Server Virtualization has changed the IT landscape and helped us consolidate our datacenters, improve resource utilization, and enable disaster recovery solutions, and VMware has been there every step of the way. So it’s no surprise that data duplication, cloud computing management, and backup & recovery – is all a part of the latest and greatest offering from vSphere, version 5.1. And if you’re a user of a VMware platform, it’s unquestionably a version that you’re going to want to take advantage of in your IT sector. Fortunately, this can be accomplished via upgrade. However, unlike typical upgrades, in which data is just uploaded in swift manner, the upgrade to vSphere 5.1 is accomplished in phases, which keeps everything in synch as the upgrade process carries on. Here’s a look at the four phases required for upgrading to the version 5.1 platform:
Phase One: vCenter
The first step is upgrading the VMware vCenter Server along with the update manager. However, before you begin this initial phase, check to see which other VMware solutions you presently use. These may include the likes of vCloud Director, or VCD, and SRM. You can use an interoperability matrix to identify which of these are compatible.
Phase Two: vSphere
The next phase involves upgrading the hosts to vSphere 5.1. This can be accomplished several ways: Via a rolling manner, in which individual hosts are updated following the migration of virtual machines through vMotion (a way which avoids downtime); through VMware’s Update Manger to update previous versions of the software; or by executing a clean install.
Phase Three: Tools & Hardware
Now your virtual machines need to be upgraded, a phase which begins with updating VMware Tools to to version 9 of Virtual Hardware. One thing to note during this phase is that virtual machines need to be powered off for this step, so plan implementation of this phase accordingly. A scheduled upgrade can be scheduled for this phase of the upgrade, allowing for simultaneous updating of tools and hardware.
Phase Four: Datastores
The fourth and final phase of upgrading to vSphere 5.1. involves your datastores – and making sure they get upgraded to the fifth version. How? Take your live virtual machines and run them on the datastores. The big benefit to this is that there’s no downtime involved in the process. The fifth version of vSphere VMFS v. 3 datastores, meaning that such upgrades can be scheduled and executed during a time and/or date that is most convenient pertaining to you and your operations.