I took advantage of the VMware Enterprise Plus free upgrade to vCloud Suite Standard. This upgrade would give me the benefits of being able to make use of vCloud as well as vCNS products in my environment. But before I started the install I had to plan the install, and this produced a long list of software to gather and download.
1. The VMware vCloud Suite Standard bits
vSphere Data Protection
vSphere Storage Appliance
Cisco Nexus 1000V (when it becomes free)
vCloud Networking and Security
2. The VMware View bits 3. The HP Systems Insight Manager bits
A set of three DVDs
4. The HP Blade firmware updates 5. The HP Blade enclosure firmware updates
Since I am reinstalling or upgrading each blade with a new version of vSphere it is the perfect time to also update all the firmware on the blades and blade enclosures. How, often do you reboot your blades to do these sometimes critical updates? For me, only when I have a problem or am afforded the time via such an upgrade. This is my 8th (ESX 2.1 -> 2.5 -> 3.0 -> 3.5 -> 4.0 -> 4.1 -> 5.0 -> 5.1) such upgrade and I always take the time to do firmware and other hardware upgrades.
Managing the upgrade process requires a plan and my plan is as follows:
Read the vCenter/vSphere/vCloud/vCNS upgrade documentation for hardware or system requirement changes such as firmware
Read the third party software I use to monitor the environment for upgrade requirements
Upgrade HP Insight Manager
Upgrade vCenter + plugins, etc.
Upgrade vShield Manager
Upgrade vCloud Director
Upgrade VMware View
Next issues upgrading HP Insight Manager