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Adding new hardware and Upgrading the Virtualized Environment

Posted on 2014-03-14
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Hey guys,

My current environment is running on VMWare vSphere 5.1, with one vCenter 5.1. I want to add a new vCenter 5.5 and connect to it the new ESXi 5.5 servers and the old ESXi 5.1 ones at the same time. So can I connect two vCenters with different versions to the same ESXi servers at the same time?
The new vCenter will be created to have the same SVs and data stores like the old one? Are there any complications?
Reason for doing that is to VMotion the VMs currently located on the old ESXi 5.1 servers to the new ESXi 5.5 servers with no downtime and after I move them I will upgrade the old ones to 5.5. Would that work? What are the proper steps?

Note: The old vCenter is physical and I am planning to have the new one as a VM on one of the new ESXi 5.5 servers.

Thanks.
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Question by:kfdiab
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7 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

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Abhilash earned 1800 total points
ID: 39930187
You cannot have a single ESXi host being part of two vCenters. Best thing to achieve what you need is to build a new vCenter 5.5. Add a new host with ESXi 5.5 to it.
From your old vCenter, disconnect and remove the ESXi 5.1 host and add it to the new 5.5 vCenter.
Move the machines from 5.1 to 5.5 And then upgrade the host to 5.5.
Its a good move to have virtual vCenter as you can leverage many features like HA for keeping the vCenter always up and running.
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Assisted Solution

by:ntadmin8254
ntadmin8254 earned 200 total points
ID: 39930252
I would also suggest not having the vCenter server on a host that is part of the cluster.
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Author Comment

by:kfdiab
ID: 39930275
Abhilash Hb should I expect any surprises? Is there a proper method to disconnect and remove an ESXi from a vCenter?

ntadmin8254 can you elaborate why do you recommend so?
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Expert Comment

by:ntadmin8254
ID: 39930284
Yes, one main reason is because if that one host, that has that VM on it, goes down or has issues, then it cannot direct/control the cluster if other problems arise.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Abhilash
ID: 39930332
No if you do it as i mentioned i don't see you running into problems or issues.

ntasmin8254 i would suggest the opposite. If the vCenter is in a cluster then even if the host that it resides on goes down the vCenter will be rebooted onto another ESXi when HA is enabled. Which is a good thing.
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Author Comment

by:kfdiab
ID: 39930371
Exactly, I totally agree with Abhilash Hb.
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Expert Comment

by:ntadmin8254
ID: 39930410
Both are fine solutions. I am hesitant to do it as a VM on the cluster, because it did not work out for me when I needed it too.  No cause was ever found.
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