11 Replies Latest reply on May 17, 2012 8:02 PM by corndog

    vSphere Host Update Utility for ESXi 4.1

    wouterd Novice

       

      Hello,

       

       

      I upgraded several hosts using the VMware vSphere CLI (vihostupdate.pl) so they are running ESXi 4.1 build 26024.

       

       

      How can I update and install upcomming patches for these hosts?   The "old vSphere Host Update Utility 4.0"doesn't work anymore and in the new vSphere Client is no "vSphere Host update Utility" included.

       

       

      Best regards,

       

       

       

       

       

      Wouter

       

       

        • 1. Re: vSphere Host Update Utility for ESXi 4.1
          a.p. Guru
          vExpertCommunity WarriorsUser Moderators

          You will have to update/patch the hosts using vihostupdate as you did with upgrading.

          I really hope VMware will add the Host Update Utility again.

           

          André

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: vSphere Host Update Utility for ESXi 4.1
            mindragon Novice

            It is unlikely that VMWare will provide some of these utilities. Since Update 1 they have been turning off features that were useful in the free edition in order to force people to buy a licensed VSphere environment. They also significantly increased the price of the VSphere environment. Features that are no longer  include:

             

            • Ability to cold clone (even using third party utilities)

            • Ability to upgrade from 4.0 -> 4.1 using anything other than command line

            • Ability to easily patch 4.1 or newer releases

            • Any kind of third party remote management utility outside of CLI

            • Any kind of serious debug logging capabilities. If it crashes, their answer is "just reboot". If it crashes again their answer is, just "reboot it again". There is no way to retrieve logfiles between reboots without VSphere

             

            It is my guess that they will likely discontinue the VSphere GUI at this rate and force us all to use the command line to install and manage Virtual Servers on their free ESXi environment. In short, VMWare no longer cares about its' free users and would rather see them go away.

             

            J

            • 3. Re: vSphere Host Update Utility for ESXi 4.1
              DSTAVERT Guru
              User Moderators
              • Ability to cold clone (even using third party utilities)

              VMware provides a nice tool that allows HOT cloning. You are also free to use the Client datastore browser to copy off files from ESXi host. You can use William Lams ghettoVCB script to schedule clones of your virtual machines. There are also other free third party tools as well.

               

              • Any kind of serious debug logging capabilities. If it crashes, their answer is "just reboot". If it crashes again their answer is, just "reboot it again". There is no way to retrieve logfiles between reboots without VSphere

              Nothing preventing you from setting up a syslog server. It is even encouraged. You can move the log destination to a persistent datastore. You can script the retrieval of logs from the vMA or the cli tools.

               

              In short, VMWare no longer cares about its' free users and would rather see them go away.

               

              I would say this forum proves otherwise. The amount of free resources is staggering. The have also lowered the entry point for the Essentials license which provides a very powerful management platform.

              • 4. Re: vSphere Host Update Utility for ESXi 4.1
                J1mbo Virtuoso

                Essentials is now very cheap.  Obviously free-licensed is a loss-leader for vmware, they are naturally just trying to temp free users up to essentials or more.  For many SMEs in particular, a mixture of free and paid-licenses is something that makes the product compelling.

                 

                vmware need a single-socket home user license though that provides vCLI functionality at a sensible price for home labs, say $100, or better still a TechNet equivalent providing access to everything for non-production use.

                 

                 

                 

                http://blog.peacon.co.uk

                Please award points to any useful answer.

                • 5. Re: vSphere Host Update Utility for ESXi 4.1
                  EXPRESS Hot Shot

                  Anybody from VMware cares to comment on this?

                   






                  Thank you,

                  Express

                  • 6. Re: vSphere Host Update Utility for ESXi 4.1
                    Josh26 Master
                    mindragon wrote:

                    It is unlikely that VMWare will provide some of these utilities. Since Update 1 they have been turning off features that were useful in the free edition in order to force people to buy a licensed VSphere environment.

                     

                     

                    Angry much?

                    Your discussion is fairly irrelevant to the issue - Host Update utility was removed from ESXi 4.1, whether a customer is using the free edition, or the paid edition.

