Before starting an upgrade at a customer site I was surprised how long an ESXi host can run. Here the proof.
A lot of my customers are running the vCenter Appliance version 5.1. Now they start to ask to upgrade this appliance to the newest version.
Here I will show you step by step the upgrade process. This is based on the VMware KB article 2058441
- Verify the time set on the old (VMware vCenter 5.1) appliance and the new (VMware vCenter 5.5) appliances are in sync. Be aware that from version 5.5 the clock on the appliance is always set to the UTC time zone. In the older version you could select your own tome zone. (see VMware KB)
- Be sure SSO (if installed on separate machine) is on the same version of the vCenter you want to upgrade to.
- If the vCenter database is external, make backup on the Database server. For backing up the embedded database look at this KB
- Create a snapshot of the OLD vCenter appliance before you start the upgrade procedure.
- First step of the upgrade procedure is deploying a fresh VM of the latest vCenter Appliance.
- Next is to configure the VM so that network connectivity is possible. The only thing that needs to be configured is IP address, subnet and gateway. The Original vCenter hostname and IP settings will be configured (copied) in the NEW vCenter Appliance based on the setting of the old vCenter.
- Connect to the old and new vCenter appliance via a supported web browser. (personal experience is that IE works and Chrome not! For the upgrade process.
On the NEW vCenter, Accept the EULA
- Next step in the upgrade process is to specify that you want to upgrade from a previous version
- Still in the NEW appliance, copy the local appliance code to the clipboard
On the OLD vCenter appliance, go to the Upgrade tab and paste the clipboard content in the text box and press the import button.
If the import was successful you get a notice and then copy the upgrade key back to the clipboard
On the NEW server paste the upgrade key in the bottom text box and proceed by clicking the next button.
There is an option to replace the SSL certificates on the NEW with those ones from the OLD vCenter Appliance
Now the new SSO password must be entered for the SSO administrator account firstname.lastname@example.org. (this was admin@system-domain in pre 5.5 versions)
Select now all the servers that need to check for compatibility with the new vCenter
After pressing next we see that we are ready to start the migration.
Pressing next will get following screen where you have to confirm that the upgrade process can proceed.
When you hit the start, the migration process start.
When you start the migration you will notice that the OLD vCenter server will be shut downed and the NEW vCenter server will have the IP configuration (hostname, IP settings) of the OLD ESX host.
After a successful upgrade you can start upgrading the ESXi hosts to the latest ESXi version.
- Can you login in the new vCenter Appliance via the Web Client and everything works fine you can remove the old vCenter Appliance from the inventory and from disk.
During an upgrade at a customer site we removed a Dell Appliance that was connected to vCenter. We dit remove the aplliance just by powering it off and then remove it from the entry. Normally you should do an unregister from in the Dell Appliance.
Now we saw that there was a plugin that could not be loaded.
After some research on the internet I passed by on the website of William Lam (virtuallyGhetto).
He has written a nice article that describes step by step how to fix the problem we had. Look here.
Problem solved, thanks William for the good work.
Today I am at customer site to upgrade en vSphere environment to the latest and greatest version of VMware vSphere 5.1.
We started the migration process by importing the VMware ESXi image we downloaded from the VMware download website.
In Update Manager we checked the server and saw that the server was not compliant with the new ESXi version so we could start the remediation.
After the remediation started we got the following message in Update Manager stating that the server was incompatible for this upgrade.
After some research on the internet I found following VMware KB 2034945 article.
As pointed out in this article the upgrade worked after a reboot of the ESX host.
Today I was asked to expand a local datastore of a ESXi 4.1. Expanding a disk is normally no problem when you are able to increate the size of the disk. After increasing the disk size you should be able to increate the partition size.
The ESXi was managed by a vCenter 5.0. On the storage adapter I did a RESCAN data stores after the disk size was increased. Then I went into the DATASTORE properties and I saw following
This above view was via a vCenter connection. Then I found following VMware KB which told me to make a direct connection to the ESXi host. After going to into the datastore properties I found out that I could increase.
When I selected this local datastore and finished the expansion I saw following result in the vSphere Client direct to the ESXi and via vCenter.
Lucky for the customer this expansion went OK.
Hopefully if you have this problem this KB article fixes also your problem.
Gert Van Gorp
During some consultancy projects @ SMB customers where we needed to install and configure VMware VDR to do some backups, we had some issues with Windows Machines and VSS. The result of the these errors with VSS was that the VDR backup jobs all failed.
Here some possible solutions (gonna try to keep the list up to date.)
- VSS could not be started on a Windows 2003 server
We had to reregister all VSS DLL’s, restart the server and everything was working again. (check this)
VMware KB Articles about possible VDR / VSS issues.
Because VDR is taking snapshots of your virtual machines this can also be a interesing KB
In my home lab I have a setup with has 1 VC VM and 2 ESXi hosts (Dell PowerEdge T410) which are connected to a Equallogic PS5000 SAN.
The VC and the VC database are both on a different VM.
While I was debugging a powerCLI script for a customer I noticed that my vCenter Service stopped working (and tried to restart automaticaly) without success.
In the Eventviewer I saw following errors:
- In the System Log
The VMware VirtualCenter Server service terminated unexpectedly. It has done this 1 time(s). The following corrective action will be taken in 300000 milliseconds: Restart the service.
- In the Application Log
An unrecoverable problem has occurred, stopping the VMware VirtualCenter service. Error: Error[VdbODBCError] (-1) “ODBC error: (42000) – [Microsoft][SQL Native Client][SQL Server]The transaction log for database ‘VC’ is full. To find out why space in the log cannot be reused, see the log_reuse_wait_desc column in sys.databases” is returned when executing SQL statement “UPDATE VPX_DATASTORE WITH (ROWLOCK) SET NAME = ? , STORAGE_URL = ? , CAPACITY = ? , FREE_SPACE = ? , TYPE = ? , DATACENTER_ID = ? , IORM_ENABLED = ? , IORM_CONGESTION_THRESHOLD = ? WHERE ID = ?”
- In the C:\Users\All Users\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Logs I saw erros like “Connection refused”
The answer to all this was lack of space on the drive the vCenter database was located. This because SQL Recovery option on the vCenter database was set to “Full Recovery” and there was NO maintenance plan active. This was the cause of a growing LOG file. After running the maintenance plan the log was emptied and a lot of disk space became available.