1 2 Previous Next 16 Replies Latest reply on Jul 16, 2018 4:16 PM by tractng

    Upgrade of 5.5 to 6.5U1 hosts

    tractng Hot Shot

      We have upgraded the vCenter in our test environment to 6.5U1g.  The ESXi hosts are still on 5.5.  Looking to upgrade the hosts to 6.5u1.  What is the preferred method to do that (Update Manager, command line). Eventually in our production hosts, we will need to take the hosts down to patch firmware.  Both of our test and work environments have the capability to do vmotion.  Just want to simulate the process.

       

      Thanks,
      TT

        • 1. Re: Upgrade of 5.5 to 6.5U1 hosts
          Diego Oliveira Hot Shot

          First make firmware update.

          To update hosts i prefer use of update manager, for being simpler.

          Find if have one Custom Image for VMware ESXi to version your hardware.

           

          Please consider marking this answer "correct" or "helpful" if you think your question have been answered correctly.

          • 2. Re: Upgrade of 5.5 to 6.5U1 hosts
            TwinTurboRob Novice

            I just vmotioned all the guests off, put in maintenance mode and rebooted to the ISO and upgraded that way (very straightforward).

             

            only issue I have encountered is some VIBs that need to be deleted.

             

            Test farm was done last week.

             

            Production farm(s) this week and next week (1 host from each farm this week, other two hosts on each farm next week)

            DR farms(s) in two weeks time.

             

            Rob

            • 3. Re: Upgrade of 5.5 to 6.5U1 hosts
              tractng Hot Shot

              We probably put it in maintenance mode, then take it down to patch firmware, and install.  At this moment, our hosts will get the 6.5U1 installation (hardware and backup software compatibility). So after the installation, are there any additional updates that need to be run (we are not interested in U2 due to the previously stated).  If so, it will be un/scan from Update Manager?

               

              We downloaded the standard ISO from VMware site with the ability to install/upgrade.  Our hosts are Dell PowerEdge R820.

               

               

              Thanks,

              TT

              • 4. Re: Upgrade of 5.5 to 6.5U1 hosts
                Diego Oliveira Hot Shot

                Yes.

                 

                Before attach the baseline to one or more hosts.

                Step by step:

                How to patch ESXi with Update Manager

                 

                Please consider marking this answer "correct" or "helpful" if you think your question have been answered correctly.

                • 5. Re: Upgrade of 5.5 to 6.5U1 hosts
                  a.p. Guru
                  vExpertUser ModeratorsCommunity Warriors

                  How many hosts do you have? Depending on the number of hosts, it may be an option to upgrade the hosts from the command line using the offline/zip bundle..

                   

                  In any case, I'd suggest you use the Dell customizes ESXi image, which contains additional drivers and tool for Dell hardware.

                  Here's the link to the A11 version of VMware ESXi 6.5 U1 | Dell US

                   

                  André

                  • 6. Re: Upgrade of 5.5 to 6.5U1 hosts
                    tractng Hot Shot

                    A.P.,

                     

                    We only have 5 hosts .

                     

                    I have a question regarding EVC. I found an article about this.

                     

                    Enable EVC on an Existing Cluster

                     

                    2) "Power off all the virtual machines on the hosts with feature sets greater than the EVC mode"  All my hosts have the same hardware and specs which should be ok?  What I am asking is how do I determine the feature sets greater than the EVC mode?

                     

                    I enabled it on my test environment and it validated successfully and all VMs online were not affected. Can somebody confirm that the VMs are not affected?

                     

                     

                    Thanks,

                    TT

                    • 7. Re: Upgrade of 5.5 to 6.5U1 hosts
                      a.p. Guru
                      Community WarriorsvExpertUser Moderators

                      Don't worry. enabling EVC will not affect powered on VMs, and the wizard will only allow you to select an EVC mode that's compatible with the hosts' CPUs, and the already powered on VMs in the cluster. What EVC does, is to ensure that VM's will be presented with a common CPU feature set when they are powered on.

                      The VMware HCL https://www.vmware.com/go/hcl seems to be currently not available, but unless I'm mistaken the EVC mode for R820 is Sandy Bridge.

                       

                      So what I would proceed with the upgrade (assuming you don't have any individual drivers installed) is to upgrade/patch the hosts one after the other.

                      As a first step, upload the current offline bundle (VMware-VMvisor-Installer-6.5.0.update01-7967591.x86_64-DellEMC_Customized-A11.zip) to a shared datastore.

