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vsphere 4.1 to vsphere 5.5 upgrade

Hi,

We have a 7 node vsphere 4.1 cluster. We are moving to vSphere 5.5/Esxi5.5.

We need to get the upgrade done ASAP and there is no need for us to keep the historical information that we have in the current database.

The hosts are using standard switches.

The current database is running on a SQL 2005 server.

From the 7 servers I have currently running with 4.1 I am replacing 3 of them with new hardware. The rest will have to be upgraded in place.

SQL 2012 server can be deployed on the current vCenter server. We also have a SQL server 2012 in case we need to place the database there.

Can anyone suggest what the easiest path to get this upgraded is going to be?

Thank you.
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llarava
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llarava
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1 Solution
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Ensure ALL Host hardware is on the HCL.

1. Create a new vCenter Server 5.5, simple installation from ISO/CDROM media.

2. Migrate VMs off existing 4.1 Server and use CDROM ESXi Installer to upgrade to ESXi 5.5.

3. Add this Host to vCenter Server 5.5.

4. Remove ALL existing 4.1 Hosts from current vCenter 4.1 and add to vCenter 5.5 for management.

5. In turn, migrate VMs from 4.1 to 5.5/4.1 servers and upgrade as per 3.
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llaravaAuthor Commented:
All the host are HCL compatible.

Here is what I wanted to do:

1.) Install ESXi 5.5 on the new 3 servers that will replace 3 old ones that are currently part of the cluster. Remember I have 3 servers that are replaced (VM1,2 and 3) and 4 that are not replaced and have to be upgraded (VM4,5 and 6)
 
2.) Deploy a new vCenter 5.5 server with a new SQL2012 Database and create a new cluster named and configured the same way that the current one on vSphere 4.1 where all the hosts are member of.

3.) Join ESX01 (one of the 3 new servers) to the new 5.5 cluster.

4.) Remove VM1 (one of the 3 servers to be replaced) from the vSphere 4.1 cluster.

5.) Join VM1 (4.1) to the 5.5 cluster and vMotion the vm's to ESX01 (5.5)

6.) Do the same #3 to #5 with the the other 2 new servers that need to be replaced with the new hardware.

7.) Finally remove VM4,VM5 and VM6 from the 4.1 cluster

8.) Join them to the vSphere 5.5 cluster vMotion the VMs and do an in place upgrade in the same hardware.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, all correct, but you will probably need to enable EVC, if you new server processors, are of a later generation than your current processors (very likely)
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llaravaAuthor Commented:
EVC is already enabled and will be enabled for the new cluster as well since I am mixing R710 and R720's.

No issue with removing the 4.1 hosts from the existing cluster and joining them to the new 5.5 cluster correct? As long as the standard switches are configured correctly in the new hosts and the new hosts are zoned as they should I should be able to vMotion from 4.1 to 5.5 and the the old 4.1 servers decommissioned. Then the plan is to bring VM4,5,6 to the 5.5 cluster vMotion to the existing 5.5 hosts and then do an in place upgrade.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
there is no issue removing from 4.1, although I would select Remove from vCenter Server 4.1, rather than just disconnect. We have micture of R710s and R720s with no issues. (currently on one of the current project!).

Correct, make sure vMotion networks are the same between 4.1 and 5.5 hosts.
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