Jsut a quick one. I am going to upgrade my 2 physical ESXi 5.0 servers to 5.1. I have vSphere 5 isntalled onto a VM (I run the Essentials Plus kit) from which I have been administering the vmware environment successfully. My ESXi 5.0 hosts are all patched and up to date and I am comfortable with using the update manager to stage and remidiate those host patches.....but I'm not 100% sure on the process of upgrading to 5.1 :)

After some reading I am assuming that I need to download the full 5.1 ESXi install and 'upgrade' my hosts by attaching that image file into Upgrade Manager - correct? I think thats how I've read it, but confirmation would be nice....as would a few pointers ;)

Also, my physical hosts are Dell R710's....when I installed ESXi 5.0 onto them I just used the standard ESXi 5.0 installer from vmWare - is ther ea 5.1 iso image from Dell for the R710 and should I be using that over the vmware 5.1 package??

Any tips and advice is, as per usual, greatly appreciated ;)

Cheers :)


I could not find a Dell image for 5.1 - we just used the offical VMware images.

Basically what you've outlined is correct (I'm re-writing this from memory, so let me know if the steps are a tad off):

  1. Update Manager > ESXi Images
  2. Upload your ESXi image
  3. Create an upgrade baseline
  4. When prompted, select the ESXi image
  5. Remediate the upgrade as you would any other update
  6. Heed all warnings that it presents you with. You will need to force it to upgrade the mismatching images, as the new image won't have all the Dell stuff in it

One thing that I wish I had found out before the vSphere 5.1 upgrade is that VMWare Converter cannot connect to 5.1 instances, and VMWare show absolutally no interest in fixing this bug - you can either use an older version of VMWare Converter (if you're trying to migrate from Hyper-V to ESXi like we are, then the older versions won't connect to the latest Hyper-V) or you can wait it out, or do a local P2V and then upload the image via the datastore manager.?

Turns out there is a VMWare Converter 5.1 beta released a week ago.

  • Cheers for the response, I'll probably go ahead with it in the next day or two. I will report back with my results. Cheers guys ;) – vlannoob Mar 20 '13 at 22:52

In addition to the answer Mark provided, you'll want to upgrade your vCenter Server before you upgrade your hosts. Here's a document that provides details on the upgrade process:


  • Already upgraded my vCentre and Client - although I cannot use the 5.1 client until ESXi gets upgraded to 5.1 ... so I am 'ready to roll' as it were. – vlannoob Mar 20 '13 at 22:51

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