Upgrading HP Blades ESXi steps ?

Hi Folks,

Before Upgrading the Blade Infrastructure, I wonder what should I do first ?

1. Is there any special steps to do before upgrading the Blade servers ?

2. Do I need to install the HP Offline Bundle for upgrading my ESXi 4.1 running on my current HP Blades BL 490 G7 ? hp-esxi5.0uX-bundle-1.4.5-3.zip

I have used the HP customized ESXi 5.1u1 to upgrade HP DL 380 series servers but not too sure what should I do with the HP Blade servers ?
Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
1. Check the Server is on the HCL

2. If your Blades are HP, you should really try to use the HP OEM version of ESXi.
Before you upgrade, as mentioned, check not only the server but storage controller and NICs just to verify it's all on VMware's HCL for the version of vSphere you're upgrading to. Have a gameplan for VM migrations, full migration procedures, etc. for your upgrade so you run into as few hiccups as possible.

Do you *need* to use HP's version of ESXi? Of course not. But, it does provide HP-specific drivers for ESXi. Now, in saying that, vSphere has the req'd drivers for HP (if your blade/server model, etc. is on the HCL) as well. But, sometimes vendor-specific bundles have hardware status monitoring functionality/plug-ins built in. Suffice it to say the HP bundle I downloaded from VMware to do my upgrade didn't include anything special (I have rack servers).

I think I have a step-by-step process I shared with someone a bit ago on upgrade. If I can find it, I'll provide the link for you.

All the best in your upgrade!

Here is what I found from a previous post (of course, first item is again to check your hardware against HCL...oh yeah...& always good to have VM backups):

Procedures I do with small deployment:
1. Upgrade vCenter - you can do a new deployment or create a new VM and just redeploy vCtr and connect to a newly created DB on a supported remote DB server
2. Recreate your vCenter structure if new and install your vCenter/Host 5.x licenses
3. Migrate VMs off an ESXi Host to others in your Cluster, assuming you have vMotion
4. Document your Host settings (networks, mgmt IPs, VLANS, NTP settings, etc.)
5. **THIS IS JUST PRECAUTIONARY - assuming your Hosts are using Shared Storage, I disconnect my Fibre cables to the Host
6. Use a USB or SD to connect to your Host and install your ESXi 5.x version onto this device. If you have an internal SD, you can create a bootable USB or CD and install it on your SD
7. Once the install completes, log into your Host directly and configure (at this point, if you didn't already install it, you'll need to install an upgrade version of the vSphere Client)
8. Once config'd, add your Host to vCenter and migrate VMs back to it
9. Repeat for remaining Hosts
10. Once all Hosts are done, upgrade VMware Tools on your VMs (you can do groups of VMs by using the Virtual Machines tab of your Cluster)
11. Upgrade VM Virtual Hardware after Tools upgrade
12. NOTE - I recommend also upgrading your Datastores to VMFS5. I also doing a 'fresh' upgrade so as not to have residual VMFS3 on them. Just remove VMs off your Datastore using Storage VMotion, remove the datastore (****AGAIN, DO THIS ONLY IF ALL DATA, VMs, ISOs, ETC ARE OFF YOUR DATASTORE), then simply re-add it. Now, you can do a non-disruptive upgrade to VMFS5 with VMs, etc still on your Datsatore, but you still have residual MBR until a certain point

Also, Derek Seaman goes through the process of upgrading to 5.1 on his blog site. GREAT process!
http://derek858.blogspot.com/2012/09/vmware-vcenter-51-installation-part-1.html (he goes through each component)

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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Thanks CoolSport,

**THIS IS JUST PRECAUTIONARY - assuming your Hosts are using Shared Storage, I disconnect my Fibre cables to the Host

yes it is shared among with any others, so why do I need to go to the data center to disconnect it from the SAN Fabric ?
That is just what I did at my previous org. When going through the install of ESXi, it will detect a VMFS volume & ask if you want to overwrite it. Of course you want to say 'no'. If you disconnect your Fibre from the Host you're upgrading/installing, you don't ever see that msg & don't have a potential to mis-select saying 'yes' & thus wiping out all your VMs on those volumes. :)

Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
thanks man, but the overwrite VMFS is when I selected the LUN from the SAN array, I have local datastore in the server, so I guess I can repartition this one instead safely ?
VMFS can be on local or on a SAN. Overwriting the VMFS doesn't have anything to do with the actual ESXi install per sè. If you have a datastore on local disk, and have VMs on that local disk, you do NOT want to overwrite it. The installer just 'sees' VMFS volumes and will reformat them if you don't select otherwise.

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