upgrading vCentre 4 to vCentre 5

Currently at one of the DC, they have vCentre 4, so all their
ESX are of version 4 or lower.

However, I'm selling ESXi V5 to them & the customer wanted
us to help upgrade the vCenter to Ver 5.

Q1:
Is upgrading of vCenter from Ver 4 to 5 is something free or we need
to purchase a licence?

Q2:
Kindly provide step by step instruction on how to do this upgrade,
where to download Ver 5 & any prior backup (using Acronis)
needed?  I think the customer's vCenter is running as a VM.

Q3:
Let me know any precautions needed?  During upgrade of vCenter,
will it affect the ESX other than there's no monitoring?  What if I
clone the vCentre 4 so as to leave the current running vCenter
alone while I upgrade the 'isolated' vCenter VM to vCenter 5
(with this VM not connected to network).  How do I go about doing
this, step by step.

Pardon me, I have no skill in VMware/vCenter other than ever
login once to a couple of VMs
sunhuxAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Q1: Is upgrading of vCenter from Ver 4 to 5 is something free or we need
to purchase a licence?

You may have to purchase an upgraded, it depends on whether you have a valid Service and Support Contract, if you have you will find the Serial Number in the VMware License Portal.

Q2: Kindly provide step by step instruction on how to do this upgrade,
where to download Ver 5 & any prior backup (using Acronis)
needed?  I think the customer's vCenter is running as a VM.

Download is here

I would recommend a Full Backup of the existing 4.1 server, not a VMware Snapshot. The upgrade is easy, mount the ISO, and complete the Installation, it will detect the 4.1 Server, and Upgrade to 5.0.

Q3: Let me know any precautions needed?  During upgrade of vCenter,
will it affect the ESX other than there's no monitoring?  What if I
clone the vCentre 4 so as to leave the current running vCenter
alone while I upgrade the 'isolated' vCenter VM to vCenter 5
(with this VM not connected to network).  How do I go about doing
this, step by step.

Backup first, and then complete in place upgrade.
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cdfsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You can find a complete guide at VMware under http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2003866

Make sure to read and understand the linked "vSphere Upgrade Guide", it includes a step-by-step guide on upgrading, covering different startingpoints. Regarding licensing, AFAIK you need new licenses. Your last question should be covered by reading the above mentioned material.
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sunhuxAuthor Commented:
>I would recommend a Full Backup of the existing 4.1 server
Do you mean a Full backup of the vCentre (not the ESX servers
or the VMs that it manages, right)?

I plan to use Acronis to do this but if the vCentre 4.1 resides
as a VM, then do I backup the entire ESX server that this vCentre
4.1 resides in?

Also, when vCentre is down, will it affect the VMs & ESX that it's
managing (other than there's loss of monitoring & access to the
VMs while it's being upgrade) ?

About how long it takes for the vCentre upgrade to complete?

What's the size of the vCentre (I have no access to it currently) 4.1?
I need to estimate the time to take a full Acronis backup of it
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Backup of the Windows vCenter Server only.

When vCenter is down, it does not affect the VMs.

30 minutes for installation.

We install on the default 40Gb virtual disk for Windows 2008 R2
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sunhuxAuthor Commented:
>We install on the default 40Gb virtual disk for Windows 2008 R2
Does this mean you install a separate vCentre Ver 5 without
touching existing vCentre 4.1 ?  If we do it this way, how do you
'move' or 'migrate' the settings of vCentre 4.1 over to vCentre 5?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We do inplace upgrade of the existing server.

but if it does not work, we have backup to rollback to.
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