vSphere upgrade part 2, step-by-step

22 05 2009

The following notes are from a series of vSphere update videos made available by vmware. These notes should help you upgrade your infrastructure step-by-step.

Phase 2: ESX Host Migration Methods

1. Reset the alarms on your hosts within the new vi client.

2. Go to the update manager, and detach and remove your old baselines from your hosts.

3. Select upgrade baseline tabs from the upgrade manager view.

4. Select the create link on the top right, and select new baseline. Give the baseline a name (Host Upgrade), description, and under baseline type select Host Upgrade.

5. Now you will give the path to the iso image for the upgrade for ESX hosts. This is the ISO that VMware refers to as VMware ESX 4 and should have a name similar to esx-DVD-4.0.0-164009.iso. If you have ESXi hosts, you will also need to give the path of the zip file binaries for ESXi.

6. The setup will now upload the files to the update repository.

7. The setup will now select the COS VMDK location. Select the appropriate location based on your environment.

8. Now you have created your baseline. Go back to home, then inventory, then hosts and clusters. Select a host, and then go to the update manager tab. Click attach to attach the new baseline.

9. Once you have selected the new baseline and clicked attach, you are ready to scan and remediate.

10. Select scan at the top of update manager, now select your host, and go down to the remediate button.

11. Next on through selecting the COS vmdk, and selecting remediation options.

12. Once you click finish, the host should start remediating. If you are in fully automated mode, the vms will be evacuated, and the host will go into maintenance mode. Go to the tasks and events tab on the host to watch the progress.

13. While that host is upgrading, lets create another baseline for our cluster. Call it Cluster Upgrade and follow the same steps as steps 4-8. Make sure your COS location can be seen by the whole cluster.

14. Attach the baseline to the cluster much like before. Make sure you select the whole cluster.

15. Scan all the hosts now, and you can remediate hosts one at a time, or in bulk (by remediating the whole cluster), for the whole cluster. Make sure to upgrade 2 hosts first, then you can use the cluster baseline to remediate the entire cluster. This will remediate the remaining hosts in the selected cluster. You can watch the process from the console view (ipkvm, etc).

16. Once each host is upgraded and rebooted you can run the command cleanup-esx3 in the console to cleanup the bootloader.

16. Keep in mind that each host will take about 25-30 minutes to remediate.

17. You can use the esx-host update utility to update an esx server that is not managed by vCenter.

18. Once all of your hosts are remediated, you are done with part 2!




7 responses

8 12 2009

Great instructions. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you didn’t include putting the ESX host into maintenance mode before applying the update. Was there a reason for this?

14 01 2010

As part of the remediation process, the host is put into maintenance mode. Update manager does this for you, if you are in fully automated mode. See step 12.

14 01 2010

ah yes… I noticed that as I migrated my environment. Thanks for the great outline. They provided the main foundation for my transition. From the “in the trenches” perspective that I recently had, I might make a few suggestions.

1. The user might want to take the update to VM hardware 7 VERY slowly. There are server apps (Exchange, and Sharepoint) that use GUID’s that are based off of the existing NIC’s. This will change when the VM hardware update is made, and can potentially break services.

2. I wished I would have done an inventory of known errors or warnings on each server prior to the VM hardware 7 update. That way I would have been able to distinguish more quickly between benign/existing messages, and new ones. I just can’t remember that stuff anymore.

14 05 2010
mike labs

what happens to the Vms on the host. I am Very scared to upgrade a Host while my production VM are on there

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