Posts Tagged “upgrade”

OK, that was easy.  click click upgrade done.

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Been a while since I upgraded something so I spent some time friday evening (wooo the excitment) upgraded my ESXi 3.5 system to the 4.0 release.  The upgrade was pretty easy and straight-forward with the instructions on vm-help.com.  Fortunately, VMWare makes the vSphere client and updata utility an easy download now so you can skip the steps about manually extracting it from the ESXi 4.0 upgrade file before starting.  Remember to backup your virtual machines just to be on the safe side.

The next upgrades now will be Wordpress 2.8 (easy!) and upgrade to Fedora 11 (not too hard).  Stay tuned!

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To keep the upgrade theme going, now that my old Windows server is free, I’ll be rebuilding that Dell P4-1.5Ghz system as a newer MediaPortal system.  I’ve been running an old version of MediaPortal (but it was current at the time!) for well over a year now.  It has been the best addition to my home theatre centre ever!  Currently, it is running on an 8+ year old P3-1000 system that used to be my main computer many years ago and then was Eva’s main computer until she got her iMac.  It has been doing well for MediaPortal but the time has come to update the software and add a little more horsepower to the system as well so that I can run some newer plug-ins like Moving Pictures which are more graphically rich than most plug-ins.  Hopefully with the extra horsepower, I can get back in to building my MAME system for home.  The P3-1000 system didn’t quite cut it for running MAME and handling the Bluetooth Wii remote controllers.

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Might as well keep the upgrades rolling so Wordpress is now up to date at the current version of 2.7.1.  Smooth and easy upgrade with no significant problems.  It’s pretty nice having a quick and responsive web server for a change!

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My server upgrade is near the end now.  Following up to my previous two problems encountered… To solve problem #2, I simply made the shelf a bit bigger.  There really are not many problems that can’t be fixed without a hammer.  In this case, a hammer and a chisel.  Here’s the modified server rack:

Here’s the complete server rack with all the goodies (cable modem, network switch, wireless router, UPS and MediaPortal PC with a 1 terabyte USB drive attached:

As for the problem with the blog, my initial suspicions seem to have been correct.  After disabling the WP SuperCache plug-in, everything stayed stable for a couple of days instead of this blog getting hung up once or twice a day.  I’ll try tuning the plug-in to use a different file-locking method to hopefully avoid the lock-ups and/or maybe I’ll upgrade to Wordpress 2.7.1 to see if that helps.  I’ve been meaning to upgrade Wordpress anyways…  On the bright side, disabling WP SuperCache isn’t so bad because the ESXi web server is so much more powerful than the old server that serving the Wordpress pages dynamically is actually fairly responsive on the new system.  On the old system, dynamic pages were horrificly slow unless I served static cached pages.   I still think caching is a good idea overall so I’ll keep working on it.

I also upgraded ESXi to Update 4.  This was a total no-brainer.  All you need to do is use the VMWare Infrastructure Update client that comes with the VMWare Infrastructure client (make sure to select the Update client during the install!) and the Update client does everything.  Reboot and ESXi is updated.  Updating the VMWare tools on the guest systems is a breeze too.

I like when updates and upgrades go well!

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I migrated my physical Windows Server 2003 from native to virtual using the excellent VMWare Converter 4.  No issues at all.  Just remember to stop any important services before starting the conversion, i.e.: Exchange and remember to configure the new VMWare network device in the guest after the conversion is complete.  Not much else to say when everything works just perfectly!

Migrating the Windows server and Linux server to ESXi were both a breeze.  I’ve found two problems so far:

1) My blog (this site) seems to lock-up every so often (once or twice a day) requiring Apache to be restarted.  Not sure if this has anything to do with VMWare since everything else on the system is fine and other web sites are served fine…it’s just my blog that is stuck.  Seems that Apache starts eating up a whole bunch of virtual memory as well so it may be some wierd deadlock issue.  Of course right after moving the Linux server to ESXi, I updated a few Wordpress plug-ins right away so it’s a bit hard to pin-point the problem.  I’ll have to investigate a little more and find the solution.  Might have to update to Wordpress 2.7.1 if it turns out to be a compatibility issue.

2) When I was going to put the server in my basement corner “computer shelf”, turns out the case didn’t quite fit.  The previous Dell computer case is a bit smaller and fit in just fine.  I might need to make the shelf a slight bit more spacious with a hammer and chisel…

Well, aside from the blog/lockup problem, this has probably been the easiest server upgrade ever.  Usually when I change around server hardware, I have to re-install the OS from scratch, reconfigure everything, run both systems in parallel for a bit, blah blah blah, total pain in the butt.  Virtualizing the environment with ESXi has been clean, fast, easy AND I still have the capacity to add more virtual machines to the server for OS upgrades, testing and whatever else I can think of.

ESXi rocks!

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The web server is now running on the much more powerful ESXi system.  It seems faster to me but I have the advantage of browsing on the local network.  Any of you Internet people see a boost in performance?

I’ll post some tricks I learned about migrating a Linux virtual machine from VMWare Server to ESXi soon.

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The web site will be down for a bit tomorrow morning as I move the virtual machine from a cruddy Dell running Windows as the host OS to a much more powerful AMD 3800+ dual-core system running VMWare ESXi.  ESXi is pretty slick!  I tested migrating the virtual machine from one system to another and everything was working.  Tomorrow is the big day when hopefully this blog gets a little more oomph in it!

Here’s a picture of the new server while ESXi was being installed:

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