VMware

VCenter and old ESXi versions, and a storage question

Hi, all! I just started a new job and they have a somewhat awful VMware environment that I’d like to get under control. Right now it’s a mish-mash of independent ESXi servers, each with their own storage (no SAN/NAS) running a mix of ESXi 5.0, 5.1, and 5.5. I’d like to start by managing all this with VCenter and I’ve got a couple questions:

1. Looking at [VMware’s product compatibility matrix](https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/sim/interop_matrix.php) seems to indicate that VCenter 6.0 U2 would be able to manage all the ESXi hosts – does that seem right?
1. If so, will I be able to migrate a running VM from one host to another without shutting it down, or does that only work with shared storage? I’d like to map out an upgrade path for all this ancient stuff without down time for our production systems, although I can schedule that if I really need to.

Thanks!


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2 Comments

  1. *Looking at VMware’s product compatibility matrix seems to indicate that VCenter 6.0 U2 would be able to manage all the ESXi hosts – does that seem right?*

    Looks about right but only down to 5.0 U1.

    *If so, will I be able to migrate a running VM from one host to another without shutting it down, or does that only work with shared storage? I’d like to map out an upgrade path for all this ancient stuff without down time for our production systems, although I can schedule that if I really need to.*

    There is more to a vMotion than shared storage. EVC will come into play here as well. Depending on the hardware you are running, you may have no choice but to shut the VMs down in order to move them. (Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC) processor support (http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1003212))

    Shared storage would certainly help as without it, an svMotion will be needed in order to move the VMs.

  2. Check the Vmware Matrix for upgrades, also take note of the order. They have a document for this. If your ESXI hosts were to get up ahead of the vCenter server you would have no way to manage the ESXI hosts. NSX, SRM, all that fun stuff has a specific spot in the order as well.

    Shared storage helps a ton, but you can storage vMotion from one host to another. Migrate the VM’s and select both. Make sure to do good backups before this, VM’s, ESXI hosts, Vcenters. If you are not already using embedded vCenter servers I’d highly recommend it too.

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