                    • 7. Re: vSphere Host Update Utility for ESXi 4.1
                      mindragon Novice
                      Josh26 wrote:
                      mindragon wrote:

                      It is unlikely that VMWare will provide some of these utilities. Since Update 1 they have been turning off features that were useful in the free edition in order to force people to buy a licensed VSphere environment.

                       

                      Angry much?

                      Your discussion is fairly irrelevant to the issue - Host Update utility was removed from ESXi 4.1, whether a customer is using the free edition, or the paid edition.

                       

                      My discussion is actually on point with this issue. If you are using the paid edition, you have VSphere that allows you to manage your ESXi servers and perform updates using a Graphical User Interface.

                       

                      If you are NOT using the paid edition, you now have to rely upon command line interfaces that are far less friendly and prone to error. Granted, I understand that this intentional breakage is so that VMWare can possibly collect more money from the user base, however something like a GUI base update tool shouldn't have to be a pay to use feature.

                       

                      In addition, their continued lockout of other vendors that offer utilities that rely upon the VMWare API is also disconcerting. In short, VMWare is slowly moving to a fully paid community based system and will, overtime, eliminate their free versions.

                       

                      I'm already exploring alternatives to VMWare that are friendlier because of this.

                       

                      MD

                      • 8. Re: vSphere Host Update Utility for ESXi 4.1
                        insanerobotdog Lurker

                         

                        There's also the esxupdate utility which is internal to ESXi.  You'll have to enable SSH into the host, but in 4.1 this is a toggle option under the new "Troubleshooting Options" on the console.

                         

                         

                        I was able to upgrade from 4.0 to 4.1 by downloading the zip file that you're supposed to be able to use with the Host Update Utility (side note, this is what that utility ends up calling anyhow to perform the updates).  Extract the archive and you'll find a bunch of files with a "vib" extention.  These are vSphere Installation Bundles.  I may be wrong but they look like Debian Packages.

                         

                        metadata.zip
                        upgrade_info.xml
                        vmware-esx-esxupdate-esxi-4.1.0-0.0.260247.i386.vib
                        *     vmware-esx-firmware-4.1.0-0.0.260247.i386.vib*
                        *     vmware-esx-tools-light-4.1.0-0.0.260247.i386.vib*

                         

                        You can make these available and pass URLs to esxupdate or you can upload them to your local datastore.

                         

                         

                        Then you can stage the update by passing each bundle as an option

                         

                        ~ # esxupdate -b /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/vib/vmware-esx-firmware-4.1.0-0.0.260247.i386.vib -b /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/vib/vmware-esx-esxupdate-esxi-4.1.0-0.0.260247.i386.vib -b /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/vib/vmware-esx-tools-light-4.1.0-0.0.260247.i386.vib stage
                        *     Unpacking vmware-esx-firmware-4.1.0-0.0.2.. ########################################################## *
                        *     Unpacking vmware-esx-esxupdate-esxi-4.1.0.. ########################################################## *
                        *     Unpacking vmware-esx-tools-light-4.1.0-0... ########################################################## *
                        *     Unpacking vmware-esx-firmware-4.1.0-0.0.2.. ########################################################## *
                        *     Unpacking vmware-esx-esxupdate-esxi-4.1.0.. ########################################################## *
                        *     Unpacking vmware-esx-tools-light-4.1.0-0... ########################################################## *

                         

                        and it won't really do anything except a dry-run on the unpack (which is ESXi does anyway.  There's no real concept of package management here, just file extraction.  Even in the initial install).

                         

                         

                        For the real installation the system will already need to be in Maintenance Mode or it will complain (I'm looking for a cli based way to do this that doesn't involve other scripts or utilities currently).

