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Logical migration path from VMWare 4.1 to 6 with new SAN/Compute.

Good morning EE,

Our organization is having a 3rd party come in to perform an install of our new SAN/Compute setup, and migrate our VM's to the new platform. Before he arrives, I'd like to ping the experts on the best possible way to do this with minimal downtime. Here are the details:

Current Setup:

2x Dell 2850 VMWare Hosts
1x Dell MD3000i SAN
VMWare 4.1

New Setup:

Cisco UCS Mini with 4 Hosts
Nimble CS235
VMWare 6


2x Critical - FIle Server/AD, and Exchange
2x Business Important - POS and Member Database
4x Low Importance - Can be moved at any time.

The Easter Egg of this is that one of our drives for our File Server/AD is thick provisioned, so I'm thinking because we'll have more space we'll need to re-provision to thin. Based on this article:


It looks like we may need to move the drive to the new SAN first before migrating the VMDK. I'm very gray about that though. That VM is sitting at about 4.2TB as well of course.

I've not performed a migration of this type before so really looking for logical steps. Here's my thinking, for every VM except the one with a thick provisioned drive:

Configure UCS and Nimble, create fresh VM with VMWare 6 vCenter.
Power Off VM
Copy/paste it to new SAN.
Update Tools to 6, verify it points to new vCenter Host.


Configure UCS and Nimble, create fresh VM with 6 vCenter
Upgrade current vCenter to 6, potentially using a trial license
Live migrate

Am I completely off base in my line of thinking? We have a guy coming in to do this for us but I'd like to be prepared to assist. I'm by no means the expert here, and of course our biggest server will be migrated on Christmas Day to minimize downtime. We're a 7 day a week operation. Thanks for any insight, tips, comments, or ridicule.

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

8/22/2022 - Mon