Find out how to use Update Mnager to upgrade a host from 6.0 to version 6.5. Learn how to use Update Manager's automated process to upgrade a host.
- [Instructor] Okay, so in our last lesson and in the lessons previous to this, let's take a quick review of everything we've done. We imported images, we imported the patches, we looked at our depository, we looked at creating baselines, attaching images, scanning for any problems according to those baselines, and then remediating everything. The only thing we haven't done is the actual upgrade process. So what we're going to do in this demonstration is we're actually going to upgrade a host from 6.0 to 6.5.
We'll do the whole thing. I'll go back and I'll create a baseline for it. We already imported the image. So let's go ahead and go to Hosts and Clusters. You can see here, we are in our Hosts and Clusters View. We want to go to Update Manager and we want to go to the Administrative View. We're going to click on Manage here, and if you remember, what do we need to do? We have the ESXi image in the repository, there it is in the repository. But unlike in previous versions, remember in 6.0, 5.5, 5.1, and 5.0, when you import an ESXi image it automatically created a baseline for that image.
In 6.5, where we are now, it does not do that. So when I click on Host Baselines, let's expand this out. Even though you can see it's not predefined like it was, we actually had to create that custom baseline. It's located under Custom, where that was not the case in 6.0 and 5.5 and 5.1. As soon as you imported the image, the baseline was automatically created. If you remember from our lesson, we actually created this baseline for that image.
Now, once we've done that, we need to attach this baseline to a host we wish to upgrade, or even multiple hosts. So let's go to the Compliance View. Remember, whenever we're taking action to upgrade an item, that is in the Compliance View Center. When we're administering any type of configuration, we need the Admin View. All right, so here we are. We can see 10.0.0.212, let's look at the summary. You can see that it is running ESXi 6.0.
Let me highlight this. We want to bump this up to 6.5. So what we need to do is go here to the Update Manager and attach the baseline. What's the baseline we're going to attach? we're going to attach a full upgrade to this baseline. Click OK. Now see the status? The status is currently Unknown. Now we as administrators know that we are not running 6.5. We can go here to the Summary page, if you really want, Scan.
Now, I know it says Scan for Patches and Extensions and underneath it Upgrades. I don't like to do this together. I usually like to do one or the other. In this case, we're doing an upgrade. It's scanning, seeing if we comply with that particular image. Let's go ahead and refresh. Now if you are using the vSphere web client, you're going to have to refresh from time to time as you saw there I had to. As soon as I refreshed, we can see that the scan entity has been completed and we are non-compliant.
For a couple seconds there, we had the scan entity complete and it saying that the status was compliant. Make sure after you do a task like this to refresh your browser. Sometimes the information is a little slow to update. So, we have a non-compliant host? What do we do next? We need to go to Update Manager and remediate. So we're going to go ahead and remediate this host to an upgrade baseline, you see that upgrade baseline. We're going to click Next. Now you cannot stage an upgrade, like you could for patches.
Patches could be staged. You could bring some of the patches and load them onto the host prior to going into maintenance mode. For an image upgrade, you cannot do that. So I'm going to go ahead and click Next here for a full remediation. We're going to accept the EULA, click Next. Our advanced options, we can schedule this, or ignore warnings about unsupported devices or hardware. I don't want you to do this in your production environment. This is not something I really want you to do. It's not recommended unless you really understand the implications or you've already done your homework and you know what's going to go wrong with this upgrade, okay.
I'm going to go ahead and click Next. Host, this is that maintenance mode option. It's very, very important. What are you going to do with a VM that won't migrate off? If you're running DRS, you're putting a host into maintenance mode, DRS will move virtual machines off automatically. What do you want to do with virtual machines on a host that's going into maintenance mode that won't migrate? Are you going to not change the power state, are you going to power off the virtual machine, or suspend the virtual machine? Remember, if you leave that virtual machine powered on, maintenance mode will fail, okay.