                         

                        ~ # esxupdate -b /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/vib/vmware-esx-firmware-4.1.0-0.0.260247.i386.vib -b /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/vib/vmware-esx-esxupdate-esxi-4.1.0-0.0.260247.i386.vib -b /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/vib/vmware-esx-tools-light-4.1.0-0.0.260247.i386.vib update
                        *     Encountered error MaintenanceModeError:*
                        *     The error data is:*
                        *        Message     - The following VIBs require this host to be in maintenance mode:*
                        *                      deb_vmware-esx-firmware_4.1.0-0.0.260247.  Please put the host*
                        *                      in maintenance mode to proceed.*
                        *        Errno       - 18*
                        *        Description - Maintenance mode is not enabled or could not be determined.*

                         

                        Once you're VMs are powered down and you're in maintenance mode, you can proceed with the actual update.  

                         

                        ~ # esxupdate -b /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/vib/vmware-esx-firmware-4.1.0-0.0.260247.i386.vib -b /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/vib/vmware-esx-esxupdate-esxi-4.1.0-0.0.260247.i386.vib -b /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/vib/vmware-esx-tools-light-4.1.0-0.0.260247.i386.vib update
                        *     Removing packages :vmware-esx-tools-light.. ########################################################## *
                        *     Installing packages :deb_vmware-esx-esxup.. ########################################################## *
                        *     Installing packages :deb_vmware-esx-firmw.. ########################################################## *
                        *     Installing packages :deb_vmware-esx-tools.. ########################################################## *
                        *     The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the*
                        *     changes to be effective.*

                         

                        Then reboot (either from the cli or VIClient) and you're gold.  When you come back up you'll still be in Maintenance Mode, so exit that and start up your VMs.

                         

                         

                        Hope this helps.

                         

                         

                        Adam

                         

                         

                        • 9. Re: vSphere Host Update Utility for ESXi 4.1
                          vduvernet Enthusiast

                          Hi,

                           

                          I have the same problem tonight.

                          On one of my laptop, the Update Utility was still installed despite of the new VIClient 4.1 installed so I've made a copy of :

                               C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\VIUpdate 4.0

                          on my new computer and it still works to update vSpehre 4.1

                           

                          ++

                          Vincent

                          • 10. Re: vSphere Host Update Utility for ESXi 4.1
                            SBAM Novice

                            I upgraded my ESXi 4.0 Update 2? standalone Host using the VMWare Go option. No CLI required. Checked for updates after the upgrade to 4.1 and the VMWare Go Web interface indicated I was up to date. I didn't believe the report as the Build Number didn't seem to jive with the 4.1 update 1. So I launched the vSphere Host Update Utility 4.0 (Previously installed with the ESXi 4.0 Client) and it indicated 8 Patches were available. I then proceeded to apply the patches and everything seemed to work flawlessly. I did experience an error message on the Host Update Utility after the automated reboot of the ESXi Host and simply relaunched the application. So it would appear the vSphere Host Update Utility 4.0 allows patches to 4.1 and you just can't use the utility to upgrade from 4.0 to 4.1. BTW the upgrade notes do not mention the option of using the go.vmware.com option for upgrading ESXi 4.0 to 4.1 but my experience indicates it is an option and it was accomplished with a couple of clicks.

                             

                            I experienced the same process that is documented here www.vm-help.com/esx41/Patching_4.1_with_the_host_update_utility.php with the Host Update Utility.

                             

                            Hope this helps. Unfortunately it leaves a couple of questions outstanding. Is the vSphere Host Update Utility 4.0 still a supported method for patching ESXi 4.1 Hosts and why did the Vmware Go site indicate my ESXi host was up to date when there were clearly newer patches & update 1 available.

                             

                            The vSphere Host Update Utility 4.0 now reports VMware ESXi 4.1.0 build-348481 & indicates Host is up-to-date.

                            • 11. Re: vSphere Host Update Utility for ESXi 4.1
                              corndog Novice

                              There are many other more legitimate ways VMWare could tempt people to go from free to pay.  But making updates more difficult is not one of them.

                               

                              No matter what sort of system you are running, it should always be easy to patch your hosts against flaws, exploits, or other problems.  Any move that makes it more difficult is a bad move.

                               

                              It's one of those "been away from the real world too long" things.  And it's one of the main reasons I'm actively switching to HyperV