ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 Using Update Manager

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This tutorial will provide you with the steps to successfully upgrade your VMware ESXi 4 hosts to ESXi 5 by utilizing vCenter Update Manager 5. You must download the ESXi 5 Hypervisor iso image before starting this tutorial. The image will be used for the ESXi 5 Upgrade. It can be downloaded from VMware.

Upgrading to VMware ESXi 5

1. Open vCenter, select Home – Solutions and Applications – Update Manager in your address bar. Select ESXi Images Tab.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

2. Click Import ESXi Image on the top left corner. Click browse and point to the VMware ESXi 5 Hypervisor ISO file. Click Next.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

3. Select Install this certificate… and click ignore.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

4. This screen displays some information about the ESXi 5 image. Click Next.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

5. Select Create a baseline using the ESXi image. Type a name for the baseline, such as ESXi 5 Upgrade and a description if you like. Click Finish.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

6. You can now see listed the Imported ESXi 5 Image.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

7. Click on Compliance View at the top right hand side. Select the ESXi 4 host that you wish to upgrade and then click Attach at the top right hand corner. Select the Upgrade Baseline (ESXi 5 Upgrade) that you created in the earlier step. Click Attach.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

8. Click on Scan at the top right hand side. Select Upgrades and then click Scan.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

9. The upgrade may be marked as incompatible but you can still proceed. If the upgrade is marked as incompatible you will be able to click on Upgrade Details.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

10. Some software modules will be removed. Check to see that these are not needed as they will be removed once the host is upgraded to ESXi 5. Click Close.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

11. Click on Remediate. Make sure your Upgrade Basline is selected. Click Next.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

12. Select I accept the terms and license agreement. Click Next.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

13. Select Remove installed third-party software that is incompatible… Click Next.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

14. Give the task a name and description and select when you would like to remediate the selected hosts. Click Next.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

15. Select your power state and retry options. Click Next.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

16. Select your Cluster Remediation Options here. Click Next.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

17. Check the summary and if you are happy with all the settings click Finish.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

18. As you can see my VMware ESXi 4.1 host has finished upgrading to ESXi 5. Press enter to reboot.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

19. Once the ESXi 5 host reboots and reconnects to vCenter, the attached baseline is now compliant and is shown with a green tick. Clicking on the host will display the ESXi installed version at the top of the screen. VMware ESXi 5.0.0, 469512.


ESXi 4 Upgrade to ESXi 5 using Update Manager

If you have any technical questions about this tutorial or any other tutorials on this site, please open a new thread in the forums and the community will be able to help you out.

Disclaimer:
All the tutorials included on this site are performed in a lab environment to simulate a real world production scenario. As everything is done to provide the most accurate steps to date, we take no responsibility if you implement any of these steps in a production environment.

  • Prashanth

    Will this work in my case? We got two new pre-installed ESXi 4.1 & would like to upgrade to 5. This is the first cluster to be on ESXi 5. Do I have to make a trip to datacenter?

    • yes, your esxi hosts don’t need to be in a cluster to upgrade them. They
      can be stand alone. Just put the host that you are upgrading into
      maintenance mode first and then begin the upgrade.

      • Prashanth

        Thanks David. It worked like a charm. To add for other newbies like me, here’s what I did. My ESXi servers were located 100 miles away and this is the first set of servers in that Colo. I install a server 2k8 R2 guest on one of the hosts. Installed vCenter server on it and added both hosts with evaluation license(I only had esxi5 license). Upgrade the other host per above post. Then copied the VMDK to other host and upgrade the 1st host. Now both are working just fine. 🙂

        • Hi Prashanth, that’s great news. I’m just not sure what you meant by you copied the vmdk to the other host ? Can you explain what you did there ?

  • yes, your esxi hosts don’t need to be in a cluster to upgrade them. They can be stand alone. Just put the host that you are upgrading into maintenance mode first and then begin the upgrade.

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  • Maximtech

    Check your storage!  A lot are no longer compatible with VMware 5 I wrote up an article on a good workaround here – involves a proxy between ESXi and incompatible storage:

    http://duaneshippy.myadventures.org/?filename=Reuse-Storage-No-Longer-Supported-by-VMware