Tuesday, January 8, 2008

VMWare ESX 3.0.2 upgrade to VMWare ESX 3.5

I recently upgraded VMWare ESX 3.0.2 to the newest version ESX 3.5. I always upgrade using the full CD ISO downloaded from the VMWare support site. I had problems in the past using the .tar versions. The upgrade went very smoothly and took about 20-25 minutes with minor testing.

Here's my process:
  1. Move all VM's onto 2nd ESX Host
  2. PUT ESX Host into Maintenance mode
  3. Reboot ESX Host with Image CD in it (Ghost)
  4. Get a Image of the system
  5. Reboot ESX Host with upgrade / install CD in it
  6. Go through the upgrade using the default options (if doing upgrade the defaults are what you set when you did the inital install)
  7. Reboot ESX Host
  8. I then check a couple files to make sure my custom changes didn't get overwritten. 2 of my changes are: take out the hda= link int he grub.conf to fix my CD/DVD Drive and I enable ssh for my management system.
  9. Via Virtual Center bring the newly upgraded ESX host out of maintenence mode.
  10. start up a test VM on the new ESX Host and run some tests / network tests on it.
  11. migrate a second running test VM from the production ESX Host to the newly upgraded ESX Host... again perform tests / network tests to verify it's running ok.
  12. slowly migrate production VM's over.
The new ESX 3.5 has some greate features. there is a new update manager that allows you to update the OS of you Virtual Machines and does more than just a simple windows update as it will update things like firefox, MS XML stuff, windows updates, java, etc. I was blown away at how many updates were availible. You can sepcifiy which type of updates you wand and wether you want to skip certian updates (like the IE7 update). It also allows you to upgrade multiple VM's at one time. Wow, I can see the possible time savings already.

Another really cool part to this is the ability to upgrade your ESX Hosts directly from Virtual Center and apply patches.

Way to go VMWare.