ESX UPGRADE

I have to make a plan for ESX host upgrade from 5.1 to 5.5 version in an production environment. Could I please get help how to do it. There are many hosts. I have to upgrade entire DATACENTER.
ITISEMEAAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
1. Backup the VMs on the Host.

2. If you have a SAN, and multiple Hosts, Migrate ALL VMs to another Host.

3. Upgrade 5.1 to 5.5 (check hardware is compatible

4. Update Manager if available.
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ITISEMEAAuthor Commented:
Step 3. How to do it via ILO.
Also do i have to remove the esx host from cluster or data center if upgrading, so that other things do not stop. How will I rmember to what LUN or Datastore I have moved the VM. Any precautions?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
via iLo.....

as follows:-

HOW TO: Upgrade from VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.1 to VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.5 for FREE

If you are using vCenter Server, you MUST upgrade vCenter Server from 5.1 to 5.5 FIRST!

You do not need to move VMs on the datastore.

You do not need to remove ESXi host from the cluster or datacenter.
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Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
You need to perform the following:

1. Upgrade vCenter and ensure it is working fine with all ESXi hosts
2. Upgrade one ESXi host at a time and ensure to NOT upgrade the datastore until all ESXi hosts have been upgraded

To upgrade ESXi, you have following options:

1.  Use boot CD/DVD/USB to boot each host and upgrade hosts
2.  Scripted upgraded
3.  vSphere Update Manager
4. Esxcli commands
5. vSphere Auto Deploy for provisioning/re-provisioning ESXi hosts

Refer to following two KB articles from VMware:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&docTypeID=DT_KB_1_1&externalId=2058352
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2052329
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