Upgrading ESX 3.5 to ESX 3.5 U4 and Virtual Center 2.5 to vCenter 2.5 U4

Here’s the ‘script’ read from while doing our ESX upgrades:

In general:

  • Do lots of up front work with kickstarts and analysis

Each ESX Host

  • Put host in maintenance mode
  • Shut Down
  • File request with storage administrator to make only boot LUN is visible to host as we are about to do some potentially damaging operations
  • Put in new HBA (QLA4050)
  • Boot to floppy diskette with QLA 4050 BIOS firmware updates
  • Upgrade HBA BIOS
  • iFlash
  • If the system detects a QLx40xx controller, it displays the following message:
  • QLx40xx Adapter found at I/O address: xxxxxxxx
  • You will need to enter the adapter address
  • Select “FB” to flash the BIOS. The iFlash program will write flash to the adapter using ql4022rm.BIN found in the same directory.
  • Reboot. Press CTRL+Q on the second (new) HBA to manage boot settings
  • Configure Host Adapter according to IP / initiator name
  • Configure iSCSI Target
    • You will need:
    • iSCSI name
    • IP Address
    • Subnet Mask
    • Default Gateway
    • iSCSI Target
    • IP Address:port
    • Target Name
    • Host Boot Settings = MANUAL
    • Exit and Reboot
  • Insert ESX 3.5 U4 CD (We don’t have PXE boot available yet)
  • Reboot system to boot from ESX 3.5 U4 CD
  • Install ESX 3.5 U4
  • type ‘esx ks=<url to kickstart file> ksdevice=eth0 method=cdrom
  • More on the kickstart file is here
  • Press enter. This installs ESX with all appropriate settings. Ask someone for the root password.
  • Log in as root
  • sh iscli-script.sh (from the kickstart)
  • sh huk-install.sh (from the kickstart)
  • Launch VirtualCenter
  • Disconnect the host from VirtualCenter (Right click, disconnect)
  • Reconnect the host to VirtualCenter (Right click, connect)
  • Enter maintenance mode (so no VMs are vMotioned on)
  • VMotion doesn’t get set up correctly via kickstart because the host does not have shared storage. Contact the SAN Administrator to make the other ESX LUNs  visible and rescan.
  • Delete the VMKernel Switch
  • Add the VMkernel switch (nic4 and nic5), enabling vmotion. <IP address> subnet <subnet> – no default GW since not routed
  • Configuration -> Memory -> Increase Service Console RAM to 800MB
  • Configure Storage Paths in Active/Passive
  • Reboot Host (to enact Service Console RAM changes)
  • Exit Maintenance Mode

vCenter Database Server

  • Manually backup VMware database
BACKUP DATABASE [VMWare] TO  DISK =  N'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL  Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Backup\VMWare\VMWare_backup_preupgrade.bak' WITH NOFORMAT,  NOINIT,  NAME = N'VMWare-Full Database Backup', SKIP, NOREWIND, NOUNLOAD,  STATS  = 10
  • Manually backup UpdateManager
BACKUP DATABASE [UpdateManager] TO  DISK =  N'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL  Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Backup\UpdateManager\UpdateManager_backup_preupgrade.bak'  WITH NOFORMAT, NOINIT,  NAME = N'UpdateManager-Full Database Backup', SKIP,  NOREWIND, NOUNLOAD,  STATS = 10
  • Grant MSDB owner permissions for SQL user
USE [msdb]GO

EXEC sp_addrolemember  N'db_owner', N'USER'


vCenter Server

  • Log in as local administrator
  • Back up the License File
    • copy "C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware License Server\Licenses\vmware.lic" \\server\share\vmware-license-backup.lic
  • Mount vCenter DVD ISO
  • Back up sysprep files for templates
    • copy C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\sysprep\.* \\server\share
  • Run vCenter Install
  • Reboot Server
  • Notify users of upgrades
  • Schedule times for VMware Tools Upgrades

vCenter Database Server

  • Revoke MSDB owner permissions for SQL user
USE [msdb]GO
	EXEC  sp_droprolemember N'db_owner', N'USER'