Updating from ESXi 5.0 to 7.0?

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I have an ESXi server that I use for development VM’s, using the free license, because I don’t need any fancy VM management software.  I’m going to be upgrading the hardware soon to make a bit more room, and need to update the ESXi version to take advantage of the increased memory (moving from 32GB to 128GB).


Storage on the system is in the form of three hardware RAID volumes.  ESXi is installed on a RAID1 array, and two separate RAID10 arrays are used for VM storage.


What’s the best course of action to do an upgrade?


Is it feasible to upgrade in place from 5.0 to 6.0.0 U2, then to 6.7 U2, then to 7.0?  Do I need to somehow find these versions, or are they downloaded as part of the upgrade process?  Do I need to somehow get a license key for them?


Can I safely install 7.0 directly without wiping out my existing VM’s?  I’m aware this would require re-configuring the host itself, which isn’t a big deal.


I’ve already registered for the 7.0 key and have the ISO.


Thanks in advance for any help.

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