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vmware update -backout plan

Posted on 2013-06-06
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Last Modified: 2013-06-27
I need to update our vmware esxi servers from 4.1u1 to the latest 4.1 versions.
I asked the question how to do it in another thread and according to the answer of the experts, the procedures that I need to follow is :
1. update vcenter to the latest 4.1 version  on primary site
2.update srm to the latest 4.1 version on primary site
3.update vcenter to the latest 4.1 version on dr site
4.update srm to the latest 4.1 version on dr site
5. install update manager on primary site
6. install update manager on dr site
7. patch esxi servers to the latest 4.1 version
8 upgrade vmware tools to the latest version on guest OS

Now my managers wants from me to provide a backout plan(roll back plan), in case of any problem, how to roll back everything to the initial point.
Could you help me what should I put in this plan, and how it should look like. Maybe anything from your experience if you were requested to provide a such plan, or something that you are using.
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Question by:dedri
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Make sure you have good backups for recovery and rollback of the

1. vCenter Server 4.1
2. SRM Server 4.1
3. ALL VMs, that you are going to upgrade (not VMware Snapshots)

I would make sure you have three backups.
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by:dedri
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10x hanccocka,
so as I understand the rollback plan is : restore from backup?
My vcenter and srm server are on one machine(virtual), the same is for dr site.
We are making the backup of the virtual machine as a whole, using vstorage API, but in case we are not able to restore using this technologies, could you tell me what else need to be bakup from  the servers(vcenter,srm) except the databases.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
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You just need to ensure you have

1. good backups you can restore (test)
2. good backups of the databases you can restore (test).

If they are all virtual this is even simpler, and you should be able to test, all your restores in a virtual environment, by creating a private vSwitch.

When you start these VMs, they should all be communicating, apart from to your ESXi servers.

The hosts are the difficult items to have a backup/restore plan for, unless you are using USB or SD cards for installations?

How have you installed ESXi?
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by:dedri
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ESXi are installed on local HDD.
As I read from the vmware documentation after installation of the new version of the esxi server if I have any problems I can switch back to the older version with shift+R during the boot.
hanccocka, I thought that this is a simple task and I shouldn't expect any big problems, and you are making me scary :)
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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We would *ALWAYS* recommend good Change Control, and Backups to production servers, before attempting any upgrades to any devices.

Issues very rarely occur, but they can do. Also ensure you have VMs backed up.

We only went to a site this week, that completed an upgrade and wiped their server!
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by:dedri
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do you mean that the upgrade of the esxi servers lead to full wipe of the data?
when I make an update of the esxi servers do I have to disable the san ports , in order to avoid wiping data on vmfs datastores(san), or maybe something else that you can recommend me.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Yes, it wiped the VMs!

I would remove any connections to SANs!

This could have been human error, but it happens!
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