Virtualization Pro

Dec 19 2007   7:11AM GMT

Virtual Center 2.5 – An IT pro’s first look

Rick Vanover Rick Vanover Profile: Rick Vanover

So I had the chance to install VMware Virtual Center 2.5, or VC 2.5 from the release of the series of updates, last week. I expected the VC upgrade to be rather uneventful. The upgrade was uneventful, but there are some new key differences that you should be aware of with the new interface and what things may look life after the install.

New safegaurds and upgrade process

The default configuration after the VC upgrade has put in some safeguards that accompany you in tasks you may be familiar using. One example within the VMware Infrastructure Client is putting a server into maintenance mode. You will get some more questions related to the virtual machines that are off or suspended if you want them migrated to another host, (That is a good idea should another person or automatic process want to power on a virtual machine when it is in maintenance mode). This appears via a new tab and process called DRS Recommendations for most configurations of a VMware cluster. From there you can follow the recommendations of migrating guests to another host.

During the upgrade, all of my virtual machines ran fine and were not effected by the configuration. The only issue I had was that one ESX host, a 3.01 host, would not re-add back into the Virtual Infrastructure client. The message I had was something about the virtual center agent service failing to install. I did some poking around and found that I could bounce the existing management service on the ESX host to allow the new VC agent to install. I did the following:

[root@vm-esxdev0001 root]# service mgmt-vmware stop[root@vm-esxdev0001 root]# service mgmt-vmware stop

This had my heart stop for a bit as I stopped the service, but there were no availability issues to my virtual machines running on this host, vm-esxdev001.

Resource Pools, Clusters, Datacenters, and VMware Host Inventory

Depending on your upgrade type, you may need to recreate these elements after the VC upgrade. So it would be a good idea to have your current configuration documented so that you can re-add them if necessary. And yet another reminder to make sure your ESX resource pools are configured correctly. And this would be the time to reconfigure any of the configuration parameters should that be required.

VMware Resources

VMware provides a consolidated upgrade guide for ESX 3.5 and Virtual Center 2.5 and a good compatibility matrix for versions of ESX and Virtual Center. Be sure to read the compatiblity matrix before doing anything. Depending on your configuration – an ESX upgrade may do you no good with certain versions of Virtual Center. This is why I started with the Virtual Center upgrade.

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