Updating ESX To vSphere 4
December 04, 2009
It's no secret that the latest version of VMware's virtual infrastructure is bigger, better, faster and more capable than ever, but along with the new feature set comes a whole load of complexity. vSphere 4.0 has a ton of features designed to bring system performance to the next level, but it requires a little tweaking to get the most out of them.
Upgrading vSphere is cake, but your job is not necessarily finished. Virtual machines are not automatically updated to the new machine format when you update your hosts. A word of caution: vSphere virtual machines can only run on vSphere hosts. Don't complete the steps below until you are committed to bringing your entire cluster up to current.
To get started:
- Take a backup of your virtual machines.
- Open the vSphere client and shut down the guest virtual machine in question.
- Right click the guest machine and click upgrade virtual hardware.
- Agree to the warning and watch the task complete in the task pane.
To get around this:
- Right click the VM in question and edit settings.
- Click the add button for hardware, select Ethernet adapter.
- From the adapter type box select VMXNET3, leave the adapter connected at power on.
- Click next, finish and then OK to the settings dialog and allow the configuration task to finish.
- Power on the VM.
After a successful restart on windows machines, you should see the original network adapters plus any new ones. Reassign any static IP addresses to the new VMXNET3 network interface and disable the original one. Bring the machine down for one more reboot and remove the original Ethernet adapter. When you power your server on, you are officially on VMXNET3. Just remember, VMXNET3 performance increases depend on all of your machines making use of the new networking technology, so get cracking and get the rest of those machines up to date.
Jasmine McTigue is the IT manager for Carwild Corp. She is responsible for IT infrastructure and has worked on numerous customer projects as well as ongoing network management and support throughout her 10-plus-year career.