VMware Workstation 14 Upgrade in my lab

As many of you know, VMware released the newest version of their Windows-based type-2 hypervisor also known as VMware Workstation 14.  Here is a link to the release notes.  I decided to roll through the upgrade in my lab and show how simple it was!

First, a little bit about how I use VMware Workstation in my lab.  I have two main environments.  One environment consists of three HP Proliant DL360 G7 hosts.  All internal disk is dedicated to my vSAN datastore that the bulk of my lab runs on.  I also have an older ReadyNAS Duo NAS that I use for ISO’s.  The second environment is running on my desktop on VMware Workstation 12.5.

My Windows 10 desktop is an older white box build that has a few internal SSD’s and SATA drives.  That is the PC running VMware Workstation.  I typically only have a single VM running on my Workstation host.  Right now, it is a single VM running VMware ESXi 6.0.  On that ESXi host, there are only two VM’s running inside.  Since I do a lot of testing with Veeam, I run FreeNAS in a VM, as well as an HPE StoreVirtual VSA.

I use the FreeNAS iSCSI datastore as a backup repository for Veeam, and the HPE StoreVirtual VSA to test Veeam’s capability to do backups from storage-based snapshots.  We have a 3PAR at work, but at least this lets me test the functionality!

I have an auto power-on script to power on my ESXi host within Workstation, and the host is set to auto-power on the FreeNAS and VSA VM’s.

Without further ado, let’s upgrade!

The first thing I had to do is to upgrade my license from Workstation 12 to Workstation 14.  I took care of that in my VMware portal.

Now, let’s download the binaries!  A link to the download is at:

Download either a Workstation for Windows or Linux version.  Just in case you didn’t know, VMware Workstation for MAC is actually called VMware Fusion and the download is located here.

Since I have a nested ESXi host as a VM in Workstation, I need to shut down my environment before I start the installer (as it will want to reboot my desktop running VMware Workstation.  I need to power off all VM’s using my HPE VSA and FreeNAS. followed by powering down the storage VM’s, and the ESXi VM on Workstation.  Now, I can…

Launch the installer

…and click all the default options unless your environment deviates from the norm.  When the installation is complete, you will see something like this.

Click License

…and take your shiny new Workstation 14 license and enter it here.

The installer will then have you perform a reboot.

After I log in to my desktop, my ESXi host automatically powers on due to the launcher I have configured.  It worked exactly the same as it did on Workstation 12.

Here is little about how to configure an auto-launch of a VM in VMware Workstation including the place to put a shortcut to VMware Workstation in Windows 10, and the command line options to launch a VM. I put them in a notepad doc so it was easier for you to see.

After I logged in, post upgrade, I went to grab a cup of coffee.  When I returned, my ESXi host was powered on, and the storage VM’s inside were up as well!

The basic idea is that all the virtual machine networking, bridges to my physical NIC’s in my desktop, and configuration items came over just fine.  That’s what I call a nice clean upgrade!


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