I decided to upgrade my home lab. My home lab is based on Virten excellent write up on using Intel NUC’s 5th generation series in a Lab scenario. I have 2 of the NUC5i5MYHE configured with 1 – 64GB M.2 SSD, 1 – 16GB PCI SSD, 2 – 8GB DDR3L RAM modules using the single 1GB NIC which I have configured 3 VLAN’s, 1 for public access, 1 for vMotion, and 1 for NFS to my Synology DS414 which is where all my VM’s sit.
Overall the ESXi upgrade process was seamless, I created a new USB thumb drive from the ISO. After migrating all my VM’s to the other node I was able to put the machine into maintenance mode I perform a reboot. The machine rebooted to the installer where I was able to upgrade my 6.0 installation to 6.5. I noticed that this time I did not experience any of the Initializing IOV issues I had in the past. In fact, after I upgraded the other node I checked both ESXi hosts in the boot.cfg and the noIOMMU setting had been removed from both systems.
I also needed to upgrade my vCenter installation as 6.0 doesn’t work with 6.5 ESX hosts, this too was a simple process for my lab. It was nice to see installers for Linux and MacOS, I decided to stick with the default windows installer. I launched the installer answered a few basic questions gave it the credentials it required and hit next. The installer began Stage 1 which consisted of deployed a new VM and installed all the necessary RPM packages. For Stage 2 it began by performing Pre-upgrade checks, turns out the Synology driver from the community isn’t compatible with vCenter 6.5 so I got a warning. Clicking close allowed my to proceed with selecting which data I wanted to migrate from vCenter 6 to 6.5. Since this was my Lab I didn’t want any data except Configuration as I’ve been testing a lot lately. I also chose to use DHCP for the newly created machine. Once the data was migrated Stage 2 shutdown my old vCenter instances and reconfigured my new machine with the existing IP address and I was presented with completion summary with URL’s to my new vCenter.
I realize my environment is small as I only have 15 VM’s on 2 hosts, so your mileage may vary but I wanted to share my experience in hopes it can help you. Certainly, if you are struggling with IOV issues trying ESXi 6.5 may be the solution to your problems.