VMware vSphere side-by-side migration

Hi Experts,

I have a VMware question that I'm trying to play out in my head but I'm having trouble picturing it from start to finish.

Let us say we have 11-node DRS cluster with SAN attached storage (dual HBA for redundancy) on each host supporting about 200 VM's in the cluster. the vCenter 5.0 is running on Windows 2008 R1 and SQL Express 2005 SP1 (Don't ask; Didn't even think this was possible).

I basically want to stand up a brand new vCenter 5.5 2008 R2 server and use full fledged SQL 2008 R2 on a separate server. I also will have to update the hosts eventually as well.

My question is, what are the recommended procedures of accomplishing this cleanly with minimal downtime? Essentially, we do not trust our current installation (strange issues occur from time to time) and we just want to rebuild everything and bring the hosts over.

In our 11-node cluster, we have enough resources to bring down up to three hosts and still provide the necessary resources to support the virtualized environment.

Any ideas, suggestions, and solutions will be greatly appreciated.


KJ~
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kj_syenceAsked:
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AbhilashConnect With a Mentor BloggerCommented:
Its is not as complicated as you think it is.
You will not need downtime for this. This is what you will have to do.
First you have to build a SQL and create a DB instance for vCenter. Going forward from 5.5 SSO will not need a DB so its easier compared to 5.1 where you had to create two DB's.

So once your DB is up and running you can build a new vcenter for which you will find a lot of documentation. Once the New vCenter is up and running, you can Disable HA/DRS on your old vCenter cluster.

Now one by one you can disconnect and remove the host from older server and add them to the new one. This will not cause the machines to power off. They will work fine. Juts that you will not be able to manage the VM's through vCenter. Once you add this host to new vCenter you will again be able to manage them centrally.

Do this for all the hosts. It only gets tricky if you have Distributed switch and if you have to also recover the events and logs from old vcenter for auditing purposes.
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kj_syenceAuthor Commented:
After reading the way you described it, it does seem fairly straight forward.

Good points about distributed switches and events/logs. That did not dawn on me until now.
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kj_syenceAuthor Commented:
One last question for you, Abhilash. What would be the purpose of disabling HA/DRS on the old cluster while moving hosts? It seems like it wouldn't hurt leaving this on and would still allow HA to perform in the case of a host going down during the migration.
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AbhilashBloggerCommented:
If a cluster enabled for VMware HA loses so many resources that it can no longer fulfill its
failover requirements, a message appears and the cluster turns red.
That's the only reason. You can keep it on.
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kj_syenceAuthor Commented:
Thanks.
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