Recently we decided we needed to take the plunge and start the upgrade process of our Virtual Centre,ESX hosts and Update Manager to Version 4.1. The upgrades were fairly straight forward due partly to us having to rebuild our Virtual Centre Server recently and therefore had already completed the pre-requisite of the virtual centre OS being x64 and the ODBC requirements.
The point of this posting is to summarise all the resources i used to prepare and make sure that the upgrades would run as smoothly as they did to my relief.
- The VMware ESX 4.1 Release Notes were the first resources I used to fully understand all the new features of version 4.1 and to make sure all of our equipment met the Hardware, Software, and Guest Operating System Compatibility Lists
- Next I went through the Upgrading to ESX 4.1 and vCentre Server 4.1 best practices to make sure I was obviously following the best practices for the upgrade 🙂 This was a really great resource for the upgrade and covered all the things I needed to tick off in my preparations.
- The other resource that was amazing for reference and preparations was the vSphere Upgrade Guide for ESX and vCentre to version 4.1. It covers everything needed and i had it printed out beside me during the upgrades just in case.
- This next resource was brilliant as it had a great table to make sure everything I needed to have done was done and the video in it showing how to do the upgrades via VMware Update Manager(the way I did my hosts)
Even though everything did go to plan I also looked around and read different blogs by people who had done the upgrades already and any snags they may have hit in the process. The best three that covered everything was
- Mike Laverick’s blog posting Upgrading to vSphere 4.1
- Duncan Epping’s small but so important posting all about the ODBC problems due to the VMware Update manager and vCentre needing to be installed on a x64 OS.
- Jeremy Waldrop’s VMware vCenter 4.1 Upgrade/Migration Gotchas
Well that’s everything I followed for my upgrade. Thankfully mine was really straight forward but with all the above resources I knew that I had covered everything i could to make sure I didn’t hit any problems during the upgrades.
Good luck with your upgrades 🙂
*WARNING* There is currently a known issue where the transaction logs for your SQL instance expand as detailed here : http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1026430
There is also a known error with the Data Migration Tool to upgrade from vCenter Server 4.0 to vCenter Server 4.1 fails as detailed here: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1024380
Jonathan Medd has done a posting all about a problem he experienced after upgrading his vCentre database and Server to version 4.1. The vCentre service wouldn’t start and has detailed brilliantly how he fixed the problem here : http://www.jonathanmedd.net/2011/01/upgrading-vcenter-server-to-4-1-fails-with-the-error-boolean-storageiormsupported.html