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  • ESX 3.5 or ESXi

    Hi all,

    We are currently running over 20 virtual servers hosted on 2 physical HP Proliant DL380 G4's each with 12GB of RAM. We are currently using VMware ESX Server 3.0.2. We have come to a point where we would like to add further virtual servers but have hit the RAM limit for the DL380's.

    The plan is to buy 2 HP Proliant DL585 G5 servers loaded with RAM and migrate the virtual machines to the new hardware, reusing the old DL380's as a test environment.

    Can you tell me what the best upgrade option would be? Would it be best to just use our existing VMware installation disk and install 3.0.2 (bearing in mind we have a pretty stable VM environment), or would it be prudent to install the latest version of ESX server 3.5? Would this cause any issues when trying to migrate the virtual machines?

    I have recently read about VMware ESXi and like the idea of being able to buy the servers with this already pre-installed. It will also save us money by not having to fork out for Hard Disks for the servers. However, is ESXi actually on a USB stick in the server or is it on a chip in firmware. I'm thinking that currently we have VMware installed on a RAID 5 HD configuration so it should be fault tolerant. Is this a better option than the USB stick / firmware? Also how easy would it be to migrate the VM's from ESX 3.0.2 to ESXi. is this even an issue?

    Sorry for the long post, but any help / pointers would be extremely welcome

    Robert

  • #2
    Re: ESX 3.5 or ESXi

    We're already on ESX 3.5 Update 3.

    If you're thinking about ESXi installable, double check the HCL. Currently it's a little more strict than the HCL for ESX 3.5. Make sure the hardware you'll be running ESXi on is compatible. ESXi embedded gets you up and running quickest out of the gate. Personally, I haven't had a chance to play around with ESXi embedded yet but I hope to one day. I believe ESXi embedded comes on a USB stick that plugs inside of the server under the cover. The size of ESXi embedded is 32MB.

    Migration to and from different versions of ESX is fairly simple. Connect all of the ESX hosts to VirtualCenter and migrate. Generally, the upgrade steps are in this order:
    1. Upgrade VirtualCenter
    2. Upgrade the ESX hosts
    3. Upgrade the VMFS datastores
    4. Upgrade VM hardware
    5. Upgrade VMware Tools
    VCDX3 #34, VCDX4, VCDX5, VCAP4-DCA #14, VCAP4-DCD #35, VCAP5-DCD, VCPx4, vEXPERTx4, MCSEx3, MCSAx2, MCP, CCAx2, A+
    boche.net - VMware Virtualization Evangelist
    My advice has no warranties. Follow at your own risk.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: ESX 3.5 or ESXi

      Originally posted by jasonboche View Post
      We're already on ESX 3.5 Update 3.

      If you're thinking about ESXi installable, double check the HCL. Currently it's a little more strict than the HCL for ESX 3.5. Make sure the hardware you'll be running ESXi on is compatible. ESXi embedded gets you up and running quickest out of the gate. Personally, I haven't had a chance to play around with ESXi embedded yet but I hope to one day. I believe ESXi embedded comes on a USB stick that plugs inside of the server under the cover. The size of ESXi embedded is 32MB.

      Migration to and from different versions of ESX is fairly simple. Connect all of the ESX hosts to VirtualCenter and migrate. Generally, the upgrade steps are in this order:
      1. Upgrade VirtualCenter
      2. Upgrade the ESX hosts
      3. Upgrade the VMFS datastores
      4. Upgrade VM hardware
      5. Upgrade VMware Tools
      Slightly off topic but reading that made me think, is it possible for anybody to just install ESXi on a USB stick and run off of that instead of a HDD?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: ESX 3.5 or ESXi

        Originally posted by gotenks1321 View Post
        Slightly off topic but reading that made me think, is it possible for anybody to just install ESXi on a USB stick and run off of that instead of a HDD?
        Yes. You don't install ESXi on a USB stick but you can place ESXi embedded on a USB stick and then plug the stick into a box and boot from it - which is ESXi embedded.

        There are a few internet articles on how to do this. Search via Google and I'm sure you'll find one.

        Jas
        VCDX3 #34, VCDX4, VCDX5, VCAP4-DCA #14, VCAP4-DCD #35, VCAP5-DCD, VCPx4, vEXPERTx4, MCSEx3, MCSAx2, MCP, CCAx2, A+
        boche.net - VMware Virtualization Evangelist
        My advice has no warranties. Follow at your own risk.

        Comment

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