Want to protect your cyber security and still get fast solutions? Ask a secure question today.Go Premium

x
?
Solved

Upgrade VMWare Hosts from 5.1 to 5.5 when using High Availabilty

Posted on 2014-10-17
6
Medium Priority
?
412 Views
Last Modified: 2014-10-17
We have a VM 5.1 environment with 2 hosts configured with HA.  We need to upgrade to 5.5 to address some PSOD issues that are known by VM and supposedly resolved with 5.5.  VM Tech Support has advised it as better to upgrade than to workaround.  We have successfully upgraded vCenter to version 5.5 but are hard pressed to find any upgrade guidelines pertaining to HA and how to upgrade with HA in mind.  Since this is a small 2 host environment we would like to do an Interactive Upgrade with CD/USB iso instead of using Update Manager.

Is there guidelines/best practices documentation out there or can anyone give guidance who has done an upgrade when HA is active?  Is it as simple as one of these procedures?

1. Do we just shutdown VM Guests, putting both servers into Maintenance mode and upgrade them?
2. Do we remove HA then upgrade as if a normal 2 host environment?
3. Does the upgrade utility recognize HA and deal with it automatically?
4. Do both VM Hosts have to be upgraded before they are both brought back online or can we all HA to fail all Guests over to one, upgrade the other and then failover to upgrade the 2nd?

As you can see there are many things that come into play with HA, which is why it surprises me that there is no reference to it in the upgrade docs.
0
Comment
Question by:Beratung
  • 3
  • 3
6 Comments
 
LVL 125

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 40387138
VMware HA *ONLY* comes into play on an un-controlled shutdown.

When you turn off/restart a Host with HA Active, that's controlled!

Enter Maintenance Mode on the Host to be Upgraded, and that's not an un-controlled shutdown, or failure, so HA will do nothing.

1. Do we just shutdown VM Guests, putting both servers into Maintenance mode and upgrade them?

No, I would not do it like, that - Select a Host put it into Maintenance Mode, and Upgrade, I'll show you how quickly later.

2. Do we remove HA then upgrade as if a normal 2 host environment?

I'm afraid, also no, I would leave HA in place, the Agent will be upgraded, when it's connected back to vCenter Server, on restart of Host, e.g. you have to do nothing!

3. Does the upgrade utility recognize HA and deal with it automatically?

Yes, see 2 (infact vCenter deploys the Agent, based on version of Host!)

4. Do both VM Hosts have to be upgraded before they are both brought back online or can we all HA to fail all Guests over to one, upgrade the other and then failover to upgrade the 2nd?

No, both will work together with different host versions, in vCenter 5.5. Yes that's how you simply do it!

As you can see there are many things that come into play with HA, which is why it surprises me that there is no reference to it in the upgrade docs.

It's so simply.....

A. Pick A Host
B. Enter Maintenance Mode
C. Oh, Read My (Andy's) EE Article....
(don't both with USB/ISO CDROM!)

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

I estimate you'll be done in less than 60 minutes!
0
 

Author Comment

by:Beratung
ID: 40387165
Andy,

So if I understand you correctly I can or should:

1. Focus on one host at a time
2. Go to Host 1 and shutdown all VM's under that host
3. Put Host 1 into Maintenance mode
4. Restart and boot from 5.5 ISO
5. Run migration/upgrade
6. Bring Host 1 back up and out of Maintenance Mode
7. Start up VM's under Host 1
2. Go to Host 2 and shutdown all VM's under that host
3. Put Host 2 into Maintenance mode
4. Restart and boot from 5.5 ISO
5. Run migration/upgrade
6. Bring Host 2 back up and out of Maintenance Mode
7. Start up VM's under Host 2
8. Verify HA is healthy

That cover it from a high level?  Do you suggest backing anything up on the host itself prior to the upgrade?
0
 
LVL 125
ID: 40387223
2. Go to Host 1 and shutdown all VM's under that host

Shutdown or Move to other hosts (vMotion), but you cannot update with live VMs!

4. Restart and boot from 5.5 ISO

Did you not see my EE Article ?

No need for CDROM, Booting Server, just apply the update to the host.

That cover it from a high level?  Do you suggest backing anything up on the host itself prior to the upgrade?

If you organisation or you have Good IT Practices, you should ensure *YOU ALWAYS* have backups before doing any work on Production Systems!
0
Technology Partners: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

 

Author Comment

by:Beratung
ID: 40387235
Thanks.  Final questions:

1. Why are you against the ISO approach to upgrade?  With Dell iDrac you can mount network shares as media to the hardware and boot from it.  Very easy and the process in the past on single host upgrades ran very fast.  It is what I am use to and I kind of error on doing what I know if it is not objectionable.
2. Yes I agree with your Good IT Practices and we have backups of all of the VM Guests, but my question was specific to the Host OS/Configuration.  Should we back up anything up specific to that or is that not necessary considering this is HA?  Or should we back up something to preserve the HA setup?  In my experience HA is removable and restorable on its own fairly easily.  If we should back up the Host config what is the best way to do that in this case?  I saw your "easy backup" of VM Guests, which we don't need since we are doing full backups of the VM Guests.  Anything specific to the Host itself?
0
 
LVL 125
ID: 40387274
1. Slow, and on occasions users make mistakes and WIPE their OS, and re-install a new version! Upgrades can fail using ISO. Also get into the habit of applying patches/updates/upgrades this way, because NOT all patches ship on a CDROM.

2. You don't backup your host config, at least on a weekly basis!

see here

VMware KB: Backing up and restoring ESXi configuration ...
0
 

Author Comment

by:Beratung
ID: 40387309
1. Makes sense.  Will pursue that approach.
2. I wasn't 100% clear.  I meant specific to HA.  

I just got off the phone with VMware TS and they confirm that although HA resides and lives on the host, vCenter handles all of the upgrading and backups of vCenter would handle the HA restoration if there was a problem.  That is what I suspected since vCenter handles configuration and initialization of HA but none of that seems to be documented anywhere.

Thanks for you help.
0

Featured Post

Cyber Threats to Small Businesses (Part 1)

This past May, Webroot surveyed more than 600 IT decision-makers at medium-sized companies to see how these small businesses perceived new threats facing their organizations.  Read what Webroot CISO, Gary Hayslip, has to say about the survey in part 1 of this 2-part blog series.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

If your vDisk VHD file gets deleted from the image store accidentally or on purpose, you won't be able to remove the vDisk from the PVS console. There is a known workaround that is solid.
When rebooting a vCenters 6.0 and try to connect using vSphere Client we get this issue "Invalid URL: The hostname could not parsed." When we get this error we need to do some changes in the vCenter advanced settings to fix the issue.
How to install and configure Citrix XenApp 6.5 - Part 1. In this video tutorial we have explained step by step installation of Citrix XenApp 6.5 Server on Windows Server 2008 R2 is explained in this video. We have explained the difference between…
Video by: ITPro.TV
In this episode Don builds upon the troubleshooting techniques by demonstrating how to properly monitor a vSphere deployment to detect problems before they occur. He begins the show using tools found within the vSphere suite as ends the show demonst…
Suggested Courses

579 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question