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New Member

nexus 1000v and vCenter 4 to 5 upgrade/migration

Bear with me a bit while I try to get the details of this upgrade laid out. I have read all the KB's and blog posts and I'm still unclear on some of the phases of the process. Here is the plan in place right now:

Current Systems

  1. vCenter 4.0 32bit
  2. 1000v VSMs
  3. 12 ESX hosts on 4.0
    1. standard vSwitches for management and vCenter access, these are on dedicated gigabit NICs
    2. Nexus 1000v VEM with port profiles for all our hosted VMs, these are on separate CNAs

Where this is going

  1. vCenter 5.0 on a new VM, keeping existing SQL db
  2. 1000v VSMs disconnected from old vCenter, re-connected to new vCenter
  3. 12 ESX hosts kept at 4.0, reconnected to new vCenter 5.0, will be upgraded in phase 2
    1. no change to standard vSwitches
    2. Nexus 1000v VEM modules need to re-connect to VSM on new vCenter

There's no real all-in-one doc for how to do this, so here's what I've been able to piece together based on KBs, blogs and forum posts

  1. verify all 1000v VEM and VSMs are on latest version
  2. power off VM's that rely on 1000v port profile/vDS, migrate them to a standard vSwitch
  3. remove any other configs dependent on 1000v (vmotion, FT ports)
  4. disconnect all VEMs from VSM, verify no registraitons are on the VSM
  5. disconnect VSM from vCenter 4.0
  6. perform upgrade/migration of vCenter 4.0 to vCenter 5.0
  7. move one host over to vCenter 5, make sure VSMs are on that host
  8. re-register VSM with vCenter 5.0
  9. install VEM on host, verify VSM has the correct port profiles for packet, control, management
  10. begin re-attaching hosts to vCenter 5.0
  11. re-register hosts with the 1000v, redeploying VEM
  12. reconfigure ports for vmotion and FT
  13. verify VMs have correct port profile, power on VMs

Am I in the ballpark or is there a better/easier way that may not require me to shut down every VM? I would appreciate ANY feedback or comments on this as I'm pretty much flying solo in the planning and execution of this upgrade.


Cisco Employee

nexus 1000v and vCenter 4 to 5 upgrade/migration

Hi Dan,

You are on the right track. However you can perform some of these function "online".

First you want to ensure that you are running at a minimum, Nexus 1000v SV1(4a) as ESXi 5.0 only began support on this release. With SV1(4a), it provides support for both ESXi 5.0 and ESX/i 4.1.

Then you can follow the procedure documented here:

Upgrading from VMware Release 4.0/4.1 to VMware Release 5.0.0

This document walks you through upgrading your ESX infrastructure to VMware Release 5.0.0 when Cisco Nexus 1000V is installed. It is required to be completed in the following order:

1. Upgrade the VSMs and VEMs to Release 4.2(1)SV1(4a).

2. Upgrade the VMware vCenter Server to VMware Release 5.0.0.

3. Upgrade the VMware Update Manager to VMware Release 5.0.0.

4. Upgrade your ESX hosts to VMware Release 5.0.0 with a custom ESXi image that includes the VEM bits.

Upgrading the ESX/ESXi hosts consists of the following procedures:

–Upgrading the vCenter Server

–Upgrading the vCenter Update Manager

–Augmenting the Customized ISO

–Upgrading the ESXi Hosts

There is also a 3 part video highlighting the procedure to perfrom the last two steps above (customized ISO and upgrading ESXi hosts)

Video: Upgrading the VEM to VMware ESXi Release 5.0.0

Hope that helps you with your upgrade.



New Member

Re: nexus 1000v and vCenter 4 to 5 upgrade/migration


Would the procedure you recommended not require any downtime? I'm assuming no since the ESXi hosts will be upgraded through VUM with the VEM bits.

Cisco Employee

Re: nexus 1000v and vCenter 4 to 5 upgrade/migration


If done correctly the upgrade should not cause any downtime because you are correct the VEM's will be individually put into maintenance mode and upgraded 1 at a time.

However,  a maintenance window is always recommended in the case that an issue does occur.  You do not want to come across an issue in production.

You will be performing an upgrade of the entire environment and should plan accordingly.


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