ESX host upgrade

Step 4: Upgrade the ESXi host.

My server is running ESXi 4.1.0, which is eligible for an in-place upgrade to ESXi 5.

When you are ready to upgrade an ESXi host and have gathered the information required to configure the host after the upgrade, you should take the following steps:

  1. Move all virtual machines to other hosts;
  2. Remove the ESXi host from vCenter Server;
  3. If you’re using Fiber Channel storage, I recommend you disconnect the storage from the host before the upgrade process and reconnect after the upgrade completes. This prevents you from accidentally formatting any datastores.

When ready, insert the DVD or mount the ISO-file, boot the server and select the ‘ESXi-5.0.0-standard installer‘ from the boot menu.

Accept the Welcome screen and accept the End User License Agreement.

Select the local partition on which ESXi is installed. The asterisk will indicate that it already contains a VMFS partition. Press F1 to see the details of the partition or press Enter to continue.

Because a local VMFS datastore is detected, three options are show.

  1. Upgrade ESXi, preserve VMFS datastore;
  2. Install ESXi, preserve VMFS datastore;
  3. Install ESXi, overwrite VMFS datastore.

Because I wondered if the installation would really preserve all my settings, I selected the first option.

Check the installation path and press F11 to start the installation/upgrade process.

After the installation completes, remove the installation DVD or unmount the ISO-file and reboot the server.

Once the install completes, reconfigure your host settings and add the host back into vCenter Server.

Move your VMs from the other hosts back onto the new ESXi host.

The final step for this phase is to upgrade your datastores to VMFS version 5. This can be done with live virtual machines running on the datastores and do not require any virtual machine downtime. vSphere 5.0 fully supports datastores with VMFS version 3, so the datastore upgrade may be scheduled at a time that’s convenient for you.

Next, the Virtual Machine upgrade.


Page 1 – vCenter server upgrade
Page 2 – vSphere client upgrade
Page 3 – Web Client server installation
Page 4 – ESXi host upgrade
Page 5 – Virtual Machine upgrade