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Upgrading Vcentre and Esxi servers from 4.1 to 5.5

hi guys,

We have a virtual environment with Vmware Esxi 4.1 which we would like to upgrade to 5.5. In my location, there are 5 IBM x3650 M3 servers. One is a dedicated Vcentre server which I also need to upgrade. Then there are four servers part of a cluster.

And then there is just one on its own in a remote location that is on Esxi 4.1.

In terms of procedure and best practice, what's the best way to do this? Should I shut down all servers when doing this upgrade? Do we need to make any changes to the SAN datastores or is that something that is automatically picked up during the upgrade process?

Thank you
Yashy
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Yashy
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Yashy
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The first check, is to ensure ALL your ESXi physical hosts are on the HCL for ESXi 5.5.

I would also opt for the NON-Upgrade route for ESXI Servers and vCenter Server, it's much cleaner, and not prone to failure.

This involves the migration of ALL VMs off a Host, and then Upgrade the FIRMWARE on the Server.

Also check your SAN is on the HCL.

The same with vCenter Server, I would complete a new INSTALLATION of vCenter 5.5.
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YashyAuthor Commented:
Hey Andy,

When you say migrate all VMS's off a host, do you mean transfer them from one host to another host? Then once that is done, completely shut down that host and then upgrade the firmware?

And regarding the Vcenter, how can I do a new installation without upgrading it if it's on the host I already have? Does the installation ask if I want to do a new install or upgrade?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
When you say migrate all VMS's off a host, do you mean transfer them from one host to another host? Then once that is done, completely shut down that host and then upgrade the firmware?

Correct, and then remove from vCenter Server.

And regarding the Vcenter, how can I do a new installation without upgrading it if it's on the host I already have? Does the installation ask if I want to do a new install or upgrade?

Rebuild and Re-install. It will not affect VMs.

or create a new Virtual vCenter Server, recommended!
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