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Move VMWare Esxi 5.5 from RAID array to USB

Posted on 2016-11-25
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Last Modified: 2016-12-01
Client has a Esxi 5.5 running on a DELL r710 server. It is installed on the RAID 10 array currently. Would like to to move it to USB stick and upgrade to 6.0 UP2.

What is best method?
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Question by:ziceman
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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I'm afraid this is not supported, or possible without a lot of work. e.g. move to USB from a HDD.

The easiest method would be to

1. Backup the existing configuration.

Backing up and restoring ESXi configuration using the vSphere Command-Line Interface and vSphere PowerCLI (2042141)

see here

http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2013/02/how-to-backup-restore-free-esxi-host.html

2. Install on 5.5 on USB flash drive and restore the configuration.

3. and then upgrade to 6.0 U2.

But you would have to ask the question, why not just, install 6.0U2 straight onto a USB stick.

Also make sure you upgrade the firmware on the Dell R710 before 6.0U2, and use the DELL OEM version of ESXi downloaded from DELL.
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by:ziceman
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If I go directly to 6.0 U2 on a new USB drive, will I be able to restore the 5.5 configuration to it?

Also, should I be concerned about the ESXI install on the RAID or array or just leave it there?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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If I go directly to 6.0 U2 on a new USB drive, will I be able to restore the 5.5 configuration to it?

Not supported, hence why I didn't suggest that method.

Also, should I be concerned about the ESXI install on the RAID or array or just leave it there?

not really, leave it there.

Also it may not take you long to setup ESXi 6.0 U2 again.

6.5 has also been released now, so there may be an option to upgrade to 6.5.
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by:ziceman
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OK, I am confused by your statement in the post previous to the last one:

"But you would have to ask the question, why not just, install 6.0U2 straight onto a USB stick."

This was the genesis for my last question, but you then set it is not supported. Can you clarify what you meant by above?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
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You cannot restore the configuration from 5.5 to 6.0 U2 - this is what I meant by not supported. cannot backup config from 5.5 and restore to 6.0.

So just complete a fresh installation of 6.0 U2 or 6.5, and just reconfigure from your documentation, it should not take more than 30 minutes.

When you install a new install it will detect and ask not to write over the existing VMFS datastore, where your VMs are stored, and just add the VMs back to the inventory - done.
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by:ziceman
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OK. So you are saying just ignore the config backup, install 6.0 U2 on new USB and reconfig the VMs. Right?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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OK. So you are saying just ignore the config backup, install 6.0 U2 on new USB and reconfig the VMs. Right?

It's reconfigure the host, VMs will need no reconfiguration.
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by:ziceman
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So there will be basic reconfiguration of the host (machine name, networking, etc). Will the existing VM guests be auto-detected, or is there a process to create the vm and point to the previous container?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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The VMs will NOT be Auto-Detected, you will need to add them to the inventory.

see Step 6 in this Article of mine

HOW TO: Clone or Copy a virtual machine in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESX/ESXi 4.x or ESXi 5.0
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by:ziceman
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Excellent. That seems very straightforward.

Is there no conversion of the datastore when upgrading? Are we assured that all the folders will be visible / accessible?

Also, for other host machines (not this DELL R710) where a custom RAID card driver is involved. I assume we will need to manually reinstall this driver on the new USB.  

Thanks much for being available on a Saturday.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Excellent. That seems very straightforward.

Is there no conversion of the datastore when upgrading? Are we assured that all the folders will be visible / accessible?

Also, for other host machines (not this DELL R710) where a custom RAID card driver is involved. I assume we will need to manually reinstall this driver on the new USB.  

Thanks much for being available on a Saturday.

There is no conversion of the datastore involved, BUT please take care when you answer the Question to PRESERVE the existings VMFS partition which has been found, this is the datastore, which needs to be kept!

Do not overwrite, as these are where your VMs are stored!

If you have used a custom driver which needs to be installed which is not part of the installer, it will need to be added before or after installation.

No problems, glad to help - Always here 24x7x365!
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