CIM1269 Session Notes – Upgrading vCloud Director Solution Stack – VMware Partner Exchange

Presented by Chris Colotti, Consulting Architect with VMware (blogtwitter) and David Hill, Senior Consultant with VMware.

Got into this session partway through so apologies for the incomplete notes.

Summary = vCD 1.0 to 1.5 is not for the faint of heart, can involve a good bit of downtime, and was a serious effort even for VMware staff with direct access to just about anyone inside VMware.

Update: so it turns out Chris has a four part series on this on his weblog….go here for part 1. Oddly enough, he’s just a wee bit more comprehensive than my notes below. 😉 (although my notes do emphasize what jumped out to me + some audience questions/responses). Read both basically…

More after the jump…

  • Phase 1 Key Takeaways
    • Downtime is required – all cells must be shut down.
      • Mandatory for db upgrade.
      • Use Cell Management Tool to quiesce tools
    • Need time sync everywhere.
    • Chargeback should be stopped at various points.
    • Backup all db’s concurrently before each upgrade.
    • vCloud Connector 1.0 isn’t support with vCD 1.5
    • Use VMware snapshots on the vCloud Cell and vCenter management VMs before upgrade for rollback (vShield Manager)
    • Don’t deploy new vShield Manager .OVA – use the upgrade tar.
    • Upgrade chargeback last.
    • New license for vShield 5.0 is required – be sure to apply them!
    • Don’t delete existing OVA and setup new one…you’ll lose a very important MySQL database.
  • Phase 1 Timeline – could be 2 hours in perfect world….but it took them 1-2 weeks realistically.
  • Phase 2 Key Takeaways
    • Can use vCenter Heartbeat to fail over vCenter, upgrade one side, fail it back, upgrade other – vCloud director doesn’t go down at all.
    • Stop Chargeback services as it talks to vCenter
    • Stop vCloud cells during the vCenter upgrade.
    • 1.5 Cell Management tool commands are different than 1.0.01
      • Seemed to not return values w/using SSh but does with console.
      • Need the “cell” argument, switches are the same.
    • Follow all vCenter KB articles available for supported items.
    • Ensure all hosts are still showing “prepared” after upgrade.
      • 1.0 and 1.5 the agent installer is different. In 1.5 it’s DIB-based, 1.0 is the old one.
    • Custom roles created for service accounts gets updated.
    • New license for vSphere 5
    • “Refresh” required in vCloud Director
    • Cisco Nexus 1000 upgrade is unclear at this point.
  • Phase 3 Key Takeaways
    • Requires no more downtime to the users.
    • Third-party agents may need to be removed before upgrading.
    • Use Update Manager if possible.
      • Will try to remove the 3rd party agents but sometimes doesn’t remove them all.
    • Can be done over time but will mean mixed environment.
      • Not supported permanently but is supported temporarily for upgrade.
  • Phase 4 – Networking, Tools, Virtual Hardware.
    • Don’t do this phase until everything is ESXi 5.0
    • N1KV upgrade is unknown when to put into the process.
    • Tools before virtual hardware – same as always.
    • VMFS-5 upgrade doesn’t change block size – same as always.
    • DISABLE Storage DRS
    • Fast Provisioning per Org vDC – may need new design considerations.
    • vApp owners can update tools and hardware themselves.
    • Ensure the vApps in the catalog are also redeployed and upgraded.

Can’t go from Oracle to SQL during upgrade — if started out with Oracle, have to do a new cloud to get to SQL.

Asking if should avoid N1KV (my question) – Not a “bad” on N1KV but just didn’t do it. Also a lot of customers on vCD 1.0 didn’t use N1KV as N1KV didn’t support VCDNI.

Asking if can enable Storage DRS but manually (my question) – being very cautious so saying no but will check with Denneman and blog about it.

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