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Full virtualization and storage stack upgrade

Hello all.

 

I'm planning a complete software upgrade of our virtualization + storage stack.

 

We have a 6 hosts ESXi cluster, a 4 nodes FAS8040 MCC as our main storage, and a FAS2240 for online backups (snapvault).

We're currently running vSphere 5.5, cDOT 8.3.2 and VSC 4.2.2.

We want to jump to vSphere 6.5, cDOT 9.1/9.2 and VSC 7.1.

 

vCenter Server and VSC are both running on the same Windows Server 2012 R2 VM.

We stayed on vSphere 5.5 for so long because we kept pushing back the move to the dreadful vSphere web client.

 

Currently, the planned steps are :
- Upgrade VSC 4.2.2 to VSC 6.2.1 on the vCenter VM (because 4.2.2 won't support anything beyond our current setup)
- Upgrade vCenter 5.5 (VM) to vCSA 6.5 (new vApp). Reconfigure VSC.
- Upgrade VSC 6.2.1 (VM) to VSC 7.1 (new vApp). Kill the old vC+VSC VM.
- Upgrade ESXi hosts to ESXi 6.5
- Upgrade cDOT on FAS nodes (first FAS2240 => 9.1 then FAS8040 => 9.2)

 

I expect the first 2-3 steps do be conducted in a short timeframe, so that the admin team can move completely from the vSphere C# Client to the web client.

Then we might delay the ESXi + cDOT updates until we're confident enough to move forward.


Questions:

1) Does it sound like a plan ? Would you order or plan this otherwise?
2) Is VSC 7.1 the best integration option for vSphere on NetApp storage? Should we also/instead start looking into SnapCenter?