UPGRADing VMware 4.1 to 6.0

I need to upgrade an ESXi 4.1 to 6.0 in order to get replication configured with my new hardware. I know I can't go directly, so I'm going to go to 5.5 then to 6.0. My current VMs are version 4. My questions are

1. Should I upgrade my VMs to 7 before I upgrade to 5.5?
2. After I upgrade to 5.5, do I need to turn on the VMs and update them to the 5.5 version, or can I go ahead and directly upgrade to 6.0?
3. Or can I just upgrade to 5.5, upgrade to 6.0, then upgrade the VMs from 4 to 11 after 6.0 is installed?
imccoyAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
First! Check your hardware is supported for 6.0, many requirements have changed from 4.1 to 6.0. Check the HCL, and also you have 5.5 and 6.0 licenses.

Always have a full backup of ALL VMs before you start any change to production server, NOT A SNAPSHOT!

Check the VMware Hardware Compatability Lists HCL here

The VMware Hardware Compatibility List is the detailed lists showing actual vendor devices that are either physically tested or are similar to the devices tested by VMware or VMware partners. Items on the list are tested with VMware products and are known to operate correctly.Devices which are not on the list may function, but will not be supported by VMware.

http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl

1. No. There is NO reason to upgrade any virtual machine hardware, unless you need the newer features offered by virtual machines, 7,8,9,10 or 11. Make sure you install VMware Tools first, before you decide to do this!

Also think very carefully, upgrading to virtual machines 10 and 11, because these new features are only available via the Web Client, in vCenter Server.

2. see 1 above. No need to change virtual machine versions, unless you need the features available.

3. see 1 above, upgrade if you have requirements.

Personally, we are NOT fans of in-place upgrades, as it carries too many issues, and we prefer to install a new version, e.g. not an upgrade.

see my EE Article, for installation.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/17527/HOW-TO-Install-and-Configure-VMware-vSphere-Hypervisor-6-0-ESXi-6-0.html

You may decide to install to USB flash drive or SD card, and also remember to use the OEM version for your Vendors server e.g. IBM, DELL, HP, Fujitsu etc
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imccoyAuthor Commented:
Yes, I have checked and my hardware is compatible with 6.0. (Dell PowerEdge R710)

I read somewhere that VM ver. 4 is not compatible with ESXi 6.0. So do I need to get them to 7 before I upgrade to 6.0, or can 6.0 upgrade them to 7? I'd hate to get to 6.0 then not be able to start my ver 4 VMs.

I realize an upgrade is not preferred, but it's only temporary, until I can get the VMs onto our new hardware. Then I'll blow away the old version and do a new install. Then I'll replicate from the new hardware to the old hardware.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You can create, edit and run virtual machine version 4.0 on ESXi 6.0.

As I said, unless you really need the features, there is no requirement.

see here for confirmation and support

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2007240
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imccoyAuthor Commented:
Thanks.
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