vSphere upgrade saga: Upgrading to vCNS 5.1



An upgrade of mythic proportions?


Last week in my vSphere upgrade saga, we covered upgrading HPSIM and vCenter 5.1. This week, it's on to vCNS 5.1.

vCNS 5.1 replaces vShield 5.1, and if you do not add new nodes during your installation, you can easily perform all upgrades without removing any components of vShield. vCNS upgrades will upgrade all components of vShield. (Unfortunately, the typical approach to upgrade did not work for me.)

Here's a step-by-step walkthrough of the process you should follow, with some notes from my experience.

1. Make a backup of all your vShield Edge and App rules. While you can backup the database it is now restorable within vShield Manager 5.1.x, so the way I did this was to cut-and-paste the setup screens into a word document. Include the following:

  • Configuration of each Edge Device (external and internal interfaces)

  • Rules for each Edge and App device

  • NAT (SNAT and DNAT) rules for each Edge Device

  • Static Routes for each Edge Device

  • Load Balancer, DHCP, and VPN settings for each Edge device

2. Create a vSphere Snapshot of your vShield Manager

3. Go into vShield Manager and use the upgrade mechanism within the web pages. My upgrade failed due to lack of disk space.

  • I mounted the virtual disk into a Linux VM and removed the previously copied dist file. This is NOT recommended unless you know exactly what you are doing. But this still did not free up enough space.

  • I attempted to upgrade from 5.0.0 to 5.0.2 first but ran into the same lack of disk space issues.

  • Solution was to instead upgrade to vCNS 5.1.1 using the information found in KB 2034699 which requires you to install a maintenance bundle to free up disk space, then perform the upgrade, backup your database, redeploy from OVA, and eventually restore from your previously saved DB. Before you redeploy from OVA, shut down your old vShield Manager and rename it to a unique name. This way if there is a problem you can always go back to the snapshot you made.

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