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Upgrading to ESX 4.0 and vCenter 4.0 best practices (1009039)

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Purpose

This article provides steps which may be useful when upgrading to ESX 4.0 and vCenter Server 4.0.

Notes:


Resolution

Note: Read the VMware vSphere 4.0 Release Notes for known installation issues.

On the vCenter Server

  1. Make sure your hardware requirements are compliant:

    • Processor – 2 CPUs 2.0 GHz or higher, Intel or AMD x86 processors. Processor requirements may be higher if the database runs on the same machine.
    • Memory – 3 GB RAM. RAM requirements may be higher if your database runs on the same machine.
    • Disk storage – 2 GB. Disk requirements may be higher if your database runs on the same machine.
    • Networking – 1 Gbit recommended.

  2. Verify that your existing database is supported with vCenter Server 4.0. If it is not, upgrade your existing database to a supported type:

    • Supported Microsoft SQL Server Databases:

      • 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 1 [10.1.0.3.0])
      • Oracle 10g Enterprise edition (Release 1 [10.1.0.3.0])
      • Oracle 10g Standard edition (Release 2 [10.2.0.1.0])
      • Oracle 10g Enterprise edition (Release 2 [10.2.0.1.0])
      • Oracle 10g Enterprise edition (Release 2 [10.2.0.1.0]) x64
      • Oracle 11g Standard edition
      • Oracle 11g Enterprise edition

  3. Make a full backup of the vCenter Server database.
  4. Make sure that you have these permissions:

    • Microsoft SQL:

      • Grant the System DSN user of the vCenter Server database db_owner privileges on the vCenter Server database.
      • Grant the System DSN user of the vCenter Server 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.

  5. Ensure that your ODBC System DSN is using the proper driver. Microsoft SQL must use the SQL Native Client driver.
  6. Stop the vCenter Server service. VMware recommends performing this step, especially if the vCenter Server database is on a remote system.

    To stop the vCenter Server service, click Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services > VMware VirtualCenter Server.

  7. Log into your vCenter Server with a Local Administrator account on your Windows system to run the upgrade.
  8. Ensure no processes are running that conflict with the ports that vCenter Server uses.
  9. Configure new vSphere 4.0 licenses.

On the ESX Server

Note: When performing an upgrade on a host that has custom partitions created on ESX 3.x, ensure that the customized data on these partitions is backed up before performing an upgrade. For more information, see the Preparing for the Upgrade to ESX 4.0/ESXi 4.0 section of the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  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 version is supported for upgrade:

    • There is limited support for ESX 2.5.5. For more information, see the vSphere Upgrade Guide.

      Note: There is no upgrade support for ESX 2.5.4 and below.

    • There is full upgrade support for ESX 3.0.1 and higher.

      Note: ESX 3.0.0 must be upgraded to ESX 3.0.1 or higher before upgrading to ESX 4.0.

  3. Server hardware for ESX 4.0 must be 64-bit compatible.
  4. Make sure Intel VT is enabled in the host's BIOS.
  5. Prior to an upgrade or install, remove access to all connected storage that is additional to the ESXi/ESX install volume.

    Caution:
    • Do not disable HBA cards in the BIOS.
    • Removing access and/or unmounting NFS volumes is not required.
    • If you have an additional local VMFS datastore on a different disk to that of the installation, disable it from the local controller BIOS to ensure data is not overwritten.

  6. Confirm that all virtual machines are migrated or powered down on the ESX host.
  7. Ensure that there is sufficient disk space available on the ESX host for the upgrade.

    Note: VMware recommends that you select a datastore that is local to the ESX host for the service console. The service console VMDK requires a minimum available space of 8.4 GB. NFS and software iSCSI datastores are not supported as the destination for the ESX 4.0 service console VMDK. The service console must be installed on a VMFS datastore that is resident on a host's local disk or on a SAN disk that is masked and zoned to that particular host only. The datastore cannot be shared between hosts. For information on determining the available disk space, see Investigating disk space on an ESX host (1003564).


Additional Information

See Also

Update History

07/28/2010 - Added information about custom partitions and requirements for the Service Console.

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