Upgrading is a Multistage Process VMware recommends that you read about the upgrade process before attempting to upgrade ! * You could incur more downtime than necessary * You might lose data and access to your servers! * After following the vSphere Upgrade Guide for 4.1 during my upgrade, and finding lots of Gotcha’s I would say this is good advice to follow. You must complete the upgrade process in a specific order The upgrade is a one way process My disclaimer: This is what worked for me but may not be the proper procedure for your environment….
My Environment vCenter 4.0 Build 208111 * Installed on a physical server running on Wondows 2003 32 Bit server * Connected to a virtual SQL 2005 32 Bit DB Server * Data Center 1 Environment * (2) vSphere 4.0 ESX advanced servers running on Dell Equal Logic ISCSI Storage * 6TB of Storage * Hosting (4) Virtual Production DB Servers: DB Server, Web, FTP and Scheduling Servers. * Also hosting (4) like Development Servers. Data Center 2 Environment * (3) 3.5 ESX Enterprise servers running on EMC CX310 Fiber Channel SAN servers running on Dell Equal Logic ISCSI Storage 9 TB of Storage * Hosting (36) Virtual Production Servers: A mix of DB Servers, Web Servers, Application Servers, FTP and Scheduling Servers Two separate VM Environments
Start by Upgrading vCenter Server Before upgrading GOTCHA #1 * Check the Hardware and Software Requirements * vCenter Server must be upgraded to vCenter 4.1 first and must run on a 64 Bit server! * ESXi must be installed on a 64 Bit server
Preparing for the vCenter Svr Upgrade 1.Download & Review the vSphere Upgrade Guide http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_upgrade_guide.pdf http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_upgrade_guide.pdf 2. Download vCenter upgrade file, available as and exe or iso file 3. Look up your license file key and have it available. 4.Determine the type of upgrade required or desired by reviewing Chapter 12 of the Upgrade Guide * There are about 5 or 6 options available, but only 1 if your current vCenter is a 32 bit server.
My Upgrade Example 1. Upgrade vCenter Server on a new Machine. (This was my only choice because of my 32 bit server) 2. Since my current vCenter server was connected to a SQL 2005 remote database I chose to detach the 4.0 vCenter from this database, upgrade the database using the migration tool then reattach the new 4.1 vCenter to this database. * This allowed me to keep my configuration intact.
Prepare New Server 4.Prior to installing vCenter on the new server you have to create a 64 Bit DSN to the remote SQL Database. 5.You also have to create a 32 Bit DSN for the Update Manager 6.Best Practice is to name the connection DSN with a 64 or 32 in the name so you can tell the difference at a glance. 7.I installed SQL Server 2008R2 Client so I have an upgrade path for future upgrade of the remote DB Server. 1. I created a new VM and installed 64 BIT Windows 2008R2 ( I am keeping the option open to wipe out the OS on the 32 Bit server, upgrade to 64 bit and migrate back to a physical server) 3. If you are like me, and connecting to a remote SQL database you must install JDK 1.6 2. Then copied the executable file over to the local drive on this VM.
Review KB Article 10626688 1. There is a known issue that causes the upgrade to fail because of corrupt virtual machine entries in the vCenter database 2. Prior to the upgrade I reviewed the KB downloaded the SQL Script and ran it against my DB and found no issues. All systems Go.
Backup existing vCenter 1. If you do not backup the database and SSL certificates you cannot roll back to previous vCenter configuration. 2. Copy the SSL Certificate folder to shared location 3. Copy the Vpxd.cfg file to shared location. 4.Backup the vCenter database. The migration tool will make changes to the database
Backup existing vCenter (Cont) 5. Copy the datamigration folder from the install dir on the new server to Source server (existing vCenter) 6. Stop the vCenter Services
Using the Migration Tool 1. The data migration tool will back up the current vCenter configuration and restore these settings on the new 64 Bit vCenter. 2. Stop the vCenter services on the existing vCenter Server. 3. Open a cmd prompt \cd to the datamigration folder copied from the new server and run backup.bat to run the backup script.
Using the Migration Tool (Cont) 4. Details for using the tool are on pg 38 of the Upgrade Guide. 5. Copy the datamigration folder from source (old vCenter) to destination server (New 64 Bit vCenter Svr) 6. Ensure the database login you are using has DB_Owner role for the install
Using the Migration Tool (Cont) 7. Details for using the tool for Install with NonBundled Database is pg 41 of the Upgrade Guide. 8. The install tool will launch the install for vCenter and prompt you through the install. This is where I had the most issues. 9. Here you will need the 64 Bit DSN to the database as well as the 32 Bit DSN for update manager.
