Notes from the vSphere upgrade

1 06 2009

Here are a few tips from my experience with doing an in-place upgrade to vSphere….

1. If you are running vCenter and Update Manager in vms, make sure to move those vms off the host MANUALLY before trying to upgrade the host to vSphere.

2. When upgrading tools and hardware, and you have vCenter and update manager in vms, upgrade vCenter and Update Manager FIRST. This will make update manager and vcenter ready to use baselines and remediation to upgrade tools and hardware on other guests.

3. Use the vi client and login to the actual host that is running the vCenter and update manager vms, when upgrading tools and hardware on vCenter and update manager. Once they are upgraded, you can then log back in to your vCenter server like normal to do the other upgrades.

4. It may take an extra reboot of your vCenter of Update Manager vms for them to reliably see eachother after a tools/hardware upgrade.

vSphere upgrade part 4, step-by-step

26 05 2009

The following notes are from a series of vSphere update videos made available by vmware. These notes should help you upgrade your infrastructure step-by-step.

Licensing: Implementing vSphere licensing

1. Login to your vi client, now go to licensing on the home page.

2. Click Manage vSphere Licenses on the top right.

3. Now copy and paste your license keys out of your license portal into the window that comes up, and then select add license keys. You should now see the details of each key at the bottom.

4. After clicking next, its time to assign the keys to hosts. Select your hosts to assign then select a license. Review your selections, and hit finish.

5. You can see the licensing for each host, by selecting a host, and going to the cofiguration tab. You can also edit the settings from this view.

6. That’s it! Your infrastructure should now be fully operational on the new licenses! Congratulations! If you have completed all four parts, it’s time to kick back for a little bit and sip on a cold one…..:)

vSphere upgrade part 3, step-by-step

26 05 2009

The following notes are from a series of vSphere update videos made available by vmware. These notes should help you upgrade your infrastructure step-by-step.

Part 3: Upgrading VM tools and hardware

1. Upgrade vmware tools first, then the hardware.

2. There will be downtime for the vm during this process. One reboot for tools, one reboot for hardware.

3. Once you upgrade the tools and hardware, you can only use vSphere 4 to manage the vms.

4. Go to update manager, then go to upgrade baselines, then click the vms/VAs button.

5. There are two baselines here that cant be changed, that you will use to remediate your guests. VM Hardware Upgrade to Match Host, and VMware Tools Upgrade to Match Host.

6. Go to your inventory, and lets remediate (inventory, then vms and templates). Select a vm, then go to the update manager, right click in the window, and attach the tools and hardware baselines.

7. Scan the guest by selecting scan , then uncheck patchs, and check VM Hardware upgrades and VMWare tools upgrades. Click Scan.

8. If you like, you can now create a folder to group your vms, and attach a vm baseline to the folder, much like step 6.

9. Now lets remediate for vmware tools. Click remediate on the guests in upgrade manager, and make sure to upgrade tools first.

10. Now its time to remediate for hardware. Click remediate, select hardware, and the guests you want to upgrade. During the remediation, the guests will be shut down.

11. If you want very granular manual control, you can right click on an individual guest vm, and select install/upgrade vmware tools. Make sure to snapshot first!

12. After the guest upgrade the tools, you can shut it down, right click on it, and select upgrade virtual hardware. Keep in mind, steps 11 and 12 are just a different manual way to do it, if you dont want to use update manager.

13. Get all your vm guests upgraded, first tools, then hardware. This ends part 3!

vSphere upgrade part 2, step-by-step

22 05 2009

The following notes are from a series of vSphere update videos made available by vmware. These notes should help you upgrade your infrastructure step-by-step.

Phase 2: ESX Host Migration Methods

1. Reset the alarms on your hosts within the new vi client.

2. Go to the update manager, and detach and remove your old baselines from your hosts.

3. Select upgrade baseline tabs from the upgrade manager view.

4. Select the create link on the top right, and select new baseline. Give the baseline a name (Host Upgrade), description, and under baseline type select Host Upgrade.

5. Now you will give the path to the iso image for the upgrade for ESX hosts. This is the ISO that VMware refers to as VMware ESX 4 and should have a name similar to esx-DVD-4.0.0-164009.iso. If you have ESXi hosts, you will also need to give the path of the zip file binaries for ESXi.

6. The setup will now upload the files to the update repository.

7. The setup will now select the COS VMDK location. Select the appropriate location based on your environment.

8. Now you have created your baseline. Go back to home, then inventory, then hosts and clusters. Select a host, and then go to the update manager tab. Click attach to attach the new baseline.

