vmware upgrade to v5 - looking for comment

epmmis
epmmis used Ask the Experts™
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Background - Two site v4 u2 vsphere environment.
SRM is used to protect the production site.  
Prod site has 3 ESX host servers.  
DR site has 3 ESXi host servers.  
There are two physical vCenter servers using Windows 2003 32b and SQL 2005 express.  
SQL 2005 express is loaded on the vCenter servers.
2005 SQL express needs to be upgraded to full SQL Server.  We have exceeded SQL express's capacity.
The hardware is on the v5 compatibility list.

Here is the upgrade path I am considering.
1.       P2V both physical vCenter servers; PROD_SERVER & DR_SERVER.
2.       Ensure vCenter & SRM is stable on the virutal consoles before continuing.
3.       Use the vmware procedure for doing an inplace SQL server upgrade on virtual vCenter servers.
4.       Ensure vCenter & SRM is stable before continuing.
5.       Rebuild physical PROD_SERVER & DR_SERVER.
      a.     OS – Windows 2008 R2 64b
      b.    Add 32 GB RAM
      c.    SQL 2008 R2 Standard 64b
6.       Install vCenter, Update Manager and SRM on physical consoles.
7.       Install ESXi 5 u1 on esx hosts
8.       Upgrade VM hardware and VM tools on all VM

What do you think of the P2V of the physical vCenter servers?  The virtual vCenter servers are temporary and will be used a "bridge" for the upgrade..

Our prod_cluster has outgrown SQL express.  My thought is to do an inplace upgrade on the virutal vCenter servers.  This way we can snapshot to rollback the upgrade, if needed.
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Commented:
looks okay, just make sure all services stopped when you P2V.
Commented:
Your intended upgrade path looks fine.
Could I suggest you apply all current firmware before installing ESXi 5 u1..

If using HP hardware you can use firmware update DVD 10.0, also apply the HP offline CIM bundle 1.1.2. (i think is the current version)

Author

Commented:
Tested the DR Site vCenter p2v.  Here are lessons learned when P2Ving a virtual center server .  But first some background.

Networking consist of only a distributed vSwitch, with an isolated and a connected port groups. The isolated port groups isolates VMs from the network. It is a good place for duplicated VMs.
.  
1.  When configuring the P2V do not select the isolated port group.  As the connected port group is not avaiable when editing settings on an ESX host.  

2.  After the P2V, change the virtual vCenter's PC name and IP address.  Bring the physcial vCenter on line.  It is the easiest way to change the virtual nic from flexible to VNNET 3 adapter and connect to the online port group.  

3.  After step 1 & 2, delete all the hidden drivers to clean out the virtual vCenter.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
these are listed in the following guides maybe you've not seen it!

see my EE Article

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/A_10301-HOW-TO-P2V-V2V-VMware-vCenter-Converter-Standalone-5-0.html

Author

Commented:
hanccocka - I booked marked your article and will use it when we upgrade to v5.  All of our P2v are Windows 2003 or XP PC.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
just remember OEM licenses do not work after P2V, so P2V is for Retail or volume licenses only.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the license info.

We are using a volume license key and each esx hosts has data center licensing assigned to them.  so we are ok for licensing.

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