Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Upgrading to ESX 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5 Best Practices

The following are best practice procedures when upgrading to VirtualCenter 2.5 and ESX Server 3.5:
To be done on VirtualCenter:
  1. Backup your VirtualCenter database. VMware recommends detaching the database and copying it to somewhere safe.
  2. Grant the System DSN user of the VirtualCenter Database db_owner privileges on the MSDB database as well as the VirtualCenter database.
  3. Ensure that your ODBC System DSN is using the proper driver. You must have a SQL Server driver if your database is SQL 2000, and SQL Native Client driver if using SQL 2005.
  4. Log in to your VirtualCenter server with a local Administrator account on your Windows system to run the installation, do not use a domain administrator or a domain account.
  5. Perform the upgrade to VirtualCenter to 2.5 and ensure all your data is visible in VirtualCenter 2.5 after the upgrade.
  6. Ensure no processes are running that conflict with the ports that VirtualCenter uses, such as IIS.

To be done on ESX Server host:

  1. If there is a SAN connected to your ESX Server host detach the SAN before continuing with the upgrade.
  2. Confirm that all the virtual machines are now migrated from the ESX Server host or powered down, and that ESX Server host is no longer part of an VMware High Availability or DRS cluster.
  3. Download the newest version of the ESX operating system ISO image and burn it to CD.
  4. Place the CD in the CD-ROM drive of the host and boot from the CD.
  5. Install ESX Server 3.5 with a fresh install or upgrade.

Note: A fresh install wipes out all previous network configuration.

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