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Upgrade plan for ESX 3.5 to 4.1

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!
4 Solutions
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
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.
Here's your guide for upgrade to 5.0 (and all would recommend you to move to 5.0 instead of 4.1)


tloulyAuthor Commented:
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?
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tloulyAuthor Commented:
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!
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
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)
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.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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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