In November 2012, Dell introduced a refresh of their HIT/VE (Host Integration Tookit/Virtual Edition) that came with the EqualLogic Array. The refresh would be called VSM (VIrtual Storage Manager).
During this time, I had several EqualLogic customers where we had implemented new arrays with the current Host Integration Appliance.
This appliance essentially manages the interaction with vSphere and your EqualLogic arrays via a vCenter Plugin or set of plugins pictured here (Please disregard the EMC and NetApp Plugins):
Within this plugin, users had the ability to deploy datastores across their vSphere hosts within vCenter or to create Smart Copy local and Smart Copy Replication schedules between multiple appliances/arrays at disparate sites for offsite recovery and protection.
Some of these schedules, depending on the size of the vSphere environment, could be very large and detailed, with different protection schemes setup for the types of applications.
When the new Virtual Storage Manager appliance came onto the scene in November 2012, there was some confusion both internally at Dell and the partner Community on an upgrade path to the VSM appliance. I had several calls into EqualLogic support and asked for documentation and was not comfortable at the answers I was given. Most said there wasn’t an upgrade path from HIT/VE to VSM as it was an entirely new database etc. On top of that, the documentation is not clear. To this day, it states that you can upgrade and then provides a note at the bottom of the VSM Installation guide that this does not apply going from HIT/VE to VSM?
I decided to escalate within EQL support, and finally spoke to a Support Engineer who was in the know, entirely.
The fact is, you CAN upgrade from HIT/VE to VSM AND retain the Smart Copy Snapshots and Smart Copy Replicas as well as the schedules. Here is the upgrade process in order:
1. Unregister the current HIT/VE from vCenter.
2. Backup the current Database from within the DCUI on the appliance itself and connect to the UNC path of the db within the directions in the DCUI.
3. Take a vSphere based snap of the appliance.
4. Download the latest VSM appliance from the EqualLogic support page.
5. Mount the .iso to the HIT Appliance.
6. From the main menu, choose to upgrade appliance.
7. After it reboots it will reregister with the new VSM appliance and you should now see this plugin:
8. Validate that all the Schedules and Smart Copies are intact.
9. Delete the vSphere Snapshot.
10. Delete the db backup.
Here is a link to the VSM installation guide. See page 13 for the upgrade details. Of course you will need your EQL support login info to access this page: https://eqlsupport.dell.com/support/download_file.aspx?id=1967&langtype=1033
There ya have it. Very simple process and if something happens, you can call EqualLogic support and you’ll have the db backup at your disposal to recover from.