Brents IT Blog

Random thoughts by an IT GOAT


VSphere Upgrade

I finally decided to upgrade to VSphere this past week.  I did not take this decision lightly, but after i found a blog post and videos on the upgrade process, i decided it was something that could not wait.  Unfortunately, i also had to upgrade our SAN firmware.  HP bought Lefthand and i really needed to upgrade to get the most out of what we had.  So after a few tense moments with tech support, i was able to map out my upgrade path.  BTW, they do not recommend upgrading a SAN when VMs are running on them.

So, the SAN upgrade went off without a hitch and i was off to my VSphere upgrade.  What you say.. such a major decision taken so lightly!?  Yes, it turned out to be the easiest decision i have made all year.  Not only was it quite simple to upgrade to VSphere, i was able to do it during the day while everyone was online!  Well most of the upgrade anyways.

Here is the blog post and videos for the upgrade, i definitely recommend them if you are considering an upgrade.

Here are my reasons for the upgrade:
1. I could do it while everything was running
2. The ISCSI initiator now has the data mapper for lefthand SANs built into it, no more using the data mapper installed in the OS with the OS hosting the ISCSI initiator( i was using vmware anyway though ).
3. Thin provisioning for OS VMDK files!!!  You can even migrate your existing vmdk's!
4. Scheduled VM Tools upgrade and Hardware upgrade for midnight maintenance window reboots with a single human required to touch anything.  I did check in though, just for CYA purposes.
5. Looks like we might be able to run some small citrix servers via VM, though i have no plans to have any primary servers, maybe just some emergency backups.
6. Better tools, more supported items, though i am still waiting for them to support more than 4 processors assigned to one box.
7. New host migration tools.

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