Using the Migration Tool (Final) 8. All said and done by reading and following the pre install steps once I started the migration/install went fairly smooth. 9. One final note in my case I still have 3.5 host and a license server is still required. Currently I left the original license server running, until I upgrade the host to ESXi 4.1
Disclosure I have not made the migration Still in testing stage. The vCenter upgrade was my clearing the path once we get our storage upgrade in place. Due to the timing I wanted to present the overview and get the word out that changes are coming and the best time transition to ESXi 4.1 is during your upgrade to vSphere 4.1.
VMWare is standardizing on ESXI Hypervisor architecture Vmware vsphere 4.1 and its subsequent update and patch releases are the last releases to include both ESX and ESXI hypervisor architectures. Future major releases of Vmware Vsphere will include only the Vmware ESXi architecture. Vmware recommends that customers start transitioning to the ESXI architecture when deploying vmware vSphere 4.1 Vmware will continue to provide technical support for Vmware ESX according to the Vmware Vsphere support policy
Why ESXi Next Generation of Vmware’s Hypervisor Architecture Full-Featured Hypervisor * Superior Consolidation and scalability * Same performance as Vmware ESX architecture More Secure and reliable * Small code base thanks to OS-independent, thin archiecture Streamlined deployment and configuration * Fewer configuration items making it easier to maintain consistency * Automation of routine task though scripting environments such as vCLI or PowerCLI Simplified hypervisor Patching and Updating * Smaller code base = fewer patches * Elminates patch drifting due to single image update * The “dual-image” approach lets you revert to prior image if desired * Vmware components and third part components can be updated independently
Gartner Group Says…. “The major benefit of ESXi is the fact that it is more lightweight – under 100MB versus 2GB for Vmware ESX with the service console.” “Smaller means fewer patches” “It also eliminates the need to manage a separate Linux console (and the Linux skills needed to manage it)…” “Vmware users should put a plan in place to migrate to ESXi during the next 10 Months.”
New and Improved Paradigm for ESX Management Agentless vAPI-based – COS has Management Agents Agentless CIM-based – Hardware Agents in Service Console Manage ESXi host via – vSphere vClient – vCenter Server – vCLI, PowerCLI, Direct Console User Interface – vSphere Management Assistant
Hardware Monitoring with CIM Common Information Model (CIM) – Agent-less, standards-based monitoring of hardware resources – Output readable by 3 rd party management tools via standard APIs – VMware and Partner CIM providers for Specific hardware devices
New Feature: Automated Software Update * vCenter Update Manager enhancements in vSphere 4.1 - VUM can now deploy “offline bundles” * The following are commonly distributed as offline bundles - Drivers - CIM providers - Other modules Deployed and managed just like all other Updates Included in baselines Monitor for compliance
Third Party Hardware Monitoring * OEM HW Monitoring through their management consoles * Dell Open Manage * HP System Insight Manager
Monitor and Manage Health of Server Hardware with vCenter CIM Interface Detailed hardware health monitoring Physical and virtual visibility on server health vCenter alarms alert when hardware failures occur Fan Status Hardware power status Hardware system board status Temperature status
Monitoring of Installed Software Components vCenter Server vSphere Client
Infrastructure Services for Production Environments (New in ESXi 4.1) Built in NTP service (Time Synchronization) Built in Syslog Service Centralized log Collection Built in SNMP Service (SNMP monitoring) Log to files on datastore (Persistent Logging) Built in Active directory service Large-Scale Deployment Boot from SAN, PXE Install, Scripted install iBFT (iSCSI Boot firmware Table) NIC is required
vCLI & vSphere Power CLI Primary Scripting Interfaces Built on same API as vSphere Client vSphere Management Assistant 4.1 Download and Deploy using OVF template Prebuilt Linux virtual appliance Packaged with vSphere CLI & vSphere SDK for Perl Can work for both ESX and ESXi Acts like a centralized service console
New Feature: Additional vCLI config Commands Storage esxcli swiscsi session: Manage iSCSI Sessions esxcli swiscsi nic: Manage iSCSI NICs esxcli swiscsi vmknic: List VMKernel NICs available for binding to a particular iSCSI adapter esxcli swiscsi vmnic: List available uplink adapters for use with a specified iSCSI adapter Esxcli vaai device: Display information about devices claimed by the Vmware VAAI (vStorage APIs for Array Intergration) Filter Plugin Esxcli corestorage device: list devices or plugins. Used in conjunction with hardware accleration
ESXi Troubleshooting Options vCLI commands Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) Browser-based troubleshooting Tech Support Mode
Diagnostic Commands for ESXi: vCLI Familiar set of ‘esxcfg-*’ commands available in vCLI Names mapped to vicfg-* Also includes VMKfstools Vmware-cmd Resxtop Esxcli: suite of diagnostic tools
