Really looking for some advice here. We are a very small shop.
We currently have 6 physical Servers, all on old Dell PE2650. Most are Server standard 2008 R2 32 bit. Just your typical; 2- Domain Controllers on 2008, 2- File Servers, the main one on 2008, and the other on 2003 STD 32 bit.
Also, we have one older R610 virtual server running 6- 2008 STD SQL servers 32 bit as well. It has 2- 300GB SAS drives (mirrored) hosting the 6- 2008 VM's OS only, and the SQL databases are on the SAN. ESX 4.0 is running on the vFlash card.
Also, we have an old Dell MD3000i SAN that cannot be replaced because of budget which sucks! It has 10- 300GB 15k drives in it one is a hot spare. I just bought 6 more of the same drives but have not installed them yet for a few reasons, but that's it's max drives 15.
I just bought a Dell R620 w 2- 6 core procs and 48GB Ram. Also I bought 3- 600GB SAS drives in RAID 5. v-Flash 8GB is running ESXi 5.1
Ok now you know my environment and here's my issue, well a few as you experts probably all ready know.
The MD3000i does not support past ESXi 4.1u3. My company did not have the money to buy me a new SAN or to buy me even vSphere Essentials. All I have is vSphere 5.1 Standard up to 3 host with a vCenter 5.1 license.
My goal was to get the old ESX 4 up to ESXi 5.1 to match the new server and then have vCenter Manage the two. We want to split servers for fault tolerance. For example, have Domain controller 1, file server 1, and a few sql servers on one host, then Domain controller 2, file server 2, and a few sql servers on the second host.
All of the ESX 4 2008 sql servers have ISCSI mapped drives to the SAN for their databases.
If I update this to ESXi 5.1 will I still be able to make the ISCSI connection to the old md3000i SAN? This is a huge concern of mine???
Also the server that runs the SAN management software IS A 2003 PHYSICAL FILE SERVER and also has Symantec 12 on it. Can I use the vm converter to p2v that server? Because I tried and it failed at 1%??? Also will that break anything with the SAN maps? Can I move my file shares to the SAN since the local drives won't have space?
Another thing when I installed vCenter 5.1 it would not let me convert anything from the ESX 4 host over to the new 5.1 host.
So all in all, basically can I just stick the ESXi 5.1 cd in the ESX 4 server and update it to 5.1 while preserving all the settings and will the ISCSI connections to the SAN still be available or does md3000i not support those? Also, if this works will I be able to just use vCenter and right click and move the VM's to each host?
The R610 data store is full only 11GB's left, so I did buy 2 more 300GB drives thinking maybe I could make a second data store or something?
I would really appreciate some good guidance at this point as everything I seem to try to do is very difficult. vCenter has been a pain, I almost want to delete it and just cold move the servers but if there is a way to make it work that would be great?
Sorry so long, just really need some good advice at this point?