2010-01-07

Upgrade vCenter pt. 1



To continue my experiences and planning for the upgrade to vSphere, here is the next stage.

To Upgrade / Re-install - that is the question (and it is a very good one if I may say so). Here are some of the pros and cons for both scenarios, and there are differences for reasons between the vCenter Server and the ESX hosts themselves.

vCenter

Pros-Cons

ESX Hosts

Pros-Cons2

I elected to go with a fresh install of all components of my vCenter infrastructure for a number of reasons:

  1. Original Installation was not done by me, and is over 3 years old. True it has been updated along the way, from 2.0 -> 2.5 -> 2.5 U4, but still there were several things that were not installed correctly from the start which have been causing issues for quite a while (For Example Performance Charts View that has never worked) and I wanted to start out with a new and fresh environment - seeing that this is becoming more and more of a crucial part of the infrastructure.
  2. The Historical Data was not make/or/break issue with us, that made the move a lot easier.
  3. There were several issues that had to be addressed of how all permissions, folder structure and custom attributes should be migrated to the new server that had to be ironed out.

Physical / Virtual

An never ending question that comes up al the time. vCenter is supported on both there are several benefits of having it as a VM - for one it can be be protected by HA in your cluster - but of course the are a number of caveats that need to be taken into consideration before virtualization your vCenter server.

I elected to go for a physical machine. Why? for a number of reasons.

  • The hardware was available
  • The SQL Database is on a separate server so most of the information is not dependent on the vCenter hardware anyways.
  • There is always the fear (not mine - but management’s) that the Server that is supposed to manage the whole Virtual Infrastructure is actually hosted on the Virtual Infrastructure itself, a bit of a chicken and the egg story, so a physical machine was decided on.
      That is enough for today. Next post we will continue with the installation.