9. Once you have selected the new baseline and clicked attach, you are ready to scan and remediate.

10. Select scan at the top of update manager, now select your host, and go down to the remediate button.

11. Next on through selecting the COS vmdk, and selecting remediation options.

12. Once you click finish, the host should start remediating. If you are in fully automated mode, the vms will be evacuated, and the host will go into maintenance mode. Go to the tasks and events tab on the host to watch the progress.

13. While that host is upgrading, lets create another baseline for our cluster. Call it Cluster Upgrade and follow the same steps as steps 4-8. Make sure your COS location can be seen by the whole cluster.

14. Attach the baseline to the cluster much like before. Make sure you select the whole cluster.

15. Scan all the hosts now, and you can remediate hosts one at a time, or in bulk (by remediating the whole cluster), for the whole cluster. Make sure to upgrade 2 hosts first, then you can use the cluster baseline to remediate the entire cluster. This will remediate the remaining hosts in the selected cluster. You can watch the process from the console view (ipkvm, etc).

16. Once each host is upgraded and rebooted you can run the command cleanup-esx3 in the console to cleanup the bootloader.

16. Keep in mind that each host will take about 25-30 minutes to remediate.

17. You can use the esx-host update utility to update an esx server that is not managed by vCenter.

18. Once all of your hosts are remediated, you are done with part 2!

vSphere upgrade part 1, step-by-step

22 05 2009

The following notes are from a series of vSphere update videos made available by vmware. These notes should help you upgrade your infrastructure step-by-step. NOTE: If you are running virtual center in a VM, you must give it at least 3GB of RAM to complete the upgrade.

Phase 1: Upgrading your Virtual Infrastructure Management (this phase takes about 1.5-2 hours)

1. RDP in to your virtual center machine, and open the vi client.

2. Make sure the update manager and converter enterprise plugin are installed in the vi client.(so they get upgraded as well)

3. Mount the DVD iso for vCenter on your current Virtual center box, and make sure to select connect at power on, as it will need it after rebooting.

4. Autoplay the vCenter DVD, and select vCenter Server (close the viclient first). If your existing vcenter server is a vm, make sure to use RDP (or similar) to do all of this, as you can’t be running the viclient during the upgrade.

5. Step through the install, upgrading the existing Virtual Center instance. Dont worry about licensing yet, as you have 60 days to get it all straightened out. Put in the username and password for the virtual center database and Update Manager database. It should now go through the update process, and may take 30 minutes or so. After it is done, it will need to reboot.

6. After reboot, uninstall the old converter client and upgrade manager client from add remove programs on the virtual center server. Log back into the viclient on the virtual center box, and it will ask you to upgrade the client. Do so. You should now have the new vSphere client installed. Make sure to select Install vSphere Host Update Utility.

7. The new viclient, should now open. Just ignore the SSL warning. Close the vi client, once you are sure that it comes up OK.

8. Now go over to your Update manager server, and run the install DVD just like you did on your old vcenter server, but this time select vCenter Update manager. Again, make sure the vSphere client is closed (use RDP). Input your credentials for the update manager database instance.

9. Now install converter enterprise (if you have it) just like you did with the vCenter server and Update manager server. All from that same DVD.

10. Install the Guided Consolidation piece if you like. Use domain admin credentials for the collector service.

11. On every vCenter client, you need to update the plugins. In the viclient, Go to plugins, then manage plug ins. Install what you need for the client.

Phase One is Done!!! You should now have vCenter 4 installed with upgrade manager, Converter, and your vi clients all upgraded.

vSphere upgrade Intro video notes

22 05 2009

In the next few posts, I will take notes from the vCenter upgrade videos that are available on

Introduction to the Migration Video Series

The overall steps to upgrade to vSphere….

Phase 1: vCenter management upgrade

Phase 2: VMware ESX Migration (using either update manager, the host update utility or a clean install)

Phase 3: Virtual Machine Upgrade (vmware tools and virtual hardware)

vSphere Upgrade links of interest

22 05 2009

VMware seems to be doing a very good job with letting people know how to upgrade to vSphere, but I thought I would add some links here to help anyone in the process…

Upgrade Center Blog….

How to Upgrade to vSphere in Videos…


Upgrade the Management Layer (vCenter, plugins, etc.)

Part 1:

Upgrade the ESX Hosts…

Part 2:

Upgrade the VMware tools and Hardware on the guests…

Part 3:

vSphere Licensing…

Part 4:

How to Upgrade Webcast…