ESXi 5: I was booting ESXi 4 from local hard drives on each host and wanted to change that to USB memory sticks. I picked up 3 Sandisk Cruzer 4GB USB memory sticks, which were on sale at Best Buy for $6.99 each and moved ahead. The problem with changing install locations, at least in the way I’m doing it, there’s no upgrade. It’s a fresh install. Which means your settings are lost, including your distributed vswitch settings. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to rebuild the wheel if I don’t have to. I decided to follow a little pattern that I hoped would allow me to do what I wanted to do in the simplest of fashions. BTW… I’m not saying this is the only way or even the best way, but it is the way I went, and it worked out successfully.
- Make sure I know my host configuration settings for installation and setup including which NICs are for what.
- I use the VIClient to get host ‘networking’ and ‘network adapter’ info (see table below for data I collected).
- Put the host in Maintenance Mode
- Generate a ‘Host Profile’. My hosts aren’t 100% exact matches on hardware or NIC counts, so I generated a separate profile for each host.
- Remove the host from vCenter. You have to delete connections to distributed virtual switches.
- Before powering down the host, I plug in the USB stick and installation CD
- Reboot the host going into the ‘Setup’ utility changing the main boot device to the USB stick
- Then boot the machine, via the CD – install media, and set the install location to the USB stick
- Configure host from the GUI on the host, comparing mac addresses to your original configuration just in case your vmnic numbering has changed. Make sure that you compare mac addresses against all of your NICs in this interface as you may need this information in a later step.
- Add the host to vCenter
- Put the host into Maintenance mode
- Edit your Host Profile specifically checking for vmnic entries to make sure that they are numbered correctly. In my case, I had changed host NICs while running vSphere 4 so my NICs were not numbered correctly, ie. vmnic0, vmnic1, vmnic3, vmnic4. Notice that vmnic2 is skipped. It will not be skipped in your new install so you will need to change your Host Profile’s NIC entries, changing vmnic3 to vmnic2, and vmnic 4 to vmnic 3. This worked like a charm in the host profile and allowed me to Apply the profile in an upcoming step. Make sure that you are mapping these by mac address, in my case vmnic 3 at mac address ending in 57:e4 became vmnic 2. When editing the host profile, look under Networking configuration > Physical NIC Configuration and Networking configuration > vSphere Distributed Switch. Check your vmnic entries there.
- Associate the profile with the host, then apply the profile to the host. You’ll have to enter vmkernel ip addresses that match what you viewed earlier. You’ll get the chance to review your configuration changes before applying them.
- Check your configuration. I had to re-add my iSCSI storage targets but everything else came in properly and as expected.
- Exit maintenance mode.
- Check vmotion / etc…
- Leave a comment here and move on to the next gag if everything worked out right. 🙂
|Host||vmnic old||vmnic new||dvSwitch||WOL||MAC||VMKernel Notes|
Each host upgrade took less than 20 minutes of downtime