Just wondering what the easiest way to update to Update 4 is in a small enviroment (4-6 ESX4 servers) without update manager.
Also are the steps as follows:
Update vCenter4 to update1
Update each host to update1 ?
Yes, always update vCenter first, then update the hosts. If you have HP Servers, be sure to use Update 1A (http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1016070).
If you have ESXi, wait for a bit since U1 is going to be re-released due to a bug: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1016262
Why without UpdateManager? You have vCenter, so why don't you use Update manager too? Without it, you will have to manually update your hosts with the esxupdate command line tool or reinstall them.
See this thread for more infos on U1:
Is not clear if you mean 3.5 U4 or 4.0 U1. I suppose 4.0U1.
If you have vCenter Server then I suggest to implement VUM.
First step is always upgrade VC and his plugin.
Then you can use VUM to upgrage ESX, then to upgrade VMware Tools (if needed) and finally to upgrade the virtual hardware (if needed).
You are upgrading from VI 3.5 or from vSphere 4.0?
Updating from ESX4.0 to ESX 4.0 Update 1.
Yea I'm very familure with the esxupdate process just wondering if vmware was going to put the update into an bootable .iso image or something to do the updates. I suppose i'll just install update manager and manager the updates that way as it will just be easier in the long run.
To upgrade the ESX you can also use the zip file and esxupdate command.
But I suggest to install and use VUM, it will be useful also for the future.