Migrating your VMWare 3 host to vSphere 4

Notes about upgrading your VMWare 3 host to VSphere 4


The Open Systems Group is in the process of migrating all of the hosts in our VMWare infrastructure to updated hardware that is running the latest version of VMWare called 'vSphere'.

The new blade hardware comes with a pair of 4 core Nehalem 2.93ghz processors and have 72 gigabytes of memory each. Migrating to the new infrastructure will provide better resource handling and improve virtualization performance for our hosts.

Migrating hosts from the old infrastructure to the new one is a mostly painless process, but it does require a few steps that you'll need to be involved in:

1 ) A newer version of the VMWare tools will need to be installed on your virtual machine. The newer version of VMWare tools is required to support the new virtual hardware level available in VMWare 4. While this step is not immediately necessary, installing this will increase performance in your virtual machine noticeably once it's migrated.

These tools can be downloaded from:

http://packages.vmware.com/tools/esx/4.0u1/index.html

Windows users should note that upgrading the tools requires a reboot to replace any drivers that are in use.

2) Between now and May 1st, we will need to schedule a maintenance window to migrate your host from the current storage system to the new storage system attached to the new blade infrastructure. In order to do this as safely as possible, the virtual host should be powered off during the move.

3) While the machine is off, if you've upgraded the VMWare Tools, we will convert it to the latest virtual hardware level to take advantage of the performance increases.

4) Any hosts remaining on the VMWare 3 infrastructure on May 2nd, 2010 will be migrated to vSphere 4 during the CNS maintenance window between 5 and 9am.  While affected machines will not be updated to vSphere 4's new hardware level (since that requires administrative access to the machine, they will be unavailable during that window while they are migrated into the vSphere management server and storage system.

Once your host has been migrated to the new infrastructure, you'll need to point your Vmware client to a new host to manage it. The vSphere 4 management server's address is:

                              cns-esx4mgt01.osg.ufl.edu

If you're using the VMWare Client for windows to manage your hosts, you'll be prompted to update it to the newer version. The version 3 and the version 4 clients will unfortunately not co-exist together and are (oddly enough) not backwards compatible.

You can also manage your hosts via a web interface in vSphere 4 by pointing your browser to:

https://cns-esx4mgt01.osg.ufl.edu/

We have documentation about vSphere 4 and the web client here:

http://open-systems.ufl.edu/content/virtual-machine-hosting