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HowTo: Upgrade VMware ESX 3.0.2 to 3.5 Update 1

Last Update: 17.07.2008

This HowTo is supposed to be a practical guideline to upgrade your existing VMware ESX server from version 3.0.2 to the newest version 3.5 Update 1 build #82663 (as of July 17 2008).
First of all a short introduction about the datacenter architecture. I use two environments: A test and a productive environment.

Test environment
1 ESX server version 3.0.2 running on Dell PowerEdge 2850
2 Virtual Machines stored on local storage

Productive environment
4 ESX server version 3.0.2 running on Dell PowerEdge 2850 (as in test environment)
2 ESX server version 3.0.2 running on Dell PowerEdge 2900
31 Virtual Machines stored on shared SAN disk

Before I upgrade the whole production environment I want to be sure, the upgrade works smoothly as it is announced in the VMware Upgrade Guide. Read this guide through, it might give you some information you didn't know before.

Another important note: Upgrade to VI Infrastructure Client/VirtualCenter 2.5 before you upgrade your ESX hosts!


Upgrading test environment

1. Shut down running VM's
Because the Virtual Machines are stored on the local harddisk, I need to shut down the running VM's.

2. Reboot ESX host and boot from CD-ROM ESX 3.5 Update 1 build #82663.

3. I choose the grphical installation, therefore just press the ENTER key.

VMware ESX Upgrade 3.5

4. Make a test of the inserted medium. Because this is the first usage of recently downloaded and burnt ISO, I want to test the media before running into surprises.

VMware ESX Upgrade 3.5

VMware ESX Upgrade 3.5

5. Now the graphical installation interface starts. Here we have to configure keyboard, mouse and installation type.
On the first picture we just click NEXT.

VMware ESX Upgrade 3.5

The next step is to choose the correct keyboard layout for the installation. In my case it is Swiss German.

VMware ESX Upgrade 3.5

The mouse settings are usually fine - as long as you can move a mouse and click (what you already had to do anyway).

VMware ESX Upgrade 3.5

The installation is searching for previous installed versions of ESX. If this is a new installation, you will not see the following decision-screen. In my case it is an upgrade of an existing ESX installation. So I will choose the "upgrade" option here.

VMware ESX Upgrade 3.5

Of course there is End User Licence Agreement before we start the upgrade... Yeah, we do accept all that!

VMware ESX Upgrade 3.5

The next step is to set (or not change) the bootloader. Watch out if you use SAN connections on this server - be sure the correct disk is activated. Because on this test server there is only the usage of local storage, I don't have to be worried.

VMware ESX Upgrade 3.5

We're about to upgrade! This screen is basically a (more or less senseless) summary of the previous configurations. I would have liked it it would show me which packages will be upgraded but oh well....

VMware ESX Upgrade 3.5

The upgrade process itself. First of all an installation image will be copied from the CD to the local harddisk. In the second step, the installation (upgrade) starts.

VMware ESX Upgrade 3.5

VMware ESX Upgrade 3.5

At the end of the upgrade process a page is shown which says "ESX Server 3.5 Installer Complete". With clicking on the "Finish" button we reboot the server.

VMware ESX Upgrade 3.5

At the boot of the server we see in the following screen, that ESX 3.5.0 is starting up. Hurray!

VMware ESX Upgrade 3.5

6. We start VI Client 2.5 and connect to the just upgraded ESX server. We see the new version of the ESX server when we select it in the navigation on the left side.

VMware ESX Upgrade 3.5

 


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