I received during the weekend my new license codes for the 5.0 lineup of VMware products, so I tried and found a couple of hours to test the upgrade process of vCenter.
This is the first element of a 4.1 cluster you need to upgrade to 5.0, cause it can manage both ESXi 4.1 and 5.0 at the same time.
Once I downloaded the iso image and started the autorun, the start screen give us many choices:
For the sake of it, I run first the Pre-Upgrade Checker. Thi tool checks if the database DSN and the ESXi hosts are compatible with the upgrade, and if it’s the case I think is going to tell us what to do; it’s only a guesswork since my environment was compatible and I was able to proceed with the upgrade.
Since my vCenter was already a 64 bit one (Windows 2003 R2 64 bit) there was no data migration to do, and installer warned me only about it found the former vCenter 4.1 and that it will be upgraded:
Then, installer suggested to upgrade also the database:
Another important step is the upgrade of the Virtual Center agents installed on the managed ESXi hosts. Installed suggests to upgrade them automatically, and I suggest you to use this method. Otherwise, as you can see in the screenshot, you can upgrade them manually, but be aware that in this way all ESXi hosts will be disconnected from vCenter until you will upgrade them.
Once you have answered to the other questions, such as installation folders and the several TCP ports for the services, installation starts and it completes after about 15 minutes wihtout any error or problem.
As stated also during the vCenter upgrade, it’s necessary to upgrade also the Update Manager, so I run also its installer. Right in the first screen, installer founded the former Update Manager and told me it was going to be upgraded to version 5:
Also Update Manager asked to upgrade its own database, and I agreed to it.
As a last step, I upgraded vSphere Client on the vCenter virtual machine, nothing special to say. I also installed the Web Client; since I use a Mac this tool is going to be really useful in the future. It will be reachable on tcp:9443 of the vCenter server, over the https protocol.
After about an hour from the start, I was ready to login inside my new vCenter 5.0.