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Question: Dell PowerEdge T310 + ESXi 6.5 or 6.7

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aclarke_31    1

Long time watcher, long time poster (been a while since I commited the forums)

 

Can someone help me out with this query.

 

I'm looking to upgrade my internal flash memory stick of my ESXi host from 5.0.0 to 6.5 or even 6.7.

 

I'm currently running a Dell PowerEdge T310, but I'm pretty certain that VMWare don't support running 6.5 or 6.7 on the T310 series.

 

Does this mean that I can't purchase a licence from Ebay and install this on my server.

 

I'm wondering if it possible for me to actually install this, but have no support from VMWare for the server and its installation (yea I can understand thats a bummer) but I can only see my ESXi host upgrading to a maximum of version 5.5 (with support from VMWare if required)

 

To generalize this question is someone running an older server with a newer version of ESXi host?

 

Thank for your support as always guys. Love this forum. :)

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aclarke_31    1

Surely I'm not the only person that's thought of this guys? It must be possible, even if not supported by VMWare. Someone must know?

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Mindovermaster    1,469

Not many people know about this.

 

Maybe @sc302 or @BudManwill know.

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aclarke_31    1

Thanks Mindovermaster. I'll wait to hear something from Birdman and sc302 as they've both helped me out with a project I was working on a few years back now. Cheers.

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Jason S.    1,370

According to their compatibility guide: "The detailed lists show actual vendor devices that are either physically tested or are similar to the devices tested by VMware or VMware partners."

 

and youre right, the T310 isnt supported, so it seems that it cannot physically run the software.

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aclarke_31    1

Thanks JasonS. I noticed that the T320 does support it, so I'm wondering if anyone has actually had a T310 and tried it (I know its a long shot, but maybe I should redirect my query to VMWare directly instead?). I'm tempted to backup my existing hypervisor's USB stick and try rewriting it with a version 6.7 hypervisor instead and seeing if that works.

 

Thank you for the support guys, but if Budman and sc302 come back and let me know their thoughts as well, I'd be very greatful.

 

Thanks :)

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Jason S.    1,370

i suppose you could try it w/ another copied USB stick which wouldnt affect the original

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Ragefriar    4

Really depends on what CPU you are running.  Best bet is to look at the CPU compatibility charts:  https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?b=1537103058230

In short, it's not the model of server that will determine if it will run, but what's in the server.  Eg. Just this weekend I installed the Dell Customised EXI 6.7 ISO on a online.net rented server.
Officially, ESXI support dried up at v5.0, but it's ancient but still supported E3 1220v2 meant the install of 6.7 went without an issue.
I have a similarly ancient PowerEdge R610 in the garage (that I migrated to the rented server, due to mind-blowing electricity bills), that houses dual Xeon 5150's.  They are on the compatibility
matrix up to ESXI 6.5, and no matter what I did, upgrade to 6.7 failed due to incompatible processors.  Similarly, I have a HP box that will only go to 5.5, again due to incompatible processors.

 

My advice would be to upgrade to 5.5, which I suspect will run without a hitch.  Then upgrade to 6.5, then 6.7.  If at any point you hit an incompatibility issue, the installer will tell you
and will stop, leaving you on whatever version you were installing from.

 

You certainly wont break your existing install by attempting the upgrade.

 

Upgrading is simple too:

 

SSH to server to upgrade - I used the below commands to upgrade from 6.5 to 6.7.  This wont install any customized build, which I did later, straight to 6.7, but installs VMWares standard image.

 

>   esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient    # Opens firewall to allow web access out
>   esxcli software sources profile list -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml | grep ESXi-6.7   # Displays available 6.7 versions
>   esxcli software profile update -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml -p ESXi-6.7.0-8169922-standard   # Installs latest standard 6.7
>   reboot

 

Change the grep ESXi-6.7 to whichever version you want to install, and always select the ESXi-x.y-zzzzzzz-standard image.  By using 'esxcli software profile update' you will preserve any custom drivers you may have installed (or if you originally used a custom build), so drivers for any weird NIC's or RAID cards you have will remain, and not hinder the upgrade.

