ESX4 to 5 Migration - Quick Start Guild

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Here is the super fast version for experienced ESX admin’s…

  1. Upgrade vCenter 1st (Make sure you’re not using SQL Express, if you are upgrade to SQL Server and update your ODBC)
  2. Update VMWare Update Manager and run it (Installer is on the VIM CD)
  3. Use Update manager to import the ESXi5 ISO for a host upgrade baseline (download from vmware.com)
  4. Put some hosts in Maintenance mode for the upgrade
  5. Verify all ESX4 hosts have all network connections linked, there is a bug in the upgrade which will stop the process if a NIC is unplugged, even if the team/bond is working.
  6. Attach the baseline with ESXi5 to them, remediate to upgrade it, careful if you use 3w-9xxx raid since those drivers aren’t native anymore
  7. After all the hosts are upgraded you can upgrade to VMFS5 with a 0 downtime in place upgrade, VMFS3 is compatible with ESXi5 so you can do this later if you need to
  8. As VM’s reboot VMWare tools will be updated. Or you can manually update them.
  9. Here are instruction on updating VM’s from v7 to v8. ESXi5 is backwards compatible with v7 VM’s so you can do this when you need to. It requires VM reboots.