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How to upgrade from VMware Infrastructure 3.0 to 3.0.1

Sure, there are white papers and official guides available on how to upgrade from ESX 3.0.0 to 3.0.1, but nothing beats real world experience of admins that have already done it. Here is our best practices guide to migrate to the (at the time of this writing) to the latest version of VMWare Infrastructure 3 (3.0.1). For this guide we assume that the host server is part of a farm and that you have enough resources available to move VMs to other hosts to work on a host that will not have VMs residing on it. The main idea of this best practices guide is to move the VMs off a host server, take it out of the cluster it is in, remove it from a data center and then to wipe it clean and rebuild it from scratch.

1) VMotion the VMs from one of the ESX servers to one of the other VMWare ESX host servers.
2) Take it out of the cluster and remove it from your Data Center (inside the Vi Client).
3) Do a fresh install of 3.0.1
4) Install all necessary patches on top of 3.0.1 (at the time of this writing that number is already in the mid 20s)
5) Add the server back into the cluster/Data Center
6) Move the VMs back to this host.
7) Now follow the same procedure for every host in your VMWare farm environment

What Information do you need to record before wiping the server clean? Collect all custom information like host name (including FQDN), IP address(es), custom entries from /etc/hosts, NTP settings, virtual switch configurations, firewall settings, partitioning on local drives. If you have created any local users, record those and the purpose of these accounts. Do you have any custom software installed (Dell OpenManage, SAN Agents, etc.)? Get that information including SNMP settings as needed.

Are there any known gotcha’s for the installation of 3.0.1? We recommend to disconnect any network connections other than the ones for the management network (management console and Vmotion). We also recommend to disconnect the fiber cables from the HBAs for the installation and to plug those back in afterwards. Make sure you mark which cable was plugged in before. Also, make sure that your Vi Client (VirtualCenter) is on the latest version (including patches) before adding a server back to the farm/cluster.

Read and rate this article from TheWebHostingResourceKit, here.

Published Sunday, May 13, 2007 5:39 PM by David Marshall
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