New Feature: Additional vCLI troubleshooting Commands Network Esxcli network: List active connections or list active ARP table entries Storage NFS statistics available in resxtop VM Esxcli vms vm kill: Forcible stop bad behaving VM’s
Call to Action Start testing ESXi (like now) Ensure your 3 rd party solutions are ESXi Ready – Ask you vendors, test monitoring, backup and management software – Bid farewell to agents! Familiarize yourself with ESXi management options – This is the biggest for me learning curve for scripts and scripting automation is high. Plan an ESXi migration as part of your vSphere upgrade – ESXi 4.1 has many new features like integrated AD, SAN boot, scripted install, etc… – Test them and become familiar pre-upgrade
Visit the ESXi and ESX info center http://www.wmware.com/products/vsphere/esxi-and-esxi/indes.html
Resources Installing ESX 4.1 & vCenter Server 4.1 best practices http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?l anguage=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1022101 http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?l anguage=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1022101
"name": "Resources Installing ESX 4.1 & vCenter Server 4.1 best practices http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do l anguage=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1022101 http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do l anguage=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1022101
48 Enhanced Scalability Defined vSphere 4vSphere 4.1Ratio VMs per host 320 1x Hosts per cluster 32 1x VMs per cluster 1,2803,000>2x Hosts per VC 3001,000>3x Registered VMs per VC 4,50015,000 >3x Powered-On VMs per VC 3,00010,000>3x Concurrent VI Clients 301204x Hosts per DC 1005005x VMs per DC 2,5005,0002x Linked Mode 10,00030,0003x
vSphere 4.1 – Storage I/O Control Description Prioritized use of storage (similar to how compute is prioritized with vSphere) Improved application performance Business priorities now define low and high priority storage resource access Create the “high speed” or HOV lane for VMs Set storage quality of service priorities per virtual machine Beta Feedback “I really feel that the Storage I/O Control is a must have for our environment and we should move forward without delay.” Proof Point Make Your Mission Critical VMs VIPs All VMs created equal Guarantee service levels for access to storage resources
vSphere 4.1 – Storage Performance Reporting Description Benefits Granular storage reporting for improved tuning and troubleshooting of performance Independent of storage architectures and protocols Delivery of key storage performance statistics in vCenter Beta Feedback “In the monitoring area, the enhanced storage statistics are very useful” Proof Point Real-Time and Historical Trending for Storage
vSphere 4.1 – Network I/O Control Description Prioritized use of network, especially in 10 GbE environments (similar to how compute is prioritized with vSphere) Improved application performance Business priorities now define low and high priority network resource access as needed Create the “high speed” or HOV lane for VMs Set network quality of service priorities per flow type (iSCSI, NFS, etc.) Beta Feedback “The new Network I/O control feature is very interesting for consolidating network links with 10GbE.” Proof Point Guarantee service levels for access to network resources FT vMotion NFS vSwitch TCP/IP iSCSI 10 GigE
vSphere 4.1 – Memory Compression Description Optimized use of memory (freeing up space as needed) Safeguard for using memory overcommit feature with confidence Reclaim Performance A new hierarchy for VMware’s memory overcommit technology (a VMware key differentiator) Beta Feedback “Great for memory over-subscription.” Proof Point 1,000x faster than swap-in! Virtual Memory (Virtual Machine) Physical Memory (Physical Host)
vSphere 4.1 – DRS Host Affinity Description Set granular policies that define only certain virtual machine movements Beta Feedback “Awesome, we can separate VMs between data centers or blade enclosures with DRS host affinity rules” Proof Point Mandatory Compliance Enforcement for Virtual Machines Benefits Tune environment according to availability, performance, and/or licensing requirements A cloud enabler(multi-tenancy) OS APP “Server A”“Server B” “Server A” 4-host DRS/HA cluster OS APP OS APP OS APP OS APP “A”“B” “A” “B” VMs A Servers A Only VMs B Servers B Only
vSphere 4.1 – vMotion Performance and Scale Enhancements Description Performance and Scalability More Live Migrations in Parallel (up to 8 per host pair) Elapsed time reduced by 5x on 10GbE tests Adding “Cloud Scale” to online virtual machine migration (a VMware key differentiator) Beta Feedback “This release product has some nice benefits in particular increased vMotion capabilities.” Proof Point 5x faster with the 4.1 platform release
vSphere 4.1 – HA Enhancements Description Event or alarms when configuration rules are broken No click status (cluster status available at all times) Move VMs to the best host available Healthcheck status Operational window Optimized interaction with DRS Beta Feedback “Major improvements in HA!” Proof Point Adding Another “9” to Availability