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Upgrading to ESXi/ESX 4.1 and vCenter Server 4.1 best practices (1022104)

Purpose

This article provides steps which may be useful when upgrading to ESX/ESXi 4.1 and vCenter Server 4.1.
 
Notes:

Resolution

vCenter Server

When upgrading to vCenter Server 4.1:
  1. Make sure your hardware and operating system requirements are compliant. The vCenter Server 4.1 system can be a physical or a virtual machine:

    Note: For more information, see ESX and vCenter Server Installation Guide and vSphere Compatibility Matrix. vCenter Server 4.1 now requires a 64 bit DSN to function properly.

    • Processor – Intel or AMD x86 processor with two or more logical cores, each with a speed of 2GHz.
    • Memory – 3GB RAM. RAM requirements may be higher if your database runs on the same machine. VMware VirtualCenter Management WebServices requires 128Mb to 1.5GB of memory which is allocated at startup.
    • Disk storage – 2GB. Disk requirements may be higher if your database runs on the same machine.
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express disk requirements. The bundled database requires up to 2GB free disk space to decompress the installation archive.
    • Networking – 1Gbit recommended.

  2. Make sure your operating system meets the requirements:

    Note: vCenter Server 4.1 requires a 64-bit operating system and will not install on a 32-bit operating system. For more information, see the Operating System Compatibility for vSphere Client, vCenter Server, and VMware vCenter Update Manager section of the vSphere Compatibility Matrix.

    • Windows XP Pro SP2 (SP2 required, 64-bit)
    • Windows Server 2003 (SP1 required, 64-bit)
    • Windows Server 2008 (64-bit)
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit)

  3. vCenter Server has these software prerequisites:

    Note: For more information, see the vCenter Server Prerequisites section of the ESX and vCenter Server Installation Guide.

    • Apache Tomcat (64-bit)
    • Java Runtime Environment JRE (64-bit)
    • Active Directory Application Management (ADAM)
    • Visual C++ 2005 Runtime Redistributable
    • .NET 3.0 SP1 or above (optional based on database selection)

  4. Make sure your database requirements and patch levels are compliant:

    Note: For more information, see vSphere Compatibility Matrix and vCenter Server Database Patch and Configuration Requirements. To use an existing database, you will need to provide a 64 bit system DSN which points to the vCenter Server database. Also, ensure that you have created a full backup of your database before proceeding.  If you are using Oracle see Upgrading to vCenter Server 4.1 fails with the error: Trigger, procedure or function created with PL/SQL compilation error (1026331).

    • Microsoft SQL server Database Support:
      • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express

        Note: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express is intended to be used for small deployments of up to 5 hosts and/or 50 virtual machines.

      • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard edition (SP1, SP2, SP3)
      • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard edition (SP2, SP3) 64 bit
      • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise edition (SP1, SP2, SP3)
      • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise edition (SP2, SP3) 64 bit
      • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition
      • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition 64-bit
      • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition
      • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition 64-bit

    • Oracle Database Support:
      • Oracle 10g Standard edition (Release 2 [10.2.0.4])
      • Oracle 10g Enterprise edition (Release 2 [10.2.0.4])
      • Oracle 10g Enterprise edition (Release 2 [10.2.0.4]) 64-bit
      • Oracle 11g Standard edition
      • Oracle 11g Enterprise edition

    • IBM DB2 9 Support
      • IBM DB2 Express C
      • IBM DB2 Express Edition 9
      • IBM DB2 Workgroup Server Edition 9
      • IBM DB2 Enterprise Server Edition 9

        Note: IBM DB2 database is only supported for vCenter. There is no support for Update Manager or any plug-in that requires a database.

  5. Make a full backup of the vCenter database.
  6. Make sure that you have these permissions:
    • Microsoft SQL:
      • Grant the System DSN user of the vCenter Database db_owner privileges on the vCenter database.
      • Grant the System DSN user of the vCenter Database db_owner privileges on the MSDB database.

        Note: The db_owner privileges on the MSDB database are required for installation and upgrade only.

    • Oracle:
      • Grant dba permissions to the vCenter Server user.

  7. Ensure that your ODBC System DSN is using the proper driver and that it is a 64-bit DSN.

    Microsoft SQL must use the SQL Native Client driver.
    1. Stop the VirtualCenter Server service. This step is recommended, especially if the vCenter Server database is on a remote system.
    2. Click Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services > VMware VirtualCenter Server.
    3. Log in to your vCenter Server with a Local Administrator account on your Windows system to run the upgrade.
    4. Ensure no processes are running that conflict with the ports that vCenter Server uses.
    5. Configure any new vSphere 4.1 licences.

Update Manager

You can run the Update Manager on any system that meets the minimum hardware requirements. Minimum hardware requirements for Update Manager vary depending on how the Update Manager is deployed. If the database is installed on the same machine as Update Manager, requirements for memory size and processor speed are higher.
 
To ensure acceptable performance, make sure that you meet the minimum requirements.
 