Disable any removable media devices, this is the number one cause of a maintenance mode failure. If there's a device connected to a host in your environment and you try to put it in maintenance mode, it will not go into maintenance mode. So make sure you're aware of that. Retries entering maintenance mode, we've already talked about that in ESXi 6 patch settings. Again, we've already talked about it. Again, I'm going to say this for the second or third time. Make sure you understand the implications of a host going into maintenance mode for your cluster if you're running HA or DRS.
If you don't know those implications, I suggest you do some reading on it or watch some videos. Very important, could cause major issues in your production environment if you're not aware. All right, going to click Next, ready to complete. It's going to give us an overall view of what's going to happen. It's going to be a host remediation for an upgrade baseline. One host, everything's correct on the screen. Going ahead and clicking Finish. Now as you can see, remediate entity is moving along.
We're going to see our host dropping into maintenance mode, you can see that now. It's going to become unreachable for a moment because it's going to reboot itself once the upgrade is complete. And let's take some time to talk about what this actually is doing. Now way back early on in the course, when we were talking about a manual upgrade process, we talked about install ESXi versus upgrade ESXi. One was completely replacing the binaries and we're losing our configuration.
The other was just overwriting the parts of the software that has changed. That's what we're doing here with Update Manager. This is not a complete rewrite. We're not going to lose any configuration. This is a pure and simple upgrade of what needs to be upgraded. We aren't nuking anything, we aren't deleting anything and repaving over it. So all our configurations will remain the same. All our data that was stored on that host will still be there and available to us. Now as you can see here, the host is actually disconnected from vCenter Server.
Now this is nothing to be worried about at the moment. This is part of that upgrade process. That host actually has to reboot in order for different software updates to take place. Once it's out of the reboot process, it will try and connect to vCenter Server. Now in the past, versions 5.1, 5.0, I used to have problems with this when I would upgrade a host. It would have trouble coming back into vCenter Server. That being said, in 5.5, 6.0, and 6.5, well, we'll see for this particular instance if it's true, but I haven't had that issue any longer.
It's been really easy for hosts to re-add themselves back to the vCenter Server. Like I said, 5.1, 5.0, I used to actually have to sometimes, about 50% of the time, go back to that host and re-add it back into my vCenter Server. Nothing was wrong with it, there wasn't anything missing. The configurations were still good. It was just some error in the way the communication took place, I think. Something with the agent, possibly. Now if you have a fear that the host is really back up again but hasn't been added back to vCenter Server, one of the really quick things you can do is actually use your browser to go to that host, put in its IP address or fully-qualified domain name.
In this case, it would be 10.0.0.212, into the browser, to see if it's actually come out of the power-off mode or it has rebooted yet. And if it has, give it, oh, about three or four minutes before it's added back in to vCenter Server. If you see it there, you wait 10 minutes or so and it hasn't been added back to vCenter Server, that's when I would go ahead and manually add a host back into vCenter Server. But like I've said in the past, this automated process though Update Manager has really improved over different versions, 5.5, 6.0, and 6.5 now, I haven't had to do that yet, so.
And again, the proof's in the pudding, so we'll see if I have to add it manually. I won't edit it out if I have to. The upgrade process takes a little while. Sometimes it takes up to 30 minutes to completely upgrade a different host. This host doesn't have a lot of configurations or even virtual machines associated with it. Not a lot of data here, so updating this particular host isn't going to take us a lot of time. There's not a lot of trick configurations. It doesn't have an HA agent installed on it. So this is less than you would see in production, so I think it would be up in about seven or eight more minutes.
Okay, as you can see, our host has come out of our suspended mode or our disconnected mode, and our actual remediation is done! Meaning our host is now fully upgraded. In order to check this, we can go to the summary portion, scroll up, and we can see that, yes indeed now, we are VMware ESXi 6.5. So we did a full in-place upgrade of ESXi using Update Manager, and this is the procedure I've used for a very long time in my career.
I like this procedure. It's simple, it's predictable. I know what's going to happen. I like this because I can remediate multiple entities at the same time. If I wanted to do five, six hosts at a time I could. The only thing required of this Update Manager process is that you update Update Manager or your vCenter Server first. Once that's done, this process is very simple and very straightforward.
- 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