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ESXi, licensing and upgrades questions

Posted on 2014-01-09
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Last Modified: 2014-01-11
Hi,

I currently have an esxi 4.1 host using an enterprise plus evaluation key.  It was previously using an esxi 4 enterprise key, but I needed to use more than 4 cores on a virtual machine.  I upgraded my enterprise 4 to key to an enterprise 5 key, because I want to upgrade the host to 5.  

My question is, to get this upgraded without any issues, will I need to switch back to my enterprise 5 key, then downgrade all my virtual machine back to 4 core, then upgrade the host? Or can I go straight to version 5 on this enterprise plus 4 evaluation key, then switch to my enterprise 5 key?

One question about upgrades - I have heard that during upgrade it's possible to format one of the LUNs, so the recommendation is to remove the san cables from the host.  I was wondering whether this risk is still present if I choose to upgrade via the update manager? Just looking for the safest and efficient method.

Thanks
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Question by:ts11
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 39769211
If you purchase the correct, license you can go straight to that version. It's just a license key which enables the Enterprise or Enterprise Plus functions.

Do you mean you need to use more than 4 vCPUs per VM?

There are no restrictions on the number of vCPUs per virtual machine even the Free Hypervisor 5.5

The vSphere 5.5 Hypervisor retains the 8 vCPU/virtual machine limit

see here

VMware KB: Licensing for vSphere 5.5

One question about upgrades - I have heard that during upgrade it's possible to format one of the LUNs, so the recommendation is to remove the san cables from the host.

When VMware Admins, use the CDROM Installer, some like to remove SAN network cables to prevent accidents from happening. It only does it if you select the LUN for the ESXi installation!

It does *NOT* do it by default, a human being has to make a mistake, and select the wrong disk for ESXi install.

It does not happen, when using Update Manager, as Update manager performs, an in-place/offline upgrade.
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by:ts11
ID: 39770075
Thanks.  I wasn't worried about the cpu core issue post upgrade.  But the Enterprise 4 license restricts you to only 4 cores, which is why I'm temporarily using enterprise plus 4.  From what I've read it seems I'll be fine to just upgrade while on the evaluation key, then once my host is on 5.5 after upgrade I can just switch to my enterprise 5 license.

Thanks, I think I'll do it through Update Manager.  Once question about the host when it goes into Maintenance mode during an upgrade.  If I choose the option to "Do Not Change VM Power State" and I have running VMs on the host, will it take longer to upgrade? Does it affect the running VMs in any way?

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:ILOVEENTERPRISEDESKTOP
ID: 39770280
Licensing is something that comes to picture later so upgrading the License keys in the protal Does not impact the running host till you assign it so rest assured on that and if you have questions call this number https://www.vmware.com/support/contacts/us_support

Apart from this There is no harm in upgrading with the VMFS attached there is no issues at all While upgrading be careful it does give you an option for Preserve existing vmfs volume.
Check this Video Kb kb.vmware.com/kb/2004501
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LVL 117
ID: 39770372
All VMs need to be off, to perform the update/upgrade, which means either machines moved off the hosts or off.
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Author Closing Comment

by:ts11
ID: 39773677
thanks
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LVL 117
ID: 39773725
No problems, Glad to be of Assistance.
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