 

And if you want to install the lastest patches for your installed version:

 

>   esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient    # Opens firewall to allow web access out
>   esxcli software vib update -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml   # Patches whatever is installed
>   reboot

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Ragefriar    4

And to answer your original question, if the server will run 6.7, there's nothing stopping you buying a 6.7 license to run on it.  Licencing is completely seperate to support.  You'll licence the server fine, however if you require support, based on experience, VMware will be happy to help if it's a simple issue, however if they have to start digging, they'll point at the kit not on the compatibility list, and make lots of sucking though teeth sounds, and finally tell you they won't help.

 

In short, you can licence the server, but support will be from the internet.

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aclarke_31    1

@Ragefriar What about if I took JasonS' advice and installed to a separate USB stick a vanilla copy of 6.5. Would this work and allow me to get around the problem? Thanks.

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Ragefriar    4

Yup, would work fine, tho like said, doing an upgrade wont hurt either.

 

If you have a spare USB, I'd get the range of Dell Customised images:

 

Latest 6.7:  https://www.dell.com/support/home/uk/en/ukbsdt1/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=WKNX1

Latest 6.5 U2:  https://www.dell.com/support/home/uk/en/ukbsdt1/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=F6DPM

Latest 5.5 U3:  https://www.dell.com/support/home/uk/en/ukbsdt1/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=PCM02

 

Start with 6.7 and if you get compatibility issues, try 6.5

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Ragefriar    4

And of course, it would be remiss of me not to suggest you have a full backup before you try anything!

 

Not that I listen to my own advice, but, erm.....  Yup.....

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+BudMan    3,182

What is official supported and what runs is two completely different things.  I was running 6.5 on old N40L HP microserver without any issues.  Only reason I didn't run 6.7 on it was I had moved away from esxi before it came out.. I now run my pfsense on hardware, and the few VMs I need I just run on the synology nas I picked up as replacement for the OLD n40l.. The n40l is still running - but its just running 2k12r2 native on the hardware so can continue to use stablebit drivepool to make use of my older disks in a pool as backup/temp storage.

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aclarke_31    1

Star. Thanks Ragefriar. I did check the CPU compatibility guide on VMWares website and the Clarksdale series (which I'm fairly sure I'm running) does support ESXi 6.5. so I'm hoping to get away with that version.

 

I'm pretty sure I'm running an X3430 Xeon @ 2.4ghz. Only running 8gig of Ram but I'm stepping that up to 32 for VMing very shortly.

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aclarke_31    1

@Ragefriar. I took a complete Datastore backup of my ESXi to my 2tb HDD last night just to be sure.

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Ragefriar    4

Best of luck buddy.

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aclarke_31    1

Props to Budman and Ragefriar for the support. Will post an update when I've managed to install the 6.5 update to a USB stick and boot it via the server. Fingers crossed it all goes well.

 

Thanks again guys. Saving me some bacon :-)

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sc302    1,537

Need to check the dell support site.  They will have the image for VMware for that server.  It will have the correct drivers slip streamed in.   You can call dell support if you want, they may help with identifying the correct file if you don’t want to spend the 120 seconds to figure it out. 

 

I woukd not advise going going with a newer version than what they have for their server in their site, it may not have all of the correct drivers needed. Though you can try. 

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aclarke_31    1

@Ragefriar I've got SSH enabled on the host and am trying to upgrade to 5.5 first, but the "https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml" file when "grepping" the file to look for version 5.5 doesn't come back with any response so I can't select which file to update too.

 

Someone help :P Thanks lol

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aclarke_31    1

Might be easier just trying to do a clean install of version 6.5. I've got the iso's but there no clear instructions on clean installing to 6.5, unless I'm blind.

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aclarke_31    1

Ok I burned the ISOs to a DVD this morning and am currently going through an installation of 6.5 despite the warning that in the future my CPU may become unsupported, it didn't say that I couldn't install, so fingers crossed.

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aclarke_31    1

I've upgraded my ESXi server to 6.5 thanks to the support of the guys on here. Thank you very much guys. Greatly appreciated support as always. If you have any recommendations as to how to make best use of this new server, I'd be grateful, otherwise I'll just build up my home lab which I've been wanting to do for a while now.

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sc302    1,537

home lab sounds like a great use for that...or boat anchor.  

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+BudMan    3,182
1 hour ago, sc302 said:

or boat anchor

Heheh - yeah prob good choice.. T310 came out what couple of years before my OLD n40l ;)

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aclarke_31    1

Yea I'm running on dated kit, but I've got my own virtualized environment which I'm happy with, so that's the main thing. Just got to develop it now and take it further.

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