Learn more about the processes involved in installing Update Manager and how Update Manager can ease the upgrade process.
- [Instructor] One of the easiest ways to update the VMware software is by using Update Manager. Now, before we get into the installation of Update Manager, let's discuss what it is. Upgrade Manager is installed separately from both vCenter Server and ESXi. Its purpose is to update the VMware software. And luckily for us, it can do so automatically. Update Manager can patch the VMware software, and even upgrade our ESXi versions.
Now, in 6.5, Update Manager is indeed rolled into the vCenter Server Appliance. So that's a bit of a change from 6.0 to 6.5. But we'll talk more about that later. So what are the benefits of an Update Manager implementation? Let's take a moment to compare a manual upgrade implementation versus the automated Update Manager process. When we look at the manual process of upgrading ESXi, we can see it is a lot of manual labor.
And I'm not a fan of that, personally. You're going to have to run around with a disc or USB drive to each of your hosts in your environment just to get the binaries on the hardware. Not only did you have to do all that work, but you are now stuck watching the entire installation process. Which is also known as babysitting. One of the benefits of this, though, is if a problem does arise, you will be right there when it happens. Now, Update Manager, on the other hand, is an automated process.
First of all, this can happen from your desk. That is, if you're sufficiently prepared. There is no need to physically deliver binaries to the hardware. We can also set this up to take place on a schedule, without the need for monitoring. Now this, however, brings up the issue. If a problem arises during an upgrade process, no one's there to catch it. So this could end up causing delays in the upgrade process. So with all that promise of easy upgrades and software patching the Update Manager brings, how do we go about actually setting up this service? The first thing we should note is that this is not a standalone VM installation.
We are going to have to install Update Manager on a Windows server 64-bit operating system. Now, this is true for ESXi versions 6.0 and 6.5, if you're using the Windows vCenter Server. Now, it is also true in 6.0 if you are using the vCenter Server Appliance. However, if you are using 6.5 vCenter Server Appliance, Update Manager is already rolled into vCenter Server.
So there's a big difference there. Make sure you know the difference between the versions. So in the case of 6.0, when we're using vCenter Server, and the vCenter Server Appliance, and 6.5 when we're using vCenter Server, Update Manager has to be installed on a Windows server 64-bit operating system. Now, the operating system can be installed on either a virtual machine or your traditional physical machine. It doesn't matter, as long as connectivity is present.
Now the hardware required for the installation of Update Manager is pretty straightforward. In terms of processor, any 86 processor from Intel or AMD, with two or more logical cores, running at two gigahertz, will work. We need network connectivity at one gigabit speeds. I know that the minimum in the documentation says 100 megabits. But we should stick to best practices here.
Now, memory-wise, we can get by with two gigabytes of RAM, if the Update Manager service is installed on a different Windows machine than the vCenter Server is installed on. So if you're using vCenter Server and not the vCenter Server Appliance, and you have Update Manager installed on a different machine than your vCenter Server, you're okay with two gigabytes of RAM. However, if Update Manager and vCenter Server is running on the same hardware, then eight gigabytes minimum is recommended.
In fact, eight gigabytes is the minimum for vCenter Server, so you wouldn't even be able to install vCenter Server without that eight gigabyte minimum. Now, we are also going to need to access a database. This is true for version 6.0 for both vCenter Server and the vCenter Server Appliance, and 6.5 when you're using the vCenter Server. This is required to keep all the data, and organize it for Update Manager to use.
If your environment is larger than five hosts and 50 VMs, you will need to use an external SQL or Oracle database. When pointing to the external database, you will want to configure a 32-bit DSN for 6.0, and a 64-bit DSN for 6.5. You should then test it with ODBC. If your environment is smaller than five hosts or 50 VMs, you may use the embedded SQL Express database that will be set up to run on the same machine in which the Update Manager resides.
Now, if you are using the 6.5 vCenter Server Appliance, that comes embedded with a Postgres database. And that database supports up to the maximum of vCenter Server. Now, one of the changes in the Update Manager service, from the 6.0 to the 6.5, is the Update Manager interface. Now, way back in 5.5, we had to use the vSphere client for the Update Manager management.
And we had very limited functionality with the web client. 6.0 bridged the gap a little. We got some increased functionality with the web client, but we still had to go to the vSphere client in order to use Update Manager. In 6.5, we have completely eliminated the need for the vSphere client, and now rely solely on the vSphere web client. With 6.5, we don't even need to install a plugin. This is a huge change from previous versions, and I, for one, welcome it.
Now, the installation process itself is fairly straightforward. Remember the database should be installed prior to starting the Update Manager installation. Now, first we are going to acquire the software through VMware's portal, or your sales representative. Now using the ISO, we then install the software on the Windows server you have chosen. You will be prompted to point Update Manager to the Oracle or SQL database that you set up earlier. And prompted to enter the IP address of the vCenter Server for the data center.
If we are in a small environment, like we said earlier, five hosts and 50 VMs, we can use the embedded SQL Express database that will install itself automatically. And of course, if we're using the vCenter Server Appliance, in 6.5, we don't even have to worry about the database, because it's rolled in. Now lastly, if you are using version 6.0 and below, you will need to install the vSphere client, and the plugins required.
In 6.5, you'll be all ready to go.
- Manually performing ESXi host and virtual machine upgrades
- Configuring a custom download source for Update Manager
- Importing ESXi images
- Creating baselines or baseline groups
- Attaching baselines to vSphere objects
- Upgrading an ESXi host using vCenter Update Manager
- Upgrading VMware tools, VM hardware, and Update Manager
- Performing vCenter server upgrades