Upgrade plan for ESX 3.5 to 4.1

Posted on 2012-08-25
Last Modified: 2012-08-26
Hi All,

I have a ESX 3.5 host that has some local storage with guests, but also has shared storage to an ESX 4.1 host.  What would be best to do?

Option 1:

- Move/copy all VM guests to shared storage.
- Upgrade 3.5 host to 4.1 or do fresh install?

Option 2:

- Upgrade 3.5 host to 4.1
- Shutdown VM guest keep images in place.
- Move VM guests to shared storage

Thanks a bunch!
Question by:tlouly
    LVL 42

    Accepted Solution

    I would recommend a fresh install, always good to have a fresh image on the system.  If you do decide to do a fresh image you may even want to upgrade to 5.0 and get all the new features for ESXi 5.
    LVL 33

    Assisted Solution

    Here's your guide for upgrade to 5.0 (and all would recommend you to move to 5.0 instead of 4.1)


    Author Comment

    thanks and what about the virtual guests on the local storage not shared?  move/copy them then do a the fresh install to 5.0?

    Author Comment

    by the way, i don't have physical access to the server.  let's say i don't have drac or ilo, i would need to do an upgrade to at least 4.1, how would i do that?  where can i get the update utility, and on which system would i run this utility off of?  thx in advance!
    LVL 42

    Expert Comment

    To upgrade to 5.0 you can use vCenter Update Manager from 4.1 and then to ESXi 5.  When installing a fresh copy you can do in place and it will ask you whether you would would like to keep your VMFS datastore.  Just in case i would do a backup to your shared storage (cloning would work)
    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    I recommend to check the hardware computability for you ESX host and witch version your hardware can support computability site for vmware

    from there you can make your plan by following the best practise of that vmware version.
    LVL 116

    Assisted Solution

    by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
    if you have no physical access, you will need someone to insert the CDROM with the software, to perform the in-place upgrade.

    I assume you have licenses for 4.1 or 5.0 ?

    If you have you can obtain the updates and media ISOs from VMware - myware, you would need to download the ISOs and burn them to CDROM, and boot the server from CDROM.

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