ESX 4.1 to ESXi 5.1u1 upgrade prerequisite and caveats ?

Hi People,

I'm about to do a bunch of ESX 4.1 to ESXi 5.1u1 hosts upgrade (around 75 - 80 of them) in my current environment.

What are the caveats of migrating from ESX into ESXi 5.1u1 ?

What should I do before the upgrade to make sure that the Force migration while keeping the existing LUNs intact without affecting the hosted VMs ?

Thanks in advance
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAsked:
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jandelbasanalSystem AdministratorCommented:
i think you know already what tools you need.

some caveats:

- should backup your data
- Ensure your HW server is still compatible with your esx5.1
 -1 host per update
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
ok, so by utilizing VMware Update Manager I'm afraid that the ESX to ESXi upgrade / migration could potentially upgrade all VMhost at the same time.

so in this case I'm planning todo it manually one by one per cluster.

Any area that I need to pay special attention to make sure that the upgrade went smoothy ?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Check the Hosts are supported by ESXi 5.1

e.g. on the HCL
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Aravind SivaramanTechnical Subject Matter ExpertCommented:
1) Check the Hardware in HCL
2) Upgrade vCenter to 5.1 aloing with the upgrade manager

Incase if you any VM's on the local datastore where you have VM's installed make sure to backup them, also management agents or script which you have in ESX may not work on ESXi make sure you check them.

Read the best practise just to make sure you are good to proceed
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&docTypeID=DT_KB_1_1&externalId=2032756
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
is there any PreUpgrade Check that I can run in all of my ESX host before I upgrade them all into ESXi ?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Firstly, you need to check the HCL - manually.

Check the VMware HCL (Hardware Compatability Lists) here

http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl

CPU requirements have changed a lot from 4.1 to 5.1, if the server is not on the HCL, your upgrade will not be successful.

As for pre-upgrade checker, Check the Prerequisites in the install guide.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Is there any script to run on the ESX server ?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
there is a vCenter Host Agent Pre-Upgrade Checker

To ensure a successful upgrade to vCenter Server 5, you must diagnose and fix any potential problems on the managed ESX/ESXi hosts. You can run the vCenter Host Agent Pre-Upgrade Checker for in-place upgrades from vCenter Server 4.x to vCenter Server 5.0.

But not a Pre-Upgrade Checker or Script from ESX 4.1 to ESXi 5.1
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jandelbasanalSystem AdministratorCommented:
ok, so by utilizing VMware Update Manager I'm afraid that the ESX to ESXi upgrade / migration could potentially upgrade all VMhost at the same time.

so in this case I'm planning todo it manually one by one per cluster.

Any area that I need to pay special attention to make sure that the upgrade went smoothy ?

- Update manager should be ok with you. Once you have esxi 5.x, you can use update manager to  use the new ISO image (esx5.x). Once imported just use the compliance at the right side..It will ask you or make a scan of your existing esx for compliance. start from there.

- In upgrading, you can start on the vCenter, please make a clone to it incase a problem arise you can still go back.
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