I upgraded my main test ESXi host today from ESXi 4.1 to version 5. The process was pretty straight forward and I haven’t found any quirks yet. It took around 15 minutes in total including downloading the ISO and burning it.

Whats new in vSphere 5

What’s New in vSphere 5.0 – VMware

What’s new in vSphere 5 (Part 1) – virtualizationadmin.com

What’s new in vSphere 5 (Part 2) – virtualizationadmin.com

You can download the ESXi 5 ISO below (login needed as usual), the version 5 free licenses aren’t showing yet so this update will put you into a 60 day evaluation mode.

Edit 26/08/11 – The VMware website is now showing ESXi 5 Licenses

Download – https://www.vmware.com/tryvmware/p/activate.php?p=free-esxi&lp=1

Host running 4.1

Burn the ISO to CD, insert into the host and boot from CD-ROM, follow the on screen instructions

For most people upgrading the first option will be most suitable

Click here to learn how to upgrade VMware tools.