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Upgrading MWare VCenter server from 4.0 to version 5

Posted on 2011-10-25
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Hi I need to upgrade my VCS from 4 to version 5. I need to know what steps i should follow to accomplish this and what could be potential problems i can come across. I also need to upgrade my symantec backup exec server from 12.5 to latest 2010 and move my jobs, policies from current server.

My current VC server is 32 bit DL380G5 3.25GB RAM 3.3 GHZ. I would also like to know if this server can get new 64bit VC installed or do i have to buy a new 64 bit HP server and install software from scratch. We standardize on HP

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Question by:MANGO247
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 37023663
The HP DL380G5 has a 64 bit processor so supports a 64 bit Operating System such as Windows 2008 R2.

There is no upgrade path from 32bit to 64bit, you will need to install a new 64 bit OS to support vCenter 5.0.
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LVL 124
ID: 37023674
once you have a 64bit operating system to support vCenter 5.0, you can use the Data Migration Utility to MIgrate your old data into the new database.

or have you considered using the new vCenter 5.0 Appliance?
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by:MANGO247
ID: 37023860
thanks hanccocka:

sorry my existing vc server is DL360G5 which i believe has 64bit support

so in my case i need to get 64bit DL360 or 380G5 and install Win2008 and then vcenter software 5.0 then migrate my old sql server database and then upgrade esx nodes to 5.0 and then install symantec backup exec 2010 and migrate policies and jobs?

is it all or i have missed something. If you agree with above sequence then please do advice me links for all or any of the steps above.

I have not yet thought about vcenter 5.0 appliance. Would this appliance limited to vcenter service only. How do i get symantec backup exec 2010 installed on it and migrate or recreate new policies and jobs?






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LVL 124

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 37023923
If you are using Symantec Backup Exec 2010, the vCenter 5.0 Appliance is not for you.

You will need to install a new Windows 2008 OS to support vCenter 5.0.

vSphere 5.0 Upgrade Guide
http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-50-upgrade-guide.pdf

vSphere 5.0 Installation Guide
http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-50-installation-setup-guide.pdf

Check this Article it highlights the process very well
http://sudrsn.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/upgrading-to-vcenter-5-0/
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Author Comment

by:MANGO247
ID: 37024217
If i use data migration tool as advised in
http://sudrsn.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/upgrading-to-vcenter-5-0/

Would this also update information on ESX nodes that VCS has now been changed? I also have large volumes on my existing server that holds backup and weekly folder to disk backups. I will have to move them to new vcs server as well.

Have you used this migration tool and how good is it?

I will be worried about my esx nodes. How do i upgrade them to latest 5.0 from existing 4.0? Would that be something similar to
http://v-reality.info/2010/07/esx-host-upgrade-to-4-1-using-esxupdate/
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Author Comment

by:MANGO247
ID: 37024295
i was thinking if i should use VCS appliance and migrate my vcenter to it and use my existing vcenter server as a backup server only. I have around 120 servers pointing to this server for backup. I can simply remove Vcenter ver 4.0 from it after it's working and tested ok on the appliance. I can later upgrade my symantec backup exec from 12.5 to 2010 version. This way i dont need to reattach volumes from my SAN for backuptodisk folder and no repointing on vm and physical servers for backups.

Do you have any idea of cost of this appliance? How do we transfer licences to it?
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Author Comment

by:MANGO247
ID: 37024429
I just found these limitation with Vcenter Appliance 5.0
•No Update Manager
•No Linked-Mode
•No support for the VSA (vSphere Storage Appliance)
•Only support for Oracle as the external database
•Embedded database, DB2, only supports 5 hosts and 50 VMs
•No support for vCenter Heartbeat

I have got more than 50VMs so its not for me then
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LVL 124
ID: 37024438
The Appliance is FREE, you either use vCenter for Windows, of the vCenter Appliance, the same License is used to Activate.

Upgrading the ESXi 4.1 hosts, you insert the ESXi 5.0 media, and boot it, it detects and upgrades the hosts.
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LVL 124
ID: 37024459
Yes, vCenter appliance is limited.
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Author Comment

by:MANGO247
ID: 37024604
In case i want to use data migration tool

Would you approve following steps

:•      Install Windows 2008 R2.
•      Install SQL 2008 Std.
•      Install vCentre standard 5.0 edition
•      Data Migration Tool that is available as part of vCenter Server Installation media can be used to Upgrade and Migrate existing vCenter Server running on a 32 bit Operating System to vCenter 5.0 Server on a 64 bit OS Platform.

At what stage we will connect to existing vcenter database and upgrade it to SQL 2008?

Have you used data migration tool yourself?
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LVL 124
ID: 37024863
Yes, we use the Data Migration Tool, we also use it for clients, it's success rate is 50%!

You run the Data Migration tool on the old vCenter Server, after you've installed SQL 2008 Standard, it will ask you for the vCenter 5.0 Media.
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Author Comment

by:MANGO247
ID: 37024969
50%? Would you still recommend this route?

Or shall we say its the only way to upgrade in my case?
Or,
There is another guy who recommends the following: You think i can do the same (below)

****************Quote**************************************

1. Install Windows 2008 R2.
2. Install SQL 2008 Std.
3. Shutdown the OLD vCentre server (Once shutdown i am not able to manage VMs centrally.) I want to use same server name and IP for new vCentre
4. Connect to the ESX host and log on to new vCentre server and restore existing vCentre database to this server SQL Server and create ODBC connection.
5. Install vCentre standard 4.1 or 5.0 (in my case) edition, while installing attach existing database and complete the installation.
6. As i am going to use same IP and server name and i think i should not need to change anything on ESX hosts.
7. Once completed then start upgrading ESX host to 4.1 or 5.0

****************unQuote**************************************
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LVL 124

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 37024995
Data Migration Utility is the VMware recommended route for upgrades.

You need to establish if you want to keep existing history, performance charts, layout etc

if not, create a new server, and new vCenter installation, and add the ESXi hosts.
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