This usually works for me:
- Check the interoperability with all products (esxi, vmware tools,..) and its releases in your environment
- Lookup the migration path supported. The VMware weblink is on the interoperability web page.
- When it comes to esxi, lookup for the bits of your server hardware vendor esxi iso or offline bundle, and per migration step have a look to the release notes and to hardware (bios) prerequisites.
A migration of esxi6.5u1-to-6.7u3-only in one step is supported using the iso method. The naming convention of the latest VMware esxi offline bundle sets a requirement, first to accomplish a save update to 6.7, and then to update from 6.7 to 6.7u3.
Personally I didn‘t try to update from 6.5u1 to 6.7u3 using the offline bundle update method. However, updating from 6.5u2 to 6.7 on a Dell PE required to update the servers‘ bios first to the latest version before processing with esxi 6.7.
hope this helps.
I looked over the matrix and the upgrade is supported, but it doesn't specify if I can do it via the offline bundles versus the bootable iso. I fixed the dependency problems with 6.5U1 this evening and afterward I tried a dry-run of the 6.7 to 6.7U3 offline bundle and it said that it would install. Not sure if that means it will really work though. Also haven't investigated any bios issues yet. Did you upgrade your bios because the hardware compatibility site said it was necessary, or did you try the upgrade and it wouldn't take?
I ended up doing the upgrade via booting the iso image and doing the interactive upgrade, so I don't know whether or not the offline bundle would have worked.
For those reading this thread in the future as a reference, please be aware that if you do the upgrade via the iso image you are not offered any choices regarding keeping third party vibs (i.e. the difference between doing an "install" upgrade versus an "update" upgrade that you have the option of specifying if you do it via the CLI); all it asks is for you to identify the hard drive you want to install to and if there is an esxi installation on it whether you want to do an upgrade or a clean install. Also note that the nomenclature is different in the bootable iso versus the offline bundle. In the offline bundle CLI "install" versus "update" means deleting all third party vibs versus keeping them, whereas in the bootable iso image it means the difference between wiping your installation completely and starting from scratch versus updating your installation while keeping all third party vibs. As I said, it is apparently not possible to do an upgrade via the bootable iso and remove all third party vibs at the same time. If you want that you must either use the offline bundle and do it via the CLI, or use the CLI to manually remove third party vibs before booting the iso.
In my case I had already resolved the vib conflicts in my current installation before I booted the iso image, which involved removing the maclearn fling vib and removing and reinstalling the vmtools vib which was messed up as an artifact of a previous upgrade attempt a year ago. I still had one third party vib, a SCSI raid driver, which the bootable iso upgrade left alone.
I still would have preferred to use the offline bundle to do the upgrade because you can perform a dry-run to see what's going to happen before you do it, whereas the bootable iso image doesn't give you that option or tell you what it's doing. As I indicated in my initial post, the only reason I went this route is that the offline bundle indicated that it was only to be used for a 6.7 or 6.7u1 to 6.7u3 upgrade, and even though the dry-run of that offline bundle said it would successfully update my 6.5 installation, I didn't want to take the chance on trying it.
In my case the Dell server T710 bios 6.x technically wasn't compatible to run esxi 6.7. As the server is for home lab purposes only and not on the compatibility matrix anymore, I used the newer bios version 6.6 of the still supported rackmounted 710 model which bugfixed some Intel Xeon Processor 5600 Series stepping Microcode issues.
Beside the fact of self-supporting an old hardware, at that time there was no handydandy Dell sw toolchain tool for an offline bundle together with check&update hardware firmware/bios. The methodology to provide an offline bundle version and an .iso with more environment functionality of esxi and tools for hardware baseline setup analysis might lead to very useful data for a toolchain solution in the future. Operating system content should be versioned and integration tested together.