VMTool and Hardware version upgrade for big count VMs on vSphere 5.5

We have to upgrade Hardware version and VM tool for approximatly 3500 VMs on 5.5..recently upgraded from 4.1

Please advsie the best way to get this process automated with minimum downtime and also confirm for below given queries..

1. Fisrt we have to upgrade hardware version or VM Tool ?
2. Any impcat with VM Nics or any other resoucre  configured on diff vms?
3. what should be done for Linux VM and Appliances ?
4. What can be done to roll back in case of failure?
5. Can We automate this for multiple VMs in one shot?
6. any limitataion for OS/application for vmtool and hardware version ..we need to upgrade in 5.5?
7. Can we automate this using any third party tool  like sccm etc. or if using VC.?
8. Can We push this for multiple VMS in group?
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patronTechnical consultant Asked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Do you really need to upgrade the hardware version for your 3,500 VMs ?

WHY?

Please tell me ?
patronTechnical consultant Author Commented:
@Andrew, this is something new assignment handed over to me,all done with migration form 4.1 to 5.5.
only task left is-to upgrade h/w version and vm tool.

do you have any better solution,to get this task minimize..please advise.

We have to upgrade 1800 VM on one VC 5.5 and 1700 VM on another VC 5.5-recnetly migrated from 4.1 to 5.5
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
What is the requirement?

Why is there a need?

Your 4.1 VMs will run perfectly on 5.5, as virtual machine version 7.0 or 8.0 VMs.

Do you need any additional features offered by virtual machine version 10 ?
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patronTechnical consultant Author Commented:
We need to upgrade VM tool and hardware version with latest available with 5.5 as whole setup updated to 5.5, and this is something business requirement.

could you please advise any reason to suggest my business not to go with vmtool and hardware version upgrade .while whole setup upgraded to 5.5 ?

That will  really help me to get the current setup approved ?

or if we can have best practice to be followed to update  VM tool and hardware version on queries given in my question.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You only need to upgrade the virtual hardware, if you need the additional features offered by ESXi 5.5.

As you do not state what features you would like to take advantage of, I see there is no reason to update the hardware version.

as for VMware Tools it is recommended to be on the latest version of VMware Tools, but we schedule these VMware Tools upgrades with other Virtual Machine maintenance and upgrades, e.g. Windows Updates.
patronTechnical consultant Author Commented:
okay, ll check for that n confirm,but for vm tool..can we push it using SCCM ?..How ?
nbeutlerCommented:
Regarding the tools upgrade: i would push it using PowerCLI.
We did that for around 4000 VMs in our environment too and i remember i only had to do like 50-60 manually while most of them were in a broken state anyway.

There are certain switches that make sure that the machines does not get rebooted by the VMTools upgrade.

This can help. if you got further questions just let me know.

http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-60/index.jsp#com.vmware.powercli.cmdletref.doc/Update-Tools.html?resultof=%2522%2575%2570%2564%2561%2574%2565%252d%2574%256f%256f%256c%2573%2522%2520

We were pretty successful and we had to do this to make sure the vShield introspection driver is on the newest patch as we faced some issues on that front.
patronTechnical consultant Author Commented:
Thanks
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
VMware Update Manager, that is what it is designed to do!

Here is my EE Article on how to install it...

http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/19159/HOW-TO-Install-and-Configure-VMware-vSphere-Update-Manager-VUM-6-0.html

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patronTechnical consultant Author Commented:
Many Thanks.
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