Hopefully this helps people save a lot of time.
If you no longer see your VMware host in vCenter after you upgrade the host and you are using the cisco 1000v make sure your vCenter database has rows for that allow the version of your Host server. We found that the only hosts that were allowed via the database were the original host version 4.1 thus we could not see the hosts under the 1000v distributed switch screen in vCenter until we added the rows and rebooted vCenter.
You need to add rows to this vCenter database table: VPX_DVS_COMPATIBLE
And you will need to look up the ID to enter in the first column of the above table in this table for the cisco 1000v switch: VPX_DVS
When you first open the VPX_DVS_COMPATIBLE table you will probably only see rows for the old versions of you host like this
ID of distributed switch Description Version
###### embeddedEsx 4.1+
###### esx 4.1+
You will need to add rows for the versions you want to be able to connect to your cisco 1000v distributed switch, so copy add the new rows with the versions you need. The lines will have the same data as above but with version different versions:5.0+, 5.1+, 5.5+
Example for version esxi 5.1
###### embeddedEsx 5.1+
###### esx 5.1+
We saw a message about a metadata error a few times while trying to upgrade as well as reload hosts. We upgraded VIBs and VEMs on the host and verified many setting for to many hours before finding a reference to
We thought we did not have the correct licensing for the cisco 1000v, so we thought about changing to the free version of the cisco 1000v. We upgraded from vCenter 4.1 to vCenter 5.5 which is not recommended when you have the cisco 1000v in the environment. And the VMware updgrade simply does not update their database to support the newer esxi version thus the hosts do not show up under the distributed switch for the cisco 1000v until you add the rows above to the vCenter database.
Here are some of the steps we take to upgrade hosts:
Disconnected host from vDS in networking tab in vCenter
Go to host view in vcenter, configuration, security settings, enable SSH manually start
Then you can putty into the host
Deleted VEM/VIB from host (vem-remove –d); then exit; stop SSH service in vcenter (need to do this because when tried to upgrade without deleting VIB it gave error that VIB was conflicting and installer would not continue – no force migrate option like when went from 4.1 to 5.0)
Shut down host and use DVD to upgrade it to 5.5 (use upgrade, preserve datastore option)
Reconnect host in vcenter
Add Host to vDS in networking — This process automatically scanned host and invoked VUM to install VDS module on host, installed & remediated – all automatically!
Then went back to Host and VUM, scanned again, and installed 18 patches, which required a reboot
Exit Maintenance mode