Hardware
 
The minimum hardware requirements are:
  • Processor – Intel or AMD x86 processor with two or more logical cores, each with a speed of 2GHz.
  • Network – 10/100 Mbps. (For best performance, use a Gigabit connection between Update Manager and the ESX/ESXi)
  • Memory – 2GB RAM if Update Manager and vCenter Server are on different machines.
  • Memory – 4GB RAM if Update Manager and vCenter Server are on the same machine.
Note: Update Manager uses a SQL Server or Oracle database. You should use a dedicated database for Update Manager and not share it with the database used with vCenter Server, and should back up the database periodically. Best practice is to have the database on the same computer as Update Manager or on a computer in the local network. Depending on the size of your deployment, Update Manager requires a minimum amount of free space per month for database usage. For more information about space requirements, see the VMware vCenter Update Manager Sizing Estimator.
Operating Systems
 
Update Manager only works with these operating systems:
  • Windows XP Pro SP2 (SP2 required, 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2003 (SP1 required, 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 (64 bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit)
Note: The Update Manager plug-in requires the vSphere Client, and works with the same operating systems as the vSphere Client.

IMPORTANT: You can install Update Manager 4.1 only on a 64-bit machine.

Database
 
Update Manager has these specific database requirements:
 
Note: Update Manager can handle small-scale environments using the bundled SQL Server 2005 Express. For environments with more than 5 hosts and 50 virtual machines, create either an Oracle or a SQL Server database for Update Manager. For large scale environments, you should set up the Update Manager database on a different computer other than the Update Manager server and the vCenter Server database.
  • SQL Server 2005
  • SQL Server 2008
  • Oracle 10g
  • Oracle 11g

Note: Update Manager 4.1 is compatible only with vCenter Server 4.1. Although multiple versions of the Update Manager Client plug-in might coexist on the same computer, the Update Manager Client plug-in of version 4.1 can be installed and enabled only on vSphere Client 4.1. For more information about the Update Manager compatibility with VirtualCenter Server, vCenter Server, VI Client, and vSphere Client, see the vSphere Compatibility Matrixes.

Required data privileges to the database:

Note: Before you install or upgrade Update Manager, you must create a database and grant a specific list of permissions to the database user. To run Update Manager you can use a set of minimum privileges.

  • Oracle Database Support

    Either assign the DBA role, or grant this set of privileges to the Update Manager Oracle database user:
    • connect
    • execute on dbms_lock
    • create view
    • create procedure
    • create table
    • create sequence
    • create any sequence
    • create any table
    • create type
    • unlimited tablespace

  • Microsoft SQL server Database Support:

    Make sure that the database user has either a sysadmin server role or the db_owner fixed database role on the Update Manager database and the MSDB database. Although the db_owner role is required for the upgrade, SQL jobs are not created as part of the Update Manager installation or upgrade.

Database privileges needed for using Update Manager:

  • Oracle

    The minimum required privileges of the Oracle database user are:
  • create session
  • create any table
  • drop any table
  • Microsoft SQL Server

    The database user must have either a sysadmin server role or the db_owner fixed database role on the Update Manager database and the MSDB database.

    Note: You can install or upgrade the Update Manager server on 64-bit operating systems. Even though Update Manager runs on 64-bit operating systems, it is a 32-bit application and requires a 32-bit DSN. The requirement for a 32-bit DSN applies to all supported databases. By default, any DSN created on a 64-bit system is a 64-bit DSN.
ODBC drivers
 
Install the ODBC drivers.
  • For Microsoft SQL Server database servers, install the 64-bit database ODBC drivers on your Microsoft Windows system. When you install the 64-bit drivers, the 32-bit drivers are installed automatically.
  • For Oracle database servers, install the 32-bit database ODBC drivers on your Microsoft Windows system.
  • Run the 32-bit ODBC Administrator application, located at %WINDIR%\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe.
  • Use the application to create your DSN. You will now have a DSN that is compatible with the Update Manager server. When the Update Manager installer prompts you for a DSN, you should select the 32-bit DSN.
Note: The Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express database package is installed and configured when you select Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express as your database during the VMware vCenter Update Manager installation or upgrade. No additional configuration is required.

ESX/ESXi

When upgrading to ESX/ESXi 4.1: 
  1. Make sure your hardware is compliant on the Hardware Compatibility Guide. This includes:
    • System compatibility
    • I/O compatibility (Network and HBA cards)  
    • Storage compatibility  
    • Backup software compatibility
  2. Make sure your current ESX/ESXi version is supported for upgrade.
  3. There is no upgrade support for ESX 3.0.x and below. For more information, see the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  4. Full upgrade support for ESX/ESXi 3.5 and higher.
  5. Server hardware for the ESX/ESXi 4.1 must be 64-bit compatible.
  6. Make sure Virtualization Technology (VT) is enabled in the host's BIOS.
  7. Confirm that all virtual machines are migrated or powered down on the ESX/ESXi host.

Additional Information

Tags

install-upgrade-vcenter  install-upgrade-vcenter-database  install-upgrade-update-manager

See Also

Update History

12/19/2012 - Minor title change. 05/06/2011 - Added Windows 2008 R2 (64-bit) to supported operating systems for Update Manager. 09/10/2010 - Added information regarding Update Manager.

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