                      I also tend to set DRS to "Manual" druing the upgrades to control migrations.

                       

                      Steps per host:

                      1. evacuate a host, enable Maintenence Mode, and shut it down
                      2. update iDRAC/LCC from the iDRAC interface
                      3. update the BIOS from the iDRAC interface
                      4. boot into LCC, and update the firmware online (Note that newer iDRAC versions show download.dell.com as the ftp server address for the patches. If this doesn't work, change it to ftp.dell.com)
                      5. once firmware is up to date, boot into ESXi
                      6. enable SSH for the host, and open a putty session
                      7. upgrade ESXi from the command line using the following command
                        esxcli software profile install -d /vmfs/volumes/<shared-datastore>/Patches/<zip-file> -p <profile name> --ok-to-remove --dry-run
                        The --dry-run argument can be used for a test run. If you are satisfied with the command's result, run the command without this argument again.
                      8. Once the above command completed successfully, enter reboot to reboot the host
                      9. After the host has rebooted, check whether the configuration is ok (storage, networking, NTP, ...) before you exit Maintenance Mode

                       

                      Once all of the hosts have been upgraded:

                      1. select all hosts in the cluster and run "Reconfigure for HA"
                      2. open the EVC mode setting, select a non-compatible EVC mode, switch back to the correct EVC mode, and hit OK. This should reconfigure the hosts with the correct features that are available with the hosts' new BIOS/Microcode version.
                      3. Set DRS back to Fully Automated if you changed it prior to running the upgrades.

                       

                      Note: To find out the profile name that's required for the update command, run esxcli software sources profile list -d /vmfs/volumes/<shared-datastore>/Patches/<zip-file>

                       

                      André

                      • 8. Re: Upgrade of 5.5 to 6.5U1 hosts
                        a.p. Guru
                        User ModeratorsCommunity WarriorsvExpert

                        ... almost forgot. Things to do once the hosts have been upgraded.

                         

                        • In order for the VMs to "see" the new CPU features, they need to be power-cycled (not just rebooted).
                          For Windows servers you may also need to set some registry keys (see "Enabling protections on the server" at https://support.microsoft.com/en-za/help/4072698/windows-server-guidance-to-protect-against-the-speculative-execution)
                        • Also consider upgrading VMware Tools as well as the virtual hardware version for the VMs.
                          Note: For vendor provided virtual appliances like the VMware vCSA, do not upgrade the virtual hardware, or VMware Tools. Always consult the vendor's documentation for such appliances to avoid issues.

                         

                        André

                        • 9. Re: Upgrade of 5.5 to 6.5U1 hosts
                          tractng Hot Shot

                          A.P.,

                           

                          Thanks for putting your time in.  For the link you provided from the Dell site, is that for running an update?  When I downloaded from the VMware site, it was specific for an upgrade or new install.

                           

                          TT

                          • 10. Re: Upgrade of 5.5 to 6.5U1 hosts
                            a.p. Guru
                            Community WarriorsvExpertUser Moderators

                            Yes, the ISO image can be used for interactive installations as well as for upgrades, and the ZIP file can be used for updates/upgrades.

                            The images on the Dell site are based on the VMware images, but contain additional Dell specific drivers, and tools.

                            The steps I posted are the ones that I'm also usually using for upgrades in small customer environments.


                            André

                            • 11. Re: Upgrade of 5.5 to 6.5U1 hosts
                              tractng Hot Shot

                              Lets say once I have updated the host with the 6.5U1 using the ISO, would I need to use the Update Manager to scan for any new patches?  Patches and extensions are not part of an update, ie U1, U2...?  We are avoiding update 2 for now since Veeam doesn't support U2.

                              • 12. Re: Upgrade of 5.5 to 6.5U1 hosts
                                a.p. Guru
                                User ModeratorsCommunity WarriorsvExpert

                                The image for which I've posted the link is ESXi 6.5 U1 (Build: 7967591), i.e. the latest build for Update 1.

                                Once installed, there's no need to install further patches through Update Manager.

                                 

                                André

                                • 13. Re: Upgrade of 5.5 to 6.5U1 hosts
                                  daphnissov Champion
                                  Community WarriorsvExpert

                                  Also, Veeam now supports U2 as well as 6.7 in the latest patch release 3a.

                                  • 14. Re: Upgrade of 5.5 to 6.5U1 hosts
                                    Wolken Novice

                                    This sounds not relevant to this thread...but nice to know.

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