Some 4 years ago we got the free vSphere Hypervison 5.0 (ESXi) directly from the VMWare for installation on a donated IBM x3650 M3 server. Basically, we are novices in both IBM server management as well as vSphere, but somehow we managed to install this thing and throw in some 5 VMs. We also installed the free license and all went fine. With upgrading over the last years, server is now on vSphere 5.1 update 1.
After having to examine a possible disk fault on the disk mirror, we updated the various firmware of the box. In the process though, we discovered that IBM provides versions of vSphere/ESXi that include customizations for its server systems (see http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/x/os/vmware/ ).
The questions here are:
- Can one upgrade from the "vanilla" vSphere 5.1 update 1, to the equivalent IBM version without reinstalling from scratch?
- If it can be done, are there any documentation on how to go about it? Is it a safe procedure?
- Finally, will this change void the license key of the free version we are using?
Thank you in advance for any info provided.