and ESXi hosts

Not supported for direct upgrade.
You must upgrade version 3.x ESX and ESXi hosts to ESX or ESXi version 4.x before you can upgrade them to ESXi 5.0. See the vSphere 4.x upgrade documentation.
Alternatively, you might find it simpler and more cost effective to do a fresh installation of ESXi 5.0.

What they may have been referring to is:

Page 80
Partitioning in Upgraded ESXi 5.0 Hosts
Upgraded systems do not use GUID Partition Tables (GPT), but retain the older MSDOS-based partition label.
For most ESXi 4.x hosts, the partition table is not rewritten in the upgrade to ESXi 5.0. The partition table is rewritten for systems that have lopsided bootbanks. Lopsided boot banks can occur in systems that are upgraded from ESXi 3.5 to ESXi 4.x, and then upgraded directly to ESXi